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The latest news from Business Insider

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    Ford NASCAR Burnout

    • Ford beat expectations on both the top- and bottom lines.
    • Shares moved up 5% after-hours.


    Ford reported third-quarter earnings on Wednesday, posting beats of analysts' expectations on both revenue and profits.

    The carmaker made $0.29 per share and brought in $34.7 billion.

    Ford shares jumped 5%, to nearly $9, in after-hours trading. Year-to-date, Ford has been in a severe slide, down over 30%.

    "This quarter shows that our business remains very strong in key areas. We continue to make progress on our efforts to redesign Ford to be far more competitively fit, disciplined in capital allocations and nimble enough to win in a fast changing world," CEO Jim Hackett said in a statement.


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    NOW WATCH: Ford has built a plug-in hybrid cop car

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    tesla fremont factory

    • Tesla said on Wednesday in its third-quarter earnings letter that it will accelerate its production timeline at its upcoming factory in Shanghai.
    • The automaker said it plans to begin parts of Model 3 production at the Shanghai factory in 2019, though it did not specify when in 2019 production would begin.
    • In July, Tesla said it expected construction for the factory to begin "in the near future" and projected it would take around two years after construction began before production started.
    • Tesla has said the Shanghai factory could produce around 500,000 vehicles starting about four to five years after construction begins.


    Tesla said on Wednesday that it will accelerate its production timeline at its upcoming factory in Shanghai. The automaker said it plans to begin parts of Model 3 production at the Shanghai factory in 2019, though it did not specify when in 2019 production would begin. Tesla also said all vehicles in China will be available only to Chinese customers.

    In July, Tesla said it expected construction for the factory to begin "in the near future" and projected it would take around two years after construction began before production started. Tesla has said the Shanghai factory could produce around 500,000 vehicles starting about four to five years after construction begins.

    Reuters reported on Wednesday that Tesla will make its upcoming Model Y SUV, which Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said will begin production in 2020, at the Shanghai factory, citing a Shanghai government filing.

    Vehicle production has been a major point of focus for Tesla since it introduced the Model 3 sedan in July 2017. Musk acknowledged in April that the automaker had attempted to automate too many production tasks at its factory in Fremont, California, where it makes the Model S, Model X, and Model 3, and would use more human workers in the assembly process.

    Tesla initially struggled to hit its production targets for the Model 3 due in part to excessive automation at the Fremont factory. In May 2016, Musk estimated the company would make 100,000 to 200,000 Model 3s during the second half of 2017, though Tesla made just 2,685 Model 3 vehicles in 2017. 

    At the end of June, Tesla hit its long-delayed goal of making 5,000 Model 3 vehicles in one week and, at the beginning of this month, Tesla said it produced 80,142 vehicles during the third quarter, which was the highest quarterly production rate in the automaker's history and 50% higher than its previous high, achieved in the second quarter of this year.

    The automaker postedadjusted earnings of $2.90 per share (compared to an analyst forecast of -$0.15 per share) on $6.8 billion in revenue (compared to an analyst forecast of $6.315 billion) during the third quarter.

    Have a Tesla news tip? Contact this reporter at

    SEE ALSO: A government filing may have revealed where Tesla will build the Model Y

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: INSIDE MONSTER JAM: What it takes to be a monster truck driver

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    AMD lab

    • AMD reported third-quarter earnings after Wednesday's closing bell that topped on profits but missed on sales.
    • The company also guided fourth-quarter revenue below Wall Street expectations.
    • Shares dropped 9% during Wednesday's session amid broader weakness in the tech sector and plunged another 16% following the results.
    • Follow AMD's stock price in real time here. 

    AMD reported third-quarter earnings on Wednesday that beat on profits but missed on sales, sending shares down 16%.

    Here are the key numbers:

    • Adjusted earnings per share: $0.13 versus an expected $0.12.
    • Revenue:  $1.65 versus an expected $1.7 billion.
    • Fourth-quarter revenue forecast: $1.45 billion (+/- $50 million) versus an expected $1.6 billion.

    "We delivered our fifth straight quarter of year-over-year revenue and net income growth driven largely by the accelerated adoption of our Ryzen, EPYC and datacenter graphics products," CEO Lisa Su said in the earnings release.

    "Client and server processor sales increased significantly although graphics channel sales were lower in the quarter. Looking forward, we believe we are well positioned for further market share gains as we continue making significant progress towards our long-term financial targets."

    Ahead of the results, shares had already plunged 9% on Wednesday amid broader weakness in the tech sector. They have been under pressure this month — down more than 25% from their recent high set on September 14 — after rival Intel reportedly solved its 10 nanometer-chip production problems, and as a brutal stock-market sell-off ravaged the tech sector

    While AMD shares have been under pressure as of late, one analyst says a big year is coming in 2019 thanks to the roll out its 7 nm chips.

    "We would add to positions on weakness and wait for 2019," Mitch Steves, an RBC analyst, wrote in a note sent out to clients on Tuesday. 

    "We think the AMD story is a 2019/2020 story where the company could gain notable share in servers and potentially mid-high-end PCs as well. Finally, we emphasize that this continues to be a 2019 play given the timing of the 7nm product launch."

    AMD shares were up 110% this year through Wednesday.


    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Scorpion venom is the most expensive liquid in the world — here's why it costs $39 million per gallon

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    China's aircraft carrier Liaoning takes part in a military drill of Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy in the western Pacific Ocean

    The Chinese People's Liberation Army is pushing ahead with its ambitious plan to build a modern, capable "blue-water navy" that will dominate China's neighbors, showcase Beijing's rising power and one day even threaten the US Navy. 

    China has one aircraft carrier in operation, another undergoing sea trials, and a third one in development, putting the Chinese navy on track to begin fielding carrier task forces as it gains experience with carrier operations.

    Type 001 Liaoning

    China's Type 001 Liaoning, a refitted Soviet "heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser," is the sister ship of Russia's Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier. This vessel was officially commissioned into the PLAN in 2012, and it was declared combat ready in 2016, even though its primary purpose is to serve as a training platform.

    "For what the Liaoning is, I think it's pretty good at its job," Matthew Funaiole, a fellow with the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, previously explained to Business Insider.

    The Chinese "purchased it, they reverse engineered it, they used it to design their second aircraft carrier, and now they are using it as a training vessel to sort out carrier operations, figure out how to integrate it into the fleet, and determine what kind of supporting vessels they need to put with the carrier for their mission," he added, suggesting that training with the Liaoning could potentially inform future carrier task force decisions, among other important choices.

    Type 001A and Type 002

    The Type 001A, a domestically-produced version of the Liaoning undergoing sea trials, features some improvements over its predecessor, but it is the Type 002, the third carrier in development, that could be a "huge step forward" for the Chinese PLAN, according to Funaiole.

    It is with these next two carriers that the world may start to see China push ahead with the next stage of carrier operations, specifically task force creation for joint operations.

    Imagining future Chinese carrier battle groups

    The Liaoning has set sail with a number of different escorts over the years, but the deployment of effective task forces will require a bit more time, experts argue.

    "To create really meaningful carrier task groups is probably five years out, and a lot of it depends on their actual experience with combat aircraft," Tony Cordesman, the Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy at CSIS, told BI.

    Chinese carriers lack the ability to go toe-to-toe with the US Navy, although they have an advantage in waters near China because Chinese ballistic missiles "can reach out almost to the limits of its claims and actually potentially hit a carrier-sized object with a conventional warhead," he explained, adding that observers should not "make the assumption that to make the carriers useful, they have to reach a level of competition that could deal with a really sophisticated US threat."

    The primary task for Chinese carriers is the prestige mission, experts note, suggesting that the Chinese aim to send a message to their neighbors.

    "The prestige mission is probably the most important one. They are going to be going out to show the flag," Bryan Clark, a naval expert and senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, told Business Insider.


    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Battlefield 5

    • "Battlefield V" is set to launch on November 20th, but it will be missing Firestorm, a Fortnite-inspired battle royale mode that has been teased since the game was first announced.
    • The game's creators have promised ongoing improvements and new content for "Battlefield V" in the months after launch, but Firestorm won't be ready until March 2019.
    • The title's primary competition, "Call of Duty: Black Ops 4," recently joined the battle royale club with its own Blackout game mode when the game released in October.

    Battle royale video games have quickly become the most popular sub-genre of first-person shooters, fueled by the popularity of "Fortnite: Battle Royale" and "PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds." When first unveiling their games at E3 2018, the creators of both "Battlefield V" and "Call of Duty" announced that the newest games in their respective series would feature their own battle royale modes, in an apparent effort to cash in on the trend.

    "Call of Duty: Black Ops 4" came out on October 12 and its battle royale mode, Blackout, has been the game's most celebrated feature, with longtime fans and competitive gamers alike commending the game's polished take on the genre. Now the developers of "Battlefield V" have revealed that their battle royale mode, Firestorm, won't be ready when the game launches on November 20th. Instead, Firestorm will arrive in March 2019 as a part of the game's ongoing content release schedule.

    In an October 24 blog post, "Battlefield V" developer EA DICE detailed what will be included in the game on launch day, and how new content and improvements will be added in the following months. DICE plans to roll out the World War II shooter's content in three phases using the game's live service, Tides of War. Each new chapter in the Tides of War service will add new maps, modes, and improvements to the game.

    Battlefield V

    The first chapter is called Overture and will begin with the game's release. Players will be able to play the game's single-player campaign, battle on eight different multiplayer maps, and explore the game's wide array of weapons and vehicles for the first time. Chapter 2, named Lightning Strikes, will arrive in January 2019, incorporating cooperative multiplayer missions and the classic squad conquest mode. Finally, the third Chapter, Trial by Fire, will introduce the Firestorm battle royale mode and a new Greece map in March 2019.

    DICE has promised that Firestorm will be a unique battle royale experience. Like some of the game's other multiplayer modes, Firestorm is limited to 64 players with four-person squads, but the map will be the largest in any "Battlefield" game thus far. Firestorm will also include the destructible environments and vehicles that define the series. Beyond fighting other players to survive, teams will also be able to clear specific objectives on the Firestorm map to access more valuable equipment during the match.

    While Firestorm is one of the most anticipated additions to "Battlefield V," the game looks to have a healthy amount of content for players to dive into on release. With a roadmap of updates spanning into Spring 2019, early adopters will also have a clear idea of what's on the horizon.

    "Battlefield V" will arrive on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 on November 20th. Players who subscribe to EA Origin Access Premier will be able to play the full game on November 9th, while EA Access and Origin Access players will be able to try the game with their play first trial. Those who pre-order the deluxe edition will gain early access to the game on November 15th.

    SEE ALSO: Why "Call of Duty" and "Battlefield" Battle Royale won't achieve the runaway success of "Fortnite"

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Why Amazon reportedly wants to open 3,000 automated stores

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    jeff zucker

    • CNN President Jeff Zucker slammed President Donald Trump's attacks on the news media just hours after an explosive device was mailed to CNN's New York offices, forcing the network to evacuate its employees. 
    • "There is a total and complete lack of understanding at the White House about the seriousness of their continued attacks on the media," Zucker said in a Wednesday statement. 
    • Trump has long waged a war on his critics in the media and particularly CNN, which he has attacked as a leader of what he calls the liberal "fake news" media.

    CNN President Jeff Zucker slammed President Donald Trump's attacks on the news media just hours after an explosive device was mailed to CNN's New York offices, forcing the network to evacuate its employees. 

    "There is a total and complete lack of understanding at the White House about the seriousness of their continued attacks on the media," Zucker said in a statement on Wednesday afternoon in which he attacked Trump and White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders's at times aggressive posture towards the media, which they often accuse of promoting "fake news."

    "The president, and especially the White House press secretary, should understand their words matter. Thus far, they have shown no comprehension of that," Zucker said. 

    Zucker's statement echoed past criticism he has made of Trump's stance towards the media, which he said earlier this year has "created an atmosphere in this country that has resonated around the world in a very unhealthy way." 

    He said of the president in March, "He doesn't even understand the danger he's causing to journalists and the danger he's doing to media organizations."

    Several top Republican leaders, including Vice President Mike Pence, House Majority Leader Paul Ryan, and Trump's eldest daughter, Ivanka, all issued prompt responses to Wednesday's news that mail bombs were sent to former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and other top Democrats. 

    Until he delivered a brief statement before an event addressing the opioid epidemic on Wednesday afternoon, Trump simply retweeted Pence's condemnation of the attempted attacks, writing, "I agree wholeheartedly!"

    Later in the day, the president elaborated on his public response, calling for political unity and the rejection of violence. 

    "In these times, we have to unify," he said. "We have to come together, and send one clear, strong unmistakable message that acts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America."

    The president has waged a long-running war against CNN in particular, which he accuses of being a leader of the "liberal fake news media," and encourages his supporters to ignore. And all of the political leaders who received packages with explosive devices are high-profile Trump critics whom the president has relentlessly attacked. 

    SEE ALSO: Prominent conservative activists and talking heads are promoting a conspiracy theory that Democrats sent explosive devices to Clinton, Obama, and Soros

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This company spent 10 years developing a product that allows humans to scale walls like a gecko

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    doctor strange benedict cumberbatch

    Netflix has released the list of all the titles that will be arriving and leaving the streaming platform in November.  

    The upcoming schedule is full of shows to binge and movies to watch. 

    From originals like the final season of "House of Cards" and a sequel to "A Christmas Prince" to movies like "Doctor Strange" and "Good Will Hunting." 

    But getting the axe are movies including "Paddington" and "Jurassic Park."

    Here's a list of everything coming and going on Netflix in November.

    Arriving in November:

    Available 11/1/18

    "Angela's Christmas"— NETFLIX ORIGINAL

    "Bram Stoker's Dracula"

    "Bring It On: In It to Win It"

    "Cape Fear"

    "Children of Men"

    "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"


    "Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo"

    "Doctor Strange"

    "Fair Game — Director's Cut"

    "Follow This: Part 3"— NETFLIX ORIGINAL

    "From Dusk Till Dawn"

    "Good Will Hunting"

    "Jet Li's Fearless"

    "Julie & Julia"

    "Katt Williams: The Pimp Chronicles: Pt. 1"

    "National Lampoon's Animal House"

    "Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow"

    "Planet Hulk"

    "Scary Movie 2"

    "Scary Movie 3"

    "Sex and the City: The Movie"

    "Sixteen Candles"


    "The English Patient"

    "The Judgement"— NETFLIX ORIGINAL

    "The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin"

    "The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep"



    Available 11/2/18

    "Brainchild"— NETFLIX ORIGINAL

    "House of Cards" Season 6 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

    "ReMastered: Tricky Dick & The Man in Black"— NETFLIX ORIGINAL

    "The Holiday Calendar"— NETFLIX FILM

    "The Other Side of the Wind"— NETFLIX FILM

    "They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead"— NETFLIX ORIGINAL

    "Trolls: The Beat Goes On!" Season 4 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

    Available 11/3/18

    "Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil"

    Available 11/4/18

    "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End"

    "Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj" (Streaming Every Sunday, begins October 28) —NETFLIX ORIGINAL

    Available 11/5/18

    "Homecoming" Season 1

    "John Leguizamo's Latin History for Morons"— NETFLIX ORIGINAL

    Available 11/7/18

    "Into the Forest"

    Available 11/8/18

    "The Sea of Trees"

    Available 11/9/18

    "Beat Bugs" Season 3 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

    "La Reina del Flow"— NETFLIX ORIGINAL

    "Medal of Honor"— NETFLIX ORIGINAL

    "Outlaw King"— NETFLIX FILM

    "Spirit Riding Free" Season 7 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

    "Super Drags"— NETFLIX ORIGINAL

    "The Great British Baking Show" Collection 6 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

    "Treehouse Detectives" Season 2 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

    "Westside"— NETFLIX ORIGINAL

    Available 11/12/18

    "Green Room"

    Available 11/13/18

    "Loudon Wainwright III: Surviving Twin"— NETFLIX ORIGINAL



    Available 11/15/18

    "May The Devil Take You"— NETFLIX FILM

    "The Crew"— NETFLIX FILM

    Available 11/16/18


    "Narcos: Mexico"— NETFLIX ORIGINAL

    "Ponysitters Club" Season 2 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

    "Prince of Peoria"— NETFLIX ORIGINAL

    "She-Ra and the Princesses of Power"— NETFLIX ORIGINAL

    "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs"— NETFLIX FILM

    "The Break-Up"

    "The Kominsky Method"— NETFLIX ORIGINAL

    "The Princess Switch"— NETFLIX FILM

    Available 11/18/18

    "The Pixar Story"

    Available 11/19/18

    "The Last Kingdom" Season 3 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

    Available 11/20/18

    "Kulipari: Dream Walker"— NETFLIX ORIGINAL

    "Motown Magic"— NETFLIX ORIGINAL

    "Sabrina"— NETFLIX FILM

    "The Final Table"— NETFLIX ORIGINAL

    "Trevor Noah: Son of Patricia"— NETFLIX ORIGINAL

    Available 11/21/18

    "The Tribe"— NETFLIX FILM

    Available 11/22/18

    "Jiro Dreams of Sushi"

    "Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Gauntlet"— NETFLIX ORIGINAL

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    It may seem like many celebrities have it made, but even they can enjoy pretending to be other people — especially on Halloween, when the whole point is to embrace surrealism and fiction.

    Here are 15 celebrities who pulled out all the stops to transform into fan-favorite TV and film characters.

    Halsey was a dead-ringer for Eleven from "Stranger Things."

    In 2016, Halsey also dressed up as the DC Comics villain Harley Quinn and Uma Thurman's character in "Kill Bill" — but thanks to her shaved head and mean stare, the Eleven costume was her tour de force.

    Khloe Kardashian and Tristan Thompson personified a fan-favorite couple from "Game of Thrones."

    Khloe Kardashian dressed up as Daenerys Targaryen while her boyfriend went as Khal Drogo, a short-lived yet beloved couple from "Game of Thrones."

    Read more: 16 of the Kardashian-Jenners' best Halloween costumes

    Allison Williams made the perfect Belle from "Beauty and the Beast."

    "Ugh Belle I've been telling you to get a damn Kindle,"Allison Williams captioned this shot from 2015.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Elon Musk Australia 2017 pointing

    Tesla reported a surprise third-quarter profit on Wednesday that easily surpassed Wall Street's expectations.

    Here are the important numbers:

    • Adjusted earnings: $2.90 per share versus -$0.15 expected.
    • Revenue: $6.8 billion versus $6.3 billion expected.

    "Q3 2018 was a truly historic quarter for Tesla,"the company said in a press release. "Model 3 was the best-selling car in the US in terms of revenue and the 5th best-selling car in terms of volume."

    Free cash flow was $881 million for the quarter, the company said. Total long-term debt also increased slightly, to $9.67 billion.

    Tesla said that it produced an average of 4,300 Model 3s per week during the quarter — still below its previous target of 5,000 per week —and is accelerating plans to manufacture the sedans in China"in order to significantly increase the affordability." Those vehicles will be only for Chinese customers, it said.

    The high selling price of the Model 3 helped increase Tesla's gross automotive margin to above 25% from 20% in the previous quarter, but tariffs from President Donald Trump's ongoing trade war could take a bite out of Tesla's margins, it said. 

    "Gross margin for Model S and X will likely decline slightly in Q4, as we expect that the sequential increase in tariffs in Q4 from Chinese sourced components will be only partially offset by increased manufacturing cost efficiencies," said Tesla. "For all three vehicles, additional tariffs in Q4 on parts sourced from China will impact our gross profit negatively by roughly $50 million."

    Shares of Tesla spiked as much as 10% in after-hours trading following the release.

    Tesla stock price

    SEE ALSO: Tesla will start making cars at its upcoming factory in China faster than expected

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The science behind the viral videos of mounting tires with a controlled explosion

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    FILE PHOTO: Servicemen take part in the joint war games Zapad-2013 (West-2013), attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin and President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, at the Khmelevka range on Russia's Baltic Sea in the Kaliningrad Region, September 26, 2013. REUTERS/Alexei Druzhinin/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

    • NATO is getting ready for its largest military exercise in years, Trident Juncture, in northwest Europe.
    • But on the other side of the continent, in the Baltics, military activity has been simmering for years.
    • The Baltic states, and their NATO partners, have eyes on Russia, which is itself worried about NATO encroachment.

    NATO forces are converging on Norway for Trident Juncture, which will be the alliance's largest military exercise in nearly two decades.

    But military activity has been increasing on the other side of the Baltic Sea and in Kaliningrad — areas that have long been flash points for Russia and NATO.

    Moscow assumed control of Kaliningrad after World War II and retained it after the breakup of the Soviet Union.

    Now an 86-square-mile exclave, Kaliningrad is home to about a million people who are separated from the rest of Russia by Lithuania, Poland, and Belarus. But that location makes it strategically valuable.

    (L-R) Russian navy corvette Steregushchy, destroyer Nastoichivy and frigate Admiral Gorshkov are anchored in a bay of the Russian fleet base in Baltiysk in Kaliningrad region, Russia, July 19, 2015. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

    It has Russia's only Baltic Sea port that is ice-free year-round. In addition to several air bases, it is also home to Russia's 11th Army Corps. It also looks over one side of the Suwalki Gap, which NATO worries could be blocked during a conflict, cutting the Baltics off from the rest of Europe.

    Russia appears to be upgrading its military facilities there.

    Moscow has in the past deployed Iskander short-range, nuclear-capable missiles there temporarily, but in February, a Russian lawmaker confirmed that the Iskander, which has a maximum range of about 310 miles, had been moved there permanently in response to NATO's buildup in Eastern Europe.

    It was "the biggest move we've seen" in regard to Russian military activity in Kaliningrad, a US defense official said at the time. The Kremlin said it had a "sovereign right" to put forces there.

    Satellite imagery taken between March and June showed activity around bunkers in Baltiysk, the main base of Russia's Baltic Fleet, including the fortification of buildings "characteristic of explosive storage bunkers," Matt Hall, a senior geospatial analyst at 3Gimbals, told Defense One in July.

    Other imagery detailed in June by the Federation of American Scientists showed renovations of what appeared to be an active nuclear-weapons storage site.

    Iskander-m short-range ballistic missile

    Imagery taken between mid-July and the beginning of October showed upgrades at least four sites in Kaliningrad, according to CNN.

    That included construction of 40 new bunkers and the expansion of a military storage area near Primorsk, which is Russia's second-largest Baltic port. Images also showed improvements at the Chkalovsk air base and upgrades at a base in Chernyakhovsk, which houses Iskander missiles.

    Kaliningrad received much of the Soviet weaponry in Eastern Europe after the USSR's collapse, and for a long time the area "was a bit of a dumping ground," said Jim Townsend, a transatlantic security expert at the Center for a New American Security.

    Moscow's focus on Kaliningrad increased in the early 2000s, around the time the Baltic states — Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania — joined NATO. Their inclusion was especially galling for Russia, which sees them as its "near abroad."

    "Kaliningrad has been on a trajectory of improvements since the Baltic tensions and certainly since" the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, Townsend said.

    Kaliningrad Suwalki Gap Baltic Sea Russia

    The Iskander deployment is of a piece with Russian efforts to influence other European capitals, Townsend added. "They would say, 'Look, if NATO puts troops into the Baltics, we're going to put Iskanders onto Kaliningrad."

    Northeast Europe is a particularly sensitive area for Russia, Townsend said.

    St. Petersburg, from which the Baltic can only be reached by passing Finland and Estonia, is Russia's second-biggest city. To the north is the Kola Peninsula, home to Russia's Northern Fleet and its submarine-launched ballistic missiles.

    "The Baltic is kind of a backdoor to that. Kaliningrad helps to defend that backdoor," Townsend said. "So that's very sensitive."

    Russian officials reportedly told Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in early 2017 that they would be willing to use tactical nuclear weapons against NATO if there was a war in the Baltics.

    'There's a big regional adversary right there'

    Vladimir Putin Baltiysk Kaliningrad Russia navy day

    Russia's military is not the only one active in the Baltics.

    The NATO buildup cited by Moscow as reason for permanently deploying Iskander missiles was the multinational battle groups the alliance has stationed in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia since 2016.

    More recently, the US Air Force and the Estonian air force heralded the completion of a joint-use facility at Amari air base near the latter's capital, Tallinn, which was the first completed military construction projected fully funded by the European Deterrence Initiative.

    Soviet jets were stationed at Ameri during the Cold War, but since 2004 it has hosted NATO aircraft during their rotations in the alliance's Baltic air-policing mission. (The Baltic countries don't have their own combat aircraft.)

    US Air Force F-15C fighter jet Lithuania Baltic air policing

    Improvements at Amari "provide strategic access into that very contentious part of Europe," said Brig. Gen. Roy Agustin, director of logistics, engineering, and force protection for US Air Forces in Europe and Africa, according to Stars and Stripes. "You look right across the border and there's a big regional adversary right there."

    The EDI, previously called the European Reassurance Initiative, has funded military projects in Europe since Russia's intervention in Ukraine in 2014. Since then, the US has spent millions upgrading facilities across Eastern Europe to allow its military and partner forces to respond quickly to crises.

    EDI funding also covers Operation Atlantic Resolve, which includes US armored rotations in Europe, a continuous presence in the Black Sea area, and prepositioning equipment and weapons around the continent.

    The Pentagon's 2019 budget request for the EDI was nearly double what it got for the program in 2017 and six times what was allotted for it in 2015.

    NATO US baltic russia

    North of the Baltics, Sweden and Finland — close NATO partners that remain outside the alliance — have also turned increasing attention to military readiness.

    Sweden's armed forces said earlier this year that they needed to boost staffing from 50,000 to 120,000 by 2035 — in addition to adding new surface vessels, subs, and combat aircraft — to meet future challenges.

    The report also said Sweden's military budget would need to more than double over that period. Every mainstream party in the country's September 2018 parliamentary election backed a military budget increase, but that growth will take time.

    Stockholm's defense outlay has tumbled since hitting 3.68% of GDP in 1963. The 1.03% of GDP currently spent on the military is a historic low, according to Defense News.

    Sweden has also reintroduced military conscription and put troops back on Gotland Island in the middle of the Baltic Sea.

    FILE PHOTO: Swedish armoured personnel carriers are seen in Visby harbour, island of Gotland, Sweden September 14, 2016. TT News Agency/ Soren Andersson/ via REUTERS

    More recently, Finland, which shares a 838-mile border and a history of conflict with Russia, has begun pumping money into military modernization — notably $1.5 billion for the Squadron 2020 program, which includes buying four multirole, ice-breaking, submarine-hunting corvettes armed with surface-to-surface missiles, torpedoes, and sea mines.

    The program will also fund upgraded fast-attack missile vessels and upgrades to Finnish mine-layers and mine-countermeasure vessels, according to Defense News.

    "The Baltic Sea has become a possible focal point for tension between East and West,"said Finland's defense minister, Jussi Niinistö. "We are dealing with a more unpredictable Russia."

    SEE ALSO: A NATO fighter jet accidentally fired a missile 2 months ago, and now Russia is sending an ominous warning about it

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How Russia's most advanced military equipment stacks up against NATO hardware

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    the walking dead

    Forbes' annual list of the highest-paid television actors in the world is here, and it includes actors from just four shows: "The Big Bang Theory" as it enters its 12th and final season, "Modern Family,""NCIS," and "The Walking Dead," as lead actor Andrew Lincoln prepares to leave the series in its current ninth season.

    Forbes says that the list is based on figures from IMDb, Box Office Mojo, Nielsen, and interviews with industry insiders from June 2017 to June 2018.

    Lincoln, who came in tenth, earned an estimated $11 million for AMC's "The Walking Dead," which he is set to depart this year. Ty Burrell ($12 million), Jesse Tyler Ferguson ($13 million), Eric Stonestreet ($13.5 million), and Ed O'Neill ($14 million) — all from ABC's "Modern Family"— rounded out the bottom of the top 10.

    The top five includes four actors from CBS' "The Big Bang Theory." According to Entertainment Weekly, the show is ending after Jim Parsons turned down $50 million over another two years because he wanted to depart the show.

    The top five highest-paid TV actors in the world, according to Forbes, are below:

    5. Mark Harmon

    Show: "NCIS" (CBS)

    Earnings: $19 million

    3. (tie) Kunal Nayyar

    Show:"The Big Bang Theory" (CBS)

    Earnings: $23.5 million

    3. (tie) Simon Helberg

    Show:"The Big Bang Theory" (CBS)

    Earnings: $23.5 million

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • NASA astronauts have one of the coolest jobs out there: a job that lets you work in space.
    • But becoming an astronaut isn't easy — candidates train for at least two years to become fully qualified and the work is physically demanding. 
    • In the video above, we spoke with NASA astronaut Doug Hurley about what it takes to earn one of the most coveted jobs around.

    Following is a transcript of the video.

    Douglas Hurley piloted the final flight of the Space Shuttle program, in July 2011 and will be among the first to fly in SpaceX's Crew Dragon in 2019. Here's what their training program is like.

    Douglas Hurley: Coming from the military, at that time I'd been in the military about 12 or 13 years when I was selected, so you know, coming to NASA from the military as far as going into another training program is fairly similar. I think NASA took some lessons learned from military training, especially Flight School for me, was very much an analog to the kind of training we had here.

    To become a fully qualified astronaut, candidates train for about 2 years. It can be extremely physically demanding. 

    Hurley: My first six-hour run in the EMU, the space suit, was probably physically, the most challenging thing I've done here. It's a pressurized suit. You're working with gloves that don't exactly fit you very well. You're doing a lot of work with your hands, almost entirely for six hours, you're working with your hands and arms, so that was extremely physically challenging I think, from start to finish. By the time you're done with a six-hour NBL run, you're pretty well exhausted.

    Astronauts also undergo extreme mental challenges.

    Hurley: The psychological challenge, I think for a lot of us, you know, we come from very high-energy, high-workload, high-tempo type jobs and we're always going and doing things and working for that next goal. So I think psychologically, mentally, getting through that part of it is, I think, for most of us, pretty challenging. You know, year after year working hard to be assignable to a spaceflight and then actually getting one, it is, I think for me, it was psychologically the most challenging thing that I've dealt with maybe in my entire professional life.

    Being under constant pressure isn't always bad. It helps astronauts learn how to stay calm under pressure.

    Hurley: I think it's just over the course of time, you get to that point where you know the best way to deal with these things is to try to take the emotion and the human aspect of being nervous out of the equation, because in the end, it doesn't really help you solve the problem. And I think the other part of it is, it's just a case of you do it repetitively enough in simulations that I think you get to a point where you not only trust yourself, but you trust your crewmates and you trust the folks on the ground, that together, everybody kinda keeps a cool head and you work through the problem.

    So what does it take to become an astronaut?

    Hurley: I think, by and large, the first trait is someone who is willing to do anything for the team, you know a team player. Obviously other things that I think are very helpful, is you need to be proficient. You need to know your job. You need to keep a cool head. You need to kinda look at the problem pragmatically, but I think the biggest thing, by far in my opinion, is someone who is willing to do whatever it takes for the good of the team to make the mission successful.

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    Lyft rider gets into car

    • A new study from University of Chicago and Rice University researchers shows an uptick in fatal car crashes after Uber and Lyft launched in a city. 
    • Prior to the launch of ride-hailing services, fatal traffic deaths hit their lowest number in half a century in 2010, when Uber first began offering rides in San Francisco. 
    • The authors of the forthcoming research hope to influence the rhetoric surrounding the ride-hailing debate that's consuming some of the US' largest cities, including New York. 

    In the years before Uber and Lyft started popping up in cities across the United States, deadly car accidents were at record lows.

    By 2010, just before the ride-hailing services began to expand en masse, the total number of traffic fatalities sank to 32,885 nationwide, the lowest number since 1949, according to government data. But once Uber and Lyft began aggressively expanding, the authors of a yet-to-be-published study have found, those fatal accidents began to slowly rise once again.

    "The arrival of ridesharing is associated with an increase of 2-3% in the number of motor vehicle fatalities and fatal accidents," researchers John Barrios of the University of Chicago along with Yael Hochberg and Livia Hanyi Yi of Rice University, write in a draft of their paper, which is in the preliminary stages of publication. 

    To examine the effect of ride-hailing on traffic safety, the researchers first took official statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and overlaid them with the dates Uber or Lyft began operating in a specific city. The authors then looked at accident rates in those cities per vehicle miles traveled (VMT).

    Not surprisingly, VMT increased dramatically once Uber launched in San Francisco in 2010, quickly followed by other competitors, thanks in part to the miles drivers travel between the end of one fare and picking up another passenger. In New York, a study found this year, drivers travel an average of 2.8 miles between fares.

    "Using the staggered introduction of ridesharing across U.S. cities, we show that its introduction in a metropolitan area leads to an economically meaningful increase in overall motor vehicle fatalities," the paper says. "This increase is consistent with acknowledged macro trends in motor vehicle accidents."

    To be sure, the study is concerned with total vehicle traffic in a given city and time, so its possible that the accidents are not related to any ride-hailing driver. The researchers add that it "may be too soon to tell whether the effect we document is a short-term adjustment or a longer-term pattern."

    In a statement, Lyft pushed back against the study's findings. 

    "This study is deeply flawed, from the problematic methodology to its unjustified conclusions," a spokesperson told Business Insider. "Numerous studies have shown that rideshare has reduced DUIs, provided safe transportation in areas underserved by other options, and dramatically improved mobility in cities. The safety and protection of everyone on the road is our top priority."

    Still, they hope the findings will add to a growing list of research around ridesharing and the entire gig economy. It could also serve as more fuel for those pushing for further caps on ridesharing, like New York's city council passed in August. Despite loud opposition from the companies, new ride-hailing driver permits will be halted after the legislative body's 36-6 approval of the bill, which also requires Uber and Lyft to ensure drivers receive minimum wage.

    "Our findings may be a reason to reframe the discussion around cities’ response to the rapid growth of ridesharing," the paper says. "While much of the resistance to ridesharing has been presented as a case of entrenched incumbents (taxis) seeking rents, our findings suggest considerable societal costs are also at play."

    SEE ALSO: Uber raised $2 billion in its first-ever bond-offering — and the entire deal was done in near secrecy

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    typhoon yutu

    • Super Typhoon Yutu — the strongest storm of 2018 — lashed the Northern Mariana Islands as a Category 5 storm Thursday morning. 
    • Yutu is believed to be the strongest storm to ever hit the Northern Mariana Islands, which are a US commonwealth in the Pacific located near Guam. 
    • Satellite imagery from the NOAA shows the eye of the storm passed directly over Tinian, a small island with just over 3,000 residents. 

    Super Typhoon Yutu made a direct hit on the Northern Mariana Islands early Thursday morning, lashing the US commonwealth as a Category 5 storm with winds of up to 180 mph. 

    Yutu is the strongest storm to form this year, and is believed to be the strongest storm to ever hit the Marianas. 

    Satellite imagery from the NOAA shows that the storm passed directly over Tinian, a small island with a population of a little more than 3,000. typhoon yutu 2typhoon yutu 3

    Tinian played an important role in World War II, as the launch site for the atomic bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, according to

    As Yutu crossed over the US Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the walls shook in Glen Hunter’s concrete home, a tin roof over the garage blew away and howling winds terrified his cats.

    "At its peak, it felt like many trains running constant," Hunter, of Saipan, wrote in a Facebook message to The Associated Press. "As its peak, the wind was constant and the sound horrifying."

    On Wednesday night, the weather service in Guam issued dire warnings of possible destruction of homes and others buildings. "Collapse of some residential structures will put lives at risk," the update said. "Airborne debris will cause extensive damage."tinian

    The update warned of falling glass from blown-out windows, electricity and water outages for days or weeks after the storm passes and fallen trees isolating residents.

    "Gonna be quite a scene when the sun comes up," Hunter wrote to the AP early Thursday.

    Hunter, 45, has lived on Saipan since childhood and is accustomed to strong storms. "We are in typhoon alley," he wrote, but added this is the worst he’s experienced.

    Power went out the previous afternoon and Hunter was bracing for months without electricity or running water. All government offices and schools shut down two days ago. A few gas stations ran out of gas by Tuesday evening, he said.

    "We knew it was going to be big," he said, "but wow."

    Meteorologist Matthew Foster in Honolulu said Yutu is moving quickly enough that the main concern will be the strong winds, not huge amounts of rain that have been associated with other recent hurricanes.

    "It’s a very powerful storm," Foster said. "It’s going to be more of a wind damage threat versus rain."

    A super typhoon would be the equivalent of a category 4 or 5 hurricane.

    The Northern Marianas are about 3,800 miles west of Hawaii, and have a population of about 55,000 people. Most of the population is concentrated on the island of Saipan. 

    Waves of 25 to 40 feet are expected around the eye of the storm and flooding is likely, forecasters said.

    A typhoon warning was in effect for Saipan, Tinian and Rota and a tropical storm warning was in place for Guam and other southern islands.

    SEE ALSO: A massive sinkhole in China led to the discovery of a 'world class' underground cave complex

    DON'T MISS: Why hurricanes hardly ever hit Europe and the West Coast of the US

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    Tribeca Grill Robert de Niro restaurant

    • One of Robert de Niro's restaurants in New York, Tribeca Grill, received a package containing one device, New York police told Business Insider.
    • It comes after several devices were sent by mail to prominent Democrats and critics of Donald Trump around the US.
    • The package was addressed to De Niro at his production company, which shares the same address as the restaurant.
    • It listed Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz as the sender, like all the other suspicious packages found earlier this week.
    • The device at De Niro's restaurant did not detonate, and nobody was hurt.

    A suspicious package has been sent to Robert de Niro's New York City restaurant, the New York Police Department has said.

    A package containing one device was sent to Tribeca Grill, a restaurant the actor owns in Lower Manhattan, two NYPD spokesman told Business Insider on Thursday.

    It came after several explosives were sent by mail across the US to prominent Democrats and critics of President Trump this week.

    Multiple pipe bombs were addressed to the residences of offices of people including former president Barack Obama, 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and California Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris.

    The package found at De Niro's restaurant was addressed to the actor at his production company, Tribeca Productions, which according to LinkedIn shares the same address as the Tribeca Grill. ABC News correspondent Aaron Katersky tweeted a photo of the package.

    Like all the other packages found earlier this week, the one found at Tribeca Grill listed Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the former chair of the Democratic National Committee, as the sender.

    The device did not detonate and nobody was injured, one of the spokesman said. It is now being removed to the NYPD's facility in the Bronx.

    The package's exact time of arrival is not clear at this point.

    Robert De Niro

    De Niro is a vocal Trump critic, having used his appearance at the Tony Awards earlier this year to say "f--- Trump" earlier this year. He also said he had barred Trump from all the locations of his restaurant chain, Nobu.

    During the 2016 presidential election he also appeared in a video calling then-candidate Trump a "con artist" and "embarrassment to this country," adding that he wanted to "punch him in the face."

    CNN on Wednesday evacuated its New York bureau when another explosive was found in its mail room. That device was addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan, a frequent guest on the network. Brennan's name was misspelled on the package.

    cnn bomb

    The Tribeca Grill package is still under investigation, and police have not linked it to the other explosives received around the country this week.


    SEE ALSO: Here's what we know about the suspicious packages sent to top Democratic figures and CNN

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    Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

    • Microsoft beat on both the top and bottom lines.
    • The tech giant said sales growth at its Azure cloud-computing unit slowed.
    • Shares were up more than 3% following the results.
    • Watch Microsoft trade live here.

    Microsoft was gaining ground ahead of Thursday's opening bell after reporting fiscal first-quarter results that topped Wall Street estimates but included a slowdown in revenue growth from its cloud-computing unit.

    Shares were up more than 3% early Thursday after the tech giant said it earned $1.14 a share on revenue of $29.1 billion, beating both the $0.95 and $27.92 billion that analysts surveyed by Bloomberg were anticipating.

    And while sales from its Azure cloud-computing unit grew 76% versus a year ago, that was a bit below the 89% pace experienced in the fourth quarter.

    "A strong quarter (even after adj for demand pull forward) and a F2Q19 guide that brackets consensus," a team of RBC analysts led by Ross MacMillan wrote in a note to clients after the results were released on Wednesday.

    "Although comps get tougher in F2H19 (especially on gross margins) we continue to see many sustainable growth drivers." The team reiterated its $124 price target and "outperform" rating. 

    Microsoft shares had gained 19.5% this year through Wednesday, but were down more than 12% from their October record high of $116.18.


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    • You can get pumpkin ice cream served in a real pumpkin.
    • Snowflake at Selfridges in London serves the Pumpkin Pie Gelato.
    • It follows the success of the Avolato, an avocado ice cream served in a real avocado shell.
    • A Pumpkin Pie Gelato costs £9.50 ($12.40).


    Snowflake at Selfridges in London has launched pumpkin ice cream served in a real pumpkin.

    It's called Pumpkin Pie Gelato and it follows the success of the Avolato, an avocado ice cream served in a real avocado shell, which the store launched last summer. The original video on INSIDER went viral with over 40 million views.

    The Pumpkin Pie Gelato has a baked pumpkin base mixed with soya milk, coconut cream, syrup, cinnamon, and other spices. 

    "We receive the pumpkins from a UK farm and we carve them here in the store, directly in front of the customers," Snowflake Gelato Chef Silvia Gaetta told INSIDER. "The gelato is served in a cute, small gourd and is coming from a soft serve gelato machine. So it's made fresh, on-demand basically."

    The ice cream is topped with pumpkin seeds and ginger nut biscuit crumbs.

    It costs £9.50 ($12.40).

    Produced and filmed by Claudia Romeo

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    Ron DeSantis and Andrew Gillum

    • Former Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis said he should not be held accountable for his speeches at far-right events and donations he received from racist supporters.
    • That was part of a heated gubernatorial debate between DeSantis and his Democratic opponent and mayor of Tallahassee, Andrew Gillum on Wednesday night.
    • "How the hell am I supposed to know every single statement somebody makes?" DeSantis said at a debate, visibly agitated. "I am not going to bow down to the altar of political correctness."
    • Gillum took note of DeSantis' answer and recounted an allegory: "My grandmother used to say a hit dog will holler," Gillum said. "And it hollered through this room."
    • The audience erupted in cheers.

    Audience members attending the final gubernatorial debate between Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and former Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis erupted in cheers after Gillum challenged DeSantis for giving speeches at far-right events and accepting donations from a person who called former President Barack Obama a racial slur.

    "How the hell am I supposed to know every single statement somebody makes?" DeSantis said, visibly agitated. "I am not going to bow down to the altar of political correctness."

    Gillum took note of DeSantis' answer and recounted an allegory: "My grandmother used to say a hit dog will holler," Gillum said. "And it hollered through this room."

    "Mr. DeSantis has spoken, first of all, he's got neo-Nazis helping him out in this state," Gillum said. "He has spoken at racist conferences, he's accepted a contribution, and would not return it, from someone who referred to the former president of the United States as a Muslim 'n----r.'"

    "When asked to return that money, he said no. He's using that money now to fund negative ads," Gillum added. "Now, I'm not calling Mr. DeSantis a racist, I'm simply saying the racists believe he's a racist."

    DeSantis has spoken at at least four conferences hosted by conservative activists, including one who claimed that "the country's only serious race war, against whites, continues."

    The former Republican lawmaker was also accused of accepting around $20,000 from a Republican activist who called Obama a "F-----G MUSLIM N----R." DeSantis' campaign reportedly said none of the activist's donations were made in the general election, and that the campaign returned some of the money.

    "I'm not responsible for it, reject it," DeSantis said to reporters at the time. "We're focused on our message, and we're focusing on what we're putting out."

    The two candidates squared off in the debate on Wednesday evening in West Palm Beach, Florida, where a Florida poll shows Gillum leading by one percentage point — a statistical toss-up.

    You can watch the video here »

    SEE ALSO: Sally Yates gave her sharpest criticism yet against Trump: 'Is all of this a momentary detour? Or has our country lost its way?'

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    Donald Trump Seema Verma

    • For the first time in a decade, Medicaid enrollment did not grow in 2018.
    • According to a new Kaiser Family Foundation report, enrollment fell 0.6% in 2018.
    • Medicaid spending continued to rise, increasing 4.2% in 2018, due to a higher number of seniors enrolling.
    • The drop in enrollment was due to the strong economy and policy changes made by states.
    • Medicaid enrollment could change significantly in the next few years given policy changes such as work requirements and ACA expansion being considered by state governments.

    For the first time in a decade, Medicaid enrollment hasn't grown in 2018.

    While enrollment into Medicaid, the state and federal program that covers medical care for some low-income Americans, slowed down in 2018, spending continued grew 4.2% compared to 2017, according to a survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

    KFF attributed the growth in spending to the number of seniors joining the program compared to children and adults, who are less expensive to cover. States told KFF that a stronger economy led to fewer adults qualifying for the program.

    Medicaid is designed to help low-income Americans get access to healthcare, though the exact threshold for qualification depends on whether the state expanded Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. In states that expanded Medicaid eligibility, adults who make as much as 138 percent of the poverty level can qualify. In those that didn't, the thresholds are far lower, and the program can mainly serve some disabled individuals and parents and their children.

    With unemployment hitting multi-decade lows and wages rising, the number of Americans climbing above those cut-offs more than offset the general population growth and other changes in the composition of Medicaid enrollees. Medicaid enrollment last declined in 2007, according to the survey.

    The organization also attributed the growth in spending in part to more outlays for pricey medications like treatments for HIV and hepatitis C, as well as more getting spent on substance-use treatment, mental health, and long-term care for seniors and those with disabilities, as well as policy changes that raised the amount of money doctors and nurses are getting paid.

    medicaid spending enrollment 1998 2019

    While the Medicaid enrollment rate remained steady in 2018 and is expected to do so again next year, the authors of Kaiser's study did point to a few political factors that could affect the outlook.

    "Looking ahead, economic conditions and the outcome of federal and state elections are likely to have implications for Medicaid policymaking as well as for spending and enrollment trends," the report reads. "Potential federal efforts to further change the ACA or cap Medicaid financing as well as state ballot initiatives and other
    state efforts to adopt the Medicaid expansion are key issues to watch."

    Currently, three states will vote on Medicaid expansion in the 2018 midterms — Idaho, Utah, and Nebraska — which could help boost enrollment numbers as previously ineligible people in those states could be able to get access to Medicaid. According to estimates, just under 120,000 people could be eligible for Medicaid if Idaho votes for expansion, 86,000 could be eligible in Nebraska, and 158,000 could be eligible in Utah.

    But working in the other direction is a slew of new proposals from states that would change eligibility rules for Medicaid, the most notable being the imposition of work requirements. The Trump administration has allowed states to set rules to impose a minimum amount of hours that a Medicaid enrollee must work, or do other activities like volunteering or training.

    While most enrollees are either disabled, too old to qualify, or already work, administrative difficulties and other factors are expected to result in enrollment declines for states that do impose work requirements. Arkansas, which imposed a work requirement in June, has already seen enrollment drop by just under 8,500 in just two months.

    Indiana and New Hampshire already have waivers approved by the Trump administration to start the requirements in 2019, while four others states — Alabama, Maine, Ohio, and South Dakota —have waivers pending. One state, Kentucky, must resubmit a waiver due to a court order before rolling out its work requirement.

    See also: 

    SEE ALSO: Republicans tried to kill Obamacare. Now they're trying to embrace its most popular feature in a defining fight of the midterms.

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