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The latest news from Business Insider

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    MOSE

    • Venice was hit by a series of devastating storms this week, causing three-quarters of the city to be submerged in water. 
    • Officials suspect that the city could have been protected by a massive flood barrier, which is not yet complete.
    • The $6.5 billion infrastructure project has been pummeled by criticism and political scandal, including the arrest of a former mayor in 2014.

    Italy was overtaken this week by a series of storms that toppled trees, flooded streets, and resulted in at least 11 deaths. In the "floating city" of Venice, famous tourist attractions like St. Mark's Basilica and the Piazza San Marco were partially submerged in water, with tourists being evacuated from the city's hotspots. 

    Though the flooding is the worst the city has seen in a decade, it isn't entirely unexpected: Autumn to spring marks flooding season in Venice, or "acqua alta"— a period of exceptionally high tides in the Adriatic Sea. 

    In 2003, Italy began building a massive flood barrier designed to isolate the Venetian Lagoon, the enclosed bay where Venice is located. The project, known as Mose, is one of the largest civil engineering endeavors in the world.

    venice underwater

    The design consists of 78 mobile gates stationed at three different inlets. When the tide reaches 43 inches (which happens around four times a year), the gates will rise above the water's surface and protect the lagoon from flooding. When the tide dips, the gates fill with water and lower back in place. 

    The total barrier spans one mile and weighs around 300 tons. Though many see it as necessary to the city's immediate safety, the project has been shrouded in controversy and criticism. 

    While citizens have long worried about the high cost of construction, which recently climbed to around $6.3 billion, the municipality of Venice has questioned the barrier's stability in the face of rising sea levels. Both environmental groups and the EU Commission have also expressed concern that construction would pollute the local habitat.

    mose venice

    The biggest obstacle arrived in 2014, when then-mayor Giorgio Orsoni was arrested alongside 35 other people on corruption charges related to the project. Orsoni was accused of accepting bribes in exchange for awarding contracts, but absolved three years later.

    Now, Mose is being held up in its final leg of construction. The flood gates were originally set to open around 2011, but some officials don't expect them to be ready until 2022. As the project continues to stall, many have warned that mold and marine life are eroding the underwater structure

    Earlier this week, Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said the destruction in Venice could have been prevented if Mose had been completed on time. 

    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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    hue jackson

    • Hue Jackson was fired from the Cleveland Browns this week after going 3-36-1 over two-plus seasons.
    • In an interview after the firing, Jackson said he never got to run a "Hue Jackson offense," because of the lack of talent on the team and the directive to hire an offensive coordinator.
    • Jackson said he hopes someone can lead the Browns to success, a challenge he compared to summiting Mt. Everest.


    After going 3-36-1 over two-plus seasons, the Cleveland Browns fired head coach Hue Jackson on Monday.

    Even with better talent this season, Jackson's Browns were often inefficient and failed to significantly improve on the field. After falling to 2-5-1 this year, the team decided to let go of the coach, all while reports of infighting between Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley swirled. Haley was also fired on Monday.

    In an interview with Cleveland.com's Mary Kay Cabot following the firing, Jackson discussed his time in Cleveland, saying he didn't feel as though he was able to do things his way because of the team's roster.

    In his first two seasons, Jackson went just 1-31, as the team cycled through mediocre and backup quarterbacks. Jackson said that this lack of talent prevented him from running his offense.

    "What everybody saw the first two years was not a Hue Jackson offense," Jackson said. "And the people, players, and coaches that know me know that was the case. I had to do on offense what was necessary to be competitive each week. And we were."

    Jackson served as offensive coordinator with the Cincinnati Bengals before taking the Browns job. Jackson told Cabot that heading into Year 3, the team asked him to bring in an offensive coordinator, a request he followed but disagreed with.

    "People for some reason thought that I couldn't run an offense and that I needed to hire an OC. But I was never able to actually run my offense the first two years because we didn't have the players ... But it was recommended I bring in an OC to allow me to focus on leading the organization. In hindsight, it would've been in our best interest for me to continue doing what got me the job, and that was to run the offense with more talent on board."

    In recent weeks, Jackson alluded to getting more involved in the offense, though he stopped short of saying he'd take back play-calling duties. That supposedly fueled the rift between him and Haley, leading to internal discord. Jackson denied any internal strife to Cabot.

    Jackson told Cabot that he loved quarterbacks like Carson Wentz, Patrick Mahomes, and Deshaun Watson, young stars in the league that the Browns all passed over in the draft. Jackson said the team wasn't interested in drafting a quarterback and referred to "street free agents" that played with the Browns.

    Read more: The Browns traded away the pick that became Carson Wentz, and it looks like more of a disaster each day

    "We played with a QB room with zero wins in the league," Jackson said. "We played with street free agents and practice squad players in [wide receivers]. Yet our offense was the same or better than what we were doing this year."

    Jackson said he wanted to respect the Browns' decision to fire him, but expressed regret that he didn't get to do things his way this season, with a better roster, before being fired.

    Jackson also said he would take the job again and hopes someone can come in and help the Browns win, referring to the team as the NFL's "Mt. Everest."

    "The competitor in us, who thrives off and runs toward challenges  — you're always looking for the next Mount Everest. And to me, Cleveland is currently the Mount Everest of the NFL. It's extremely difficult. Not for everybody. But if you can conquer it, your legacy becomes cemented. "

    Read the entire interview here >

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 4 lottery winners who lost it all


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    jamal khashoggi fiance hatice

    • Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed as part of a premeditated plot in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul exactly one month ago.
    • His fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, is calling on the international community and the US to step up efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice.
    • Cengiz criticized the Trump administration's approach to the investigation, accusing it of taking a position that is "devoid of moral foundation."

    Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed as part of a premeditated plot in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul exactly one month ago, and his fiancée is calling for the perpetrators to face justice as Riyadh stalls and evades questions amid an ongoing investigation. 

    "It has been exactly one month since my fiancée, the celebrated journalist Jamal Khashoggi, entered Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul never to return. Today is also United Nations International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists. The coincidence is tragic and painful," Hatice Cengiz wrote in an op-ed for The Washington Post, for which Khashoggi wrote.

    Cengiz is urging the international community — especially the US government — to ramp up pressure on the Saudi government to ensure justice. 

    "It is now up to the international community to bring the perpetrators to justice. Of all nations, the United States should be leading the way," Cengiz said. "The country was founded on the ideals of liberty and justice for all, the First Amendment enshrining the ideals personified by Jamal."

    Read more: Saudi Arabia hopes the world will forget about Jamal Khashoggi's killing, and still hasn't answered simple questions about his death

    President Donald Trump has largely stood by the Saudis since Khashoggi went missing, facing criticism for being too soft in his response. Cengiz said the Trump administration has taken a position that is "devoid of moral foundation."

    "Some have approached this through the cynical prism of self-interest — statements framed by fear and cowardice; by the fear of upsetting deals or economic ties. Some in Washington are hoping this matter will be forgotten with simple delaying tactics," Cengiz said. "But we will continue to push the Trump administration to help find justice for Jamal. There will be no cover-up."

    Cengiz said she is not "naive" and understands governments are driven by "mutual interests," but she questioned what "moral authority" they would be left with if they stand idly by and do nothing about Khashoggi's killing. 

    She said those who ordered her fiancée's murder should also be prosecuted, even if "they stand in the highest political office."

    "We are now going through a test of humanity. And it requires leadership. The biggest responsibility lies on the heads of the governments," Cengiz said. "I demand justice for my beloved Jamal. We must all send a clear message that authoritarian regimes cannot kill journalists ever again."

    When Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate, he intended to obtain documents that would allow him to marry Cengiz, who waited outside for roughly 11 hours. Khashoggi never came out. 

    Riyadh's narrative on what happened to Khashoggi, who was often critical of the Saudi government in his writing, has shifted multiple times.

    The Saudi government denied any involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance for nearly three weeks before acknowledging he was killed in the consulate. The Saudis at first claimed Khashoggi was accidentally killed as a result of a fistfight, but eventually said his death was premeditated.

    The Saudis have still not revealed who ordered the killing, nor have they revealed what happened to Khashoggi's body. 

    SEE ALSO: Here's everything we know about the troubling disappearance and death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This mind-melting thought experiment of Einstein's reveals how to manipulate time


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    starbucks reclamation drive thru

    • More than 80% of new Starbucks locations that opened in the last year in the United States featured drive-thrus. 
    • Starbucks plans to continue to focus on drive-thrus, which are significantly outperforming the chain's overall sales, the company reported Thursday. 
    • The rise of the drive-thru puts Starbucks in an interesting position as the chain balances community and convenience. 

    Starbucks is doubling down on drive-thrus. 

    More than 80% of the new Starbucks locations opened in fiscal 2018 in the United States were drive-thrus, the company reported on Thursday. Stores with drive-thrus "well outperformed" overall comparable sales, and the company plans to continue to focus on drive-thrus in the coming year. 

    Additionally, Starbucks announced that drive-thru and mobile orders now make up more than half of all orders, an increase of more than 10% over the last two years. 

    The rise of the drive-thru puts Starbucks in an interesting position. Historically, much of the brand's cachet has been its claims that it builds community between customers and employees.

    Read more: Starbucks is entering a new era — and 4 jokes reveal the biggest problems haunting its business

    However, in recent years, an increasing proportion of customers prioritize convenience over community. Further, Starbucks has struggled to boost traffic, which dropped 1% in the US in the most recent quarter. Drive-thrus are a convenient way to increase the number of orders that can be processed without overstuffing stores with customers. 

    "We continue to grow transactions at peak and we showed modest improvement in the afternoon daypart," Chief Operating Officer Roz Brewer said on a call with investors on Thursday. "This resulted in improved one-year and two-year transaction comp in the quarter."

    Brewer continued: "At the same time, we continue to balance community and our commitment to the third place while serving the growing demand for convenience."

    On Thursday, Starbucks reported fourth-quarter revenue of $6.3 billion, exceeding the $6.27 billion expectation from Bloomberg. Same-store sales in the US increased 4%, beating expectations of 2% to 3%. 

    SEE ALSO: Starbucks says a lack of festivity is to blame for last year's holiday sales slump, and it's doubling down on seasonal cheer

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Why silk is so expensive


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    elon musk big falcon rocket bfr spaceship bfs mars mission 2x1

    Elon Musk is hell-bent on colonizing Mars.

    That's the spirit with which he founded SpaceX, his rocket company, in 2002. Musk was frustrated that NASA wasn't doing more to get people to the red planet — and concerned that a backup plan for humanity wasn't being developed (for when Earth becomes an uninhabitable wasteland).

    Since then, SpaceX has developed several impressive aerospace systems: Falcon 1, its first orbital rocket; Grasshopper, a small self-landing test rocket; Falcon 9, a reusable orbital-class launcher; Dragon, a spaceship for cargo and soon NASA astronauts; and Falcon Heavy, a super-heavy-lift launcher.

    But Mars is a cold, unforgiving, and almost airless rock located an average of 140 million miles from Earth. Astounding ingenuity is required to land even a small spacecraft there today, let alone a giant spaceship full of people and cargo in the future.

    That's why SpaceX is taking the lessons the company has learned over the past 16 years — and its increasing amount of money and staff — and using them to build a space vehicle called the Big Falcon Rocket, or BFR.

    The fully reusable, 387-foot-tall system consists of two giant stages: a roughly 18-story-tall Big Falcon Spaceship and a similarly huge Big Falcon Booster. The booster will launch the spaceship (on top) toward space, then land itself for reuse.

    Timelines are unreliable when it comes to human spaceflight, but Musk's ambitious estimates of when SpaceX might reach Mars reveal his zeal to accomplish that goal.

    The following (somewhat speculative) timeline of SpaceX's plan is based on our reporting as well as dates compiled by the Reddit community r/SpaceX.

    SEE ALSO: Where SpaceX's most important locations are located and what they do

    DON'T MISS: Elon Musk says he'll colonize Mars — but the closest we've come was this grand experiment in the Arizona desert 25 years ago

    Where SpaceX is today with its Mars plans

    Musk has said the BFR's spaceship is the "hardest part" of the system to get right, so that's where SpaceX is focusing most of its energy.

    To that end, the company is building a BFR factory in the Port of Los Angeles, about 15 miles south of SpaceX's headquarters. While that facility is constructed, engineers are working under a nearby 20,000-square-foot tent to build a prototype spaceship out of advanced carbon-fiber materials.

    SpaceX is also meeting with NASA and other parties to workshop its Mars mission plans, though it still has a lot of work to do to figure out how to keep passengers safe from radiation, starvation, and themselves.



    2018: Build a launch-support facility in Boca Chica, a town near Brownsville, Texas.

    SpaceX needs a place to test-launch its spaceship prototype, and the southern tip of Texas gives the company a few benefits.

    For one, SpaceX can (presumably cheaply) transport enormous rocket parts over water by barge from Los Angeles, through the Panama Canal, to Boca Chica. Otherwise, the parts would have to be flown or driven in a truck over land.

    Additionally, few people live in the area, which is a good thing for a company that's filling a gigantic, experimental spaceship full of explosive liquids and lighting them on fire. The rockets can also be launched over the Gulf of Mexico, posing even less of a risk to people or objects on the ground.

    The launchpad may even not be on land.

    "It may actually be that we launch from a floating platform,"Musk said in September.

    Finally, Boca Chica is one of the most southern municipalities in the US. Getting as close to the equator as possible helps rockets save fuel, since Earth's rotation adds significant speed to a launch.



    2019: Debut the Big Falcon Spaceship.

    Gwynne Shotwell, the president and chief operating officer of SpaceX, has said the company hopes to test-launch a prototype ship in short "hops" (not reaching orbit) from southern Texas in late 2019.

    The goal would be to gather valuable data on the prototype to refine the next version. As with many early SpaceX test launches, the likelihood is high that there could be a "rapid unscheduled disassembly," as Musk likes to call exploding rockets.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    fall back time change date daylight saving time dst november 2 2018 2am 2x1

    • Daylight-saving time, or DST, began in the US in 1918 as a way to conserve energy.
    • However, many Americans believe the practice is not worth the hassle.
    • Scientific studies also suggest that daylight-saving time may cause more problems than it solves.
    • There are two main proposals to get rid of DST: by creating fewer time zones or moving to one universal time.

    On Sunday, November 4 at the stroke of 2:00 a.m., most people in North America and Europe will roll their clocks backward one hour to end daylight-saving time, or DST.

    There's some reason to celebrate: This will give hundreds of millions of people one extra hour of sleep. But on March 10, 2019, the invisible time vampire will return to suck away that hour of sleep.

    This is perhaps the modern world's dumbest ritual — a curse upon those who live within its confines, and a practice that needs to be abolished.

    Daylight-saving time (not "daylight-savings" time) was created during World War I to decrease energy use. The practice was implemented year-round in 1942, during WWII. Not waking up in the dark, the thinking went, would decrease fuel use for lighting and heating. That would help conserve energy supplies to help the war effort.

    Nearly 100 years later, though, the US is a divided nation on this topic. A 2012 survey of 1,000 American adults found that 45% thought daylight-saving was worth it, while more than 40% considered it worthless.

    More than 152,560 people have petitioned Congress to end daylight-saving time. Some of the comments on the petition are practical appeals.

    "Please stop switching the time! It's awful driving home in the dark. I'm a woman that drives 30 miles down a 2 lane state hwy to get home!" wrote Lana J. from Gilmer, Texas.

    Others are warranted and blistering critiques.

    "Daylight saving time is an antiquated practice and serves no purpose in the modern world," wrote Dustin M. from Kings Mountain, North Carolina. "It causes undo stress to millions of Americans and does nothing for anyone."

    We're with Dustin, and here's why.

    What's the problem with DST?

    Earth at Night

    According to advocacy groups like Standardtime.com, which are trying to abolish daylight-saving time, claims about saving energy are unproven. "If we are saving energy, let's go year-round with daylight-saving time," the group says. "If we are not saving energy, let's drop daylight-saving time!"

    In his book "Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight-Saving Time," author Michael Downing says there isn't much evidence that daylight-saving actually decreases energy use.

    In fact, sometimes DST seems to increase energy use.

    For example, in Indiana — where daylight-saving time was implemented statewide in 2006 — researchers saw that people used less electricity for light, but those gains were canceled out by people who used more air conditioning during the early evenings. (That's because 6 p.m. felt more like 5 p.m., when the sun still shines brightly in the summer and homes haven't had the chance to cool off.)

    DST also increases gasoline consumption, something Downing says the petroleum industry has known since the 1930s. This is probably because evening activities — and the vehicle use they require — increase with that extra daylight.

    Changing the clocks also causes air travel synchronization headaches, which sometimes leads to travel delays and lost revenue, airlines have reportedly said.

    There are also health issues associated with changing the clocks. Similar to the way jet-lag makes you feel all out of whack, daylight-saving time is like scooting one time zone over. This can disrupt our sleep, metabolism, mood, stress levels, and other bodily rhythms. One study suggests recovery can take three weeks.

    In the days after DST starts or ends, in fact, researchers have observed a spike in heart attacks, increased numbers of work injuries, more automobile accidents, and higher suicide rates.

    Why keep it?

    light bulb

    Despite those early studies about energy use, one analysis from 2008 did find a small amount of energy savings after we extended DST by four weeks in 2005.

    According to the Christian Science Monitor:

    "Most advocates cite a 2008 report to Congress by the Department of Energy which showed that total electricity savings from the extended daylight-saving period amounted to 1.3 terawatt-hours, or 0.03 percent of electricity consumption over the year. That's a tiny number. But if electricity costs 10 cents per kilowatt, that means an estimated $130 million in savings each year."

    More evening light also inspires people to go out and spend money.

    Downing told NPR that this comes in the form of activities like shopping and playing golf — the golf industry told Congress that an extra month of daylight-saving was worth $200 million in 1986. The BBQ industry said extending DST would boost sales by $100 million.

    Extending daylight-saving time to November might also help the Halloween industry — the longer kids can trick-or-treat, the more candy you need to buy.

    Changing the law can also be expensive. One legislature representative in Alberta, Canada, suggested that holding a referendum on DST may cost the province $2 to $6 million, even if it were put into a standard election ballot, and that holding a no-DST vote on its own might cost $22 million to organize and execute.

    A world divided over time

    Daylight Saving World Subdivisions october 2018 paul eggert wikipedia ccbysa3

    Other areas of the world have gotten rid of daylight-saving time, or never had it to begin with.

    The map above shows the breakdown. Blue areas observe DST, red areas never have, and orange areas once did but have since abolished it.

    Some parts of the US have decided not to observe daylight-saving time, including most of Arizona (excluding the Navajo and Hopi reservations in the northeast), and until 2006, parts of Indiana.

    A bill to abolish DST was once recommended for passage in Oklahoma, but it was not signed into law. A lawmaker in Utah also introduced legislation to try to abolish DST, but his bill died in committee.

    The decision is up to individual counties, but choosing not observe DST when other nearby cities and counties do can be problematic.

    Alternate proposals

    Standardtime.com has a unique suggestion.

    Their proposal is to create just two time zones in the continental US that are two hours apart. 

    standard time zone anti daylight saving time

    Compare that to the current state of things in America.

    Right now, the US is broken into six time zones: Eastern, Central, Mountain, Pacific time, Alaska time, and Hawaii-Aleutian time, each one hour apart from the next.

    These time zones exist so that areas in the east of each time zone get sunrise at about the same time.

    time zones

    Under Standardtime.com's proposed system, the US' East and West Coasts would only be two hours apart. This would standardize more travel and meeting times within the country.

    But the downside would be that sunrise and sunset would happen at wildly different times for many areas of the nation. 

    For example, the sun rose in New York City at about 6:15 a.m. EST today and in Chicago at 6:10 a.m. CST; but if the two were in the same time zone, sunrise would be at 8:15 "Eastern Time" in Chicago.

    Johns Hopkins University professors Richard Henry and Steven Hanke have come up with yet another possible fix: adopting a single time zone worldwide. They argue that the internet has eliminated the need for discrete time zones across the globe, so we might as well just do away with them. The proposal also includes a 13-month "permanent calendar." (The idea, understandably, has encountered some resistance.)

    No plan will satisfy everyone. But that doesn't mean daylight-saving time is right.

    The absence of major energy-saving benefits from DST — along with its death toll, health impacts, and economic ramifications— are reason enough to get rid of the ritual.

    Jennifer Welsh and Sarah Kramer contributed to previous versions of this post.

    SEE ALSO: Daylight-saving time is bad for your health and the economy

    DON'T MISS: Sunsets don't happen later during the summer — here's why it's so confusing

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Everyday phrases that even smart people say incorrectly


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    homecoming julia roberts

    Warning: Some minor spoilers ahead for "Homecoming."

    Amazon's "Homecoming" is a psychological thriller that's worth watching. 

    Directed by Sam Esmail (creator of "Mr. Robot"), the series stars Julia Roberts as Heidi Bergman, a woman who works at Homecoming, an independent program that seeks to help veterans who have returned from war with PTSD. She forms a close relationship with one of her patients, Walter Cruz (Stephan James), but her belief in the Homecoming program falters when she learns that the medication the men are taking is erasing specific memories from their brain. 

    There's her smug boss Colin, played brilliantly by Bobby Cannavale, who discourages Heidi from asking too many questions about the program or worrying about her patients.

    Years later, that part of her life is gone from her memory until she meets Thomas Carrasco (Shea Whigham), an employee for the Department of Defense who investigates a complaint made about the Homecoming program. His arrival sends Heidi on a search for the truth. 

    The series currently has a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes

    Why you should care: It's based on a fictional podcast.

    Homecoming

    It is based on a fictional podcast created by Eli Horowitz and Micah Bloomberg for Gimlet. The podcast ran for two seasons and featured Catherine Keener, Oscar Isaac, David Schwimmer, Amy Sedaris, and David Cross as the characters. According to Gimlet, the podcast "centers on a caseworker at an experimental facility, her ambitious supervisor, and a soldier eager to rejoin civilian life — presented in an enigmatic collage of telephone calls, therapy sessions, and overheard conversations." 

    Horowitz and Bloomberg teamed up with Esmail to transfer the podcast to TV. 

    What's hot: It's hypnotizing.

    homecoming julia roberts

    Critics have described the series as "Hitchcockian" for its psychological twists and filming style, and it's true. Esmail masterfully creates suspense with his filming and editing technique. Using long, drawn out shots, quick cuts, and time jumps, Esmail crafts a sense of extreme paranoia and confusion. 

    The cinematography and set design are stunning and create a world that looks like its set in the '70s and '80s. And it very well could be, except for the cell phones and cars. 

    Another benefit is that most of the 10 episodes are around 30 minutes or less, proving that you don't need to drag a drama out to 60 minute episodes.   

    What's not: The pacing is disorienting.

    homecoming bobby cannavale

    "Homecoming" isn't a series that you can put on in the background. Much of the plot is built on conversations between two people where important information isn't necessarily being shared, but a vibe is being created that informs the rest of the series. And in most of the episodes, Heidi's conversations with her boss are just over the phone. 

    Esmail also spends a lot of time creating tension and suspense with silence. Each episode ends with a long, drawn out scene where nothing ever happens. 

    It can be slightly disorienting to have so much time where nothing important occurs yet the stress remains.

    The bottom line: It's an addictive series that will suck you in.

    homecoming Stephan James

    "Homecoming" isn't an action thriller where you'll be worried about potential violence or a life-or-death situation. Instead, Esmail's expertly crafts paranoia and stress through time jumps and human interactions.

    The mystery surrounding what Homecoming really was, what happened at the center, and what happened to all of the people involved is slowly unraveled throughout the 10 episodes. You're always worried that something dangerous is going to happen, but it never does, and that's the show's genius.

    Grade: A

    "Homecoming" is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

    Watch the trailer below.

    Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 4 lottery winners who lost it all


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    flirting couple

    Whether or not you believe in love at first sight, there was probably a moment that you knew you loved, or were starting to fall in love with, your partner. 

    These moments can be silly or heartbreaking, just like the relationships and the people in them. INSIDER rounded up the best moments froma fewdifferent Redditthreads to show the beauty in all of these moments. 

    "I was more worried about her being worried about me than my own safety."

    "I had been dating my girlfriend for about a year and a half, when I pulled out at an intersection and almost got side-swiped. I had to jerk the wheel and everything. Immediately I thought, 'Man that was close! I didn't have my seat-belt on, either. She would be so upset if I got hurt!'

    "And that's when I realized that I was more worried about her being worried about me than my own safety.

    "I know it's goofy and not very 'touching,' but that's when I realized that I was in love, because I didn't want anything to hurt her; not even bad news.

    "I told her about it about a week later and she thought it was sweet. That was pretty much it (she isn't nearly as sentimental as I am). We have been together for 9 years, and married for the last 5. Oh, we got a baby, too." - Redditor marblefoot



    "I knew we both took each other as we were."

    "The moment I knew I actually loved her was when we would burp and fart together watching some stupid move or show while making out and laughing about it when something 'non-perfect' happened while we had sex. I knew we both took each other as we were. Complete honesty, no masks, no disguises, no tricks. Cause there was no need for that." - Redditor Omnilatent



    "Something just came over me and I realized how happy I was."

    "Met a girl at university in March 2011, we hit it off really well and eventually decide to make things exclusive. We were both dumb 18 year olds, but something really, really felt connected about us and we had already said 'I love you' in April (one month in — I know, stupid). Anyways, we live about an hour apart when we're on summer holidays, but having never done long distance it seems really far away and we're both nervous about how things between us will change only seeing each other about once a week for four months right at the beginning of the relationship.

    "Anyways, school ends, we both go home to our respective parents' house, and make plans to see each other at my girlfriend's house after about 10 days. She lives right in Toronto whereas I lived on the outskirts, so I take the train into the city and to meet her right downtown. We're trying to find each other on the crowded street (I didn't really know the city at that time so I was kind of going in circles looking for her).

    "Eventually, I spot her on a busy street corner looking around, but she hasn't seen me yet. Something just came over me and I realized how happy I was, how happy she made me, and how much I really cared about her. I don't know why but for some reason seeing her then for the first time away from school really made it click for me. Just had our four year anniversary last week and I feel the same as I did that day." - Redditor richandbrilliant



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    flirting couple

    Making a long-term relationship work is a feat that not everyone can claim to have conquered. While relationship experts can tell you tips and tricks from their perspectives, sometimes it's best to go straight to the source. 

    INSIDER spoke with real couples who are in long-term, committed relationships to find out their biggest tips to making a relationship last. 

    Go on trips together and separately.

    Travel is an important part of growing a strong relationship. It helps you deal with potentially stressful situations together, problem solve, and make some fun memories. 

    But you need to have your own life, too. That's why Holly Wolf said she and her husband Gary have taken many trips in their 30-year marriage, but they haven't always been together.

    "We vacation both separately and apart," she said. "He's a hunter and outdoors man, I'm not.  So it makes sense for him to go on those trips without me. I enjoy traveling with friends so I do that without him. But we enjoy traveling together, too — just the two of us."



    Know you're not always going to get your way.

    Anyone who's been in a close relationship, romantic or otherwise, knows that being close to someone for a long time can inevitably lead to some arguments. 

    No one likes to be wrong, but you're going to be, and that's okay! The ability to admit you're wrong can strengthen your relationship and allow small fights to end more quickly than they would if you were too stubborn to let it go. 

    "You have to be okay with not being right all the time," Declan O'Connell, who has been dating his partner Rachel Eagleton for two years, told INSIDER. "Compromising is something people always say but you have to be able to put it into your daily routine. At the end of the day you have to realize that you are happier now than you were before … even if they annoy you that day."



    Practice authentic appreciation.

    Being in a relationship inevitably means doing things for each other, but Todd and Diana Mitchem told INSIDER that their marriage works because they are thankful to each other for all acts of service — big and small. 

    "For us, appreciation is in every moment and with any small act," the Mitchems said. "We pride each other regularly and thank each other for doing even the smallest of things. We think that being authentic with appreciation keeps the fire alive because the couple is always focused on the best in each person. With three kids, careers, and a full life, we make appreciation a top priority. It's fun and sexy always to be appreciated."



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    voting primary ballot box

    • Election Day for the hotly contested 2018 midterms is on Tuesday, November 6.
    • Midterm elections are traditionally a referendum on the party in power, and this year, Republicans in Congress are defending themselves against a wave of anti-Trump fervor.
    • These five congressional races have been identified by experts as "true coin flips" and crucial battlegrounds for Democrats looking to take back the House.

    The 2018 midterm elections are upon us.

    While the Republican party is looking to hold onto their majorities in both houses of Congress (and control of all three branches of government), Democrats are looking to act on the torrent of anti-Trump anger and progressive energy to win back the House of Representatives in what they hope will be a "blue wave."

    While Democrats lead Republicans by 9 points on the generic ballot (a poll that simply asks what party people will vote for in a congressional race) and have raised record amounts of money from donors of all types, everything will come down to voter turnout on election day. Multiple states have seen record-breaking early turnout already. 

    Midterm elections are traditionally a referendum on the party in power, and experts say this year is no exception. In all 25 of these districts, Republicans are fending off Democratic challengers.

    While Democrats are generally seeking to associate Republicans with Trump, Republicans appear to be attempting to deflect attention away from Trump by aligning their Democratic opponents with House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, taxes, and "open borders." 

    While most election forecasts predict that Democrats will gain back the 23 seats they need to flip the House, neither party can afford to take any votes for granted. Out of all 435 seats up for re-election, the forecasters at the FiveThirtyEight have identified 34 highly competitive races. 

    Their model, which uses a number of factors including polls, previous voting behavior, fundraising, and expert ratings, has classified 14 races as toss-ups, meaning both candidates have less than a 60% of chance of winning, 10 "lean Democratic" and 10 "lean Republican". 

    Here's an in-depth look at 25 congressional districts that are too close to call:

    Maine's 2nd congressional district

    The incumbent: Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin is serving his 2nd term representing the district. While not as much of staunch Trump ally as other vulnerable incumbents, Poliquin faced backlash over his votes on healthcare and the GOP tax bill, and his reported inaccessibility to his constituents.  

    The challenger: The Democratic nominee is Maine state representative and majority whip Jared Golden. He's a Marine Corps veteran who's served in Iraq and Afghanistan and former staffer for Sen. Susan Collins, who touts his record of passing bills to help union workers in the legislature. 

    An Oct. 15-18th New York Times/Siena College poll shows Poliquin and Golden neck-and-neck, with 41% of those polled indicating support for Poliquin and 41% for Golden. 

    The lay of the land: The largest congressional district east of the Mississippi River, Maine's 2nd district encompasses 80% of the state. It's largely rural and working-class, with a tradition of strong organized labor.

    One Bangor Daily News article describes it as a"fiercely libertarian district historically willing to throw its weight behind individual candidates rather than political parties."

    Partisan dynamics: The 2nd district's Cook Political Voting Index (PVI) is R+2, meaning it's two points more Republican than the rest of the country, on average. While Democrats have a very slim registration advantage, the district voted for Trump in 2016 by a margin of seven percentage points, 51% to 44%. 

    Ratings and predictions:  FiveThirtyEight's forecast rates the race as a toss-up, giving Golden a 3 in 5 chance of winning.

    What the local experts say: Michael Sherman, a politics reporter who has been covering the race for the Bangor Daily News, told Business Insider in an email that Golden's success will likely be reliant on how much he's able to tack Poliquin to Trump.

    "For me, the environment is the key thing to watch. The polling that I've seen seems to consistently suggest that Trump is more popular there than he is in the US and Maine overall," wrote Sherman.

    "Poliquin has contorted himself to avoid talking about Trump in the past and that may continue, but I don't think Trump is a drag for him here like he is for other Republicans in suburban areas," said Sherman. "I'd be cautious in thinking that even a 'blue wave' would necessarily oust Poliquin."

    Sherman noted, however, that the presence of two liberal unaffiliated candidates in the race could marginally benefit Golden by siphoning votes away from Poliquin in Maine's recently-introduced ranked-choice voting system.



    Florida's 26th district

    The incumbent: Rep. Carlos Curbelo, currently serving his 2nd term, is a rare moderate Republican in the House.

    He's notably crossed the aisle on issues including abortion, climate change, and government spending, but he also voted to repeal to the ACA and to approve the Trump tax bill. 

    The challenger: Democratic nominee Debbie Mucarsel-Powell is a native of South Florida who has spent most of her career working in local nonprofits. Like Curbelo, she hails from a first-generation immigrant background. 

    The lay of the land: The 26th district is comprised of the southernmost tip of Florida, and includes the popular vacation destinations of the Florida Keys and Everglades National Park. It's almost 80% Hispanic, with a sizeable population of Cuban immigrants. 

    Partisan dynamics: The 26th's district's Cook political rating is D+6, making it the most Democratic district to be represented by a Republican in the country. The district went for Hillary Clinton by a 16-point margin over Donald Trump in 2016.

    Ratings and predictions  FiveThirtyEight rates the race as a pure tossup, giving each a 1 in 2 chance of winning. An October 19-24 Siena College/New York Times poll shows Mucrasel-Powell leading Curbelo by just one point. 

    What the local experts say: Ryan Nicol, who covers South Florida for FloridaPolitics.com, told Business Insider that given Curbelo's bipartisan record, he's not so sure that Democrats can successfully paint him as a Trump surrogate.

    "A big sticking point in this race is whether the Democrats can make [Curbelo] seem not-so-moderate," he said.

    But Nicol wasn't positive that the Democrats' best efforts would be necessarily enough to unseat Curbelo — even if they win back the House.

    "If the Democrats are struggling to win the House, I could see Curbelo getting upset, it's possible," he said. "But even if the Democrats do moderately well, I could still see Curbelo hanging on." 



    Iowa's 3rd congressional district

    The incumbent: Rep. David Young, a former staffer for Sen. Chuck Grassley, is serving his 2nd term in office. He had an unusual path to Congress, in which a Republican convention selected him to be the nominee in 2014 after he received only 35% of the vote in a crowded primary. 

    Young has been playing defense by distancing himself from the Trump administration's controversial agricultural tariffs that have adversely affected Iowa corn and soybean farmers. 

    The challenger: The democratic nominee is Cindy Axne, a small-business owner and former Iowa state official who led a successful effort to make all-day kindergarten available to every student in the West Des Moines public school system. 

    The lay of the land: The 3rd district covers a chunk of Southwestern Iowa, including the capital city of Des Moines. It's over 90% white.

    Partisan dynamic: The 3rd district's Cook partisan lean is R+1. Trump carried the district by just 4 percentage points over Hillary Clinton in 2016. 

    Ratings and predictions: FiveThirtyEight rates the race as 'lean Democratic', giving Axne a 5 in 8 chance of winning. An October 25-27 poll from Siena College/The New York Times has Axne leading Young by 2 points.

    What the local experts say: Steffen Schmidt, a professor of political science at Iowa State University, told Business Insider that the registration dynamics give neither political party a clear majority, meaning that both sides will need to court unaffiliated voters. 

    "Neither party has enough voters without getting a good chunk of the independent voters and also 'poaching' some members of the other party," he said.

    "Democrats and Axne will need a big turnout by Democrats in the Third, a few old school, moderate Republicans, and then enough independents to cross the finish line."

    Dennis Goldford, a professor of political science at Drake University, told Business Insider in a phone call that even though Trump looms large, Axne and other democrats in Iowa should stick with the issues that hit close to home.  

    Goldford said Axne and other will be more successful in courting the voters they need by focusing on the "bread-and-butter issues" such as jobs and infrastructure, as opposed to running the risk of alienating voters by making the race revolve around a "polarizing" figure such as Trump.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    nutcracker and the four realms

    Warning: Minor spoilers ahead for "The Nutcracker and the Four Realms."

    Disney's newest bid for nostalgic moviegoers is "The Nutcracker and the Four Realms," based on E.T.A. Hoffmann's classic tale and its famous ballet adaptation.

    This version reimagines the love story between Clara and the Nutcracker as a tale of young Clara (Mackenzie Foy) grappling with her mother's death. She soon discovers the four realms, a parallel universe where her mother was queen — and embarks on a meandering, predictable, and wholly uninspired adventure to save the day.

    morgan freeman nutcracker and the four realms

    Critics have largely agreed that the film lacks a cohesive or interesting angle, sacrificing original storytelling for aggressive CGI and lavish visuals.

    "It feels like even children will find the film annoying and predictable,"INSIDER wrote in its review. "Its recycled plot, garish costume design, and half-hearted callbacks to the original add nothing to the beloved story of 'The Nutcracker.'"

    The film currently has a 34% on Rotten Tomatoes. Here's what critics are saying.

    It's a visual feat, vibrant and intricate — but sometimes excessively so.

    The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Kiera Knightley Disney movie

    "The real stars of this film are the hundreds and hundreds — sit through the credits and marvel at the number — of visual effects folk who have let us swoop over these snowy cities and forests on the wings of a bird, who use thousands of wriggling mice to come together to make one big Mouse King, and who make a legion of tin soldiers marching look positively frightening."

    Mark Kennedy, AP

    "The costuming team’s work is remarkably intricate: the detail, the fineness of the fabrics’ textures, the use of color."

    "['Elaborate' is] clearly the effect Disney was going for, all but overwhelming audiences with both the scale and the intricacy of this fantasy world... It’s all too much to take in at once — the kind of overkill for which Liberace was known."

    Peter Debruge, Variety

    "It tries to color its backgrounds with so much gadgetry and expensive-looking busywork that it covers up the fact that very little about it makes sense. Spoiler alert: It doesn't work."

    Adam Graham, The Detroit News

    It's full of tropes, character traits, and plot points borrowed from other stories.

    nutcracker four realms

    "For a movie with so much stuff to look at, the only things you really see during 'The Nutcracker and the Four Realms' are all of the recent movies that it’s flagrantly trying to recycle. If the premise suggests a less ambitious riff on 'The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,' the candied aesthetic reeks of a less hostile and hideous take on Tim Burton’s 'Alice in Wonderland.'"

    David Ehrlich, IndieWire

    "[The movie] pads out the slender, dreamlike fable at its heart with an at times needlessly busy narrative that evokes 'Alice in Wonderland,' 'The Chronicles of Narnia' and, at its most extravagant, Cirque du Soleil.

    A subplot involves Clara’s journey of self-discovery and feminist empowerment, a seemingly de rigueur plot point these days in every female-centric Disney offering from 'Beauty and the Beast' to 'A Wrinkle in Time.'"

    Michael O'Sullivan, The Washington Post

    "'The Nutcracker' simply took tropes, character traits, and plot points from other movies that no one asked to relive, including 'The Chronicles of Narnia,' 'Alice in Wonderland,' 'Peter Pan' — and, weirdly enough, 'The Santa Clause 2.'"

    Callie Ahlgrim, INSIDER

    "Every aspect of of the movie feels as if it’s been determined by algorithm, workshopped and test-marketed into a state of pleasant, fleeting dullness.

    [Helen Mirren is] chewed up and spit out by the film’s generic fantasy-adventure plot, which includes elements of the 'Harry Potter' series, 'The Chronicles Of Narnia,' and 'Alice In Wonderland' and involves a war between the four realms that only Clara can solve."

    Katie Rife, The A.V. Club

    Keira Knightley's performance is a highlight.

    keira knightley the nutcracker

    "Only a saucy Keira Knightley, as Sugar Plum Fairy, keeps us even vaguely interested."

    Rafer Guzmán, Newsday

    "Knightley has quite a bit of fun with her role as the sprightly Sugar Plum, adopting a high-pitched, whack-a-doodle characterization that is Reese Witherspoon in 'A Wrinkle in Time' meets Helena Bonham Carter in everything."

    Aisha Harris, The New York Times

    "Knightley scores at least a few fun moments as a bubbly pixie miles away from her usual dramatic leading ladies of literature."

    Alonso Duralde, The Wrap

    "Star Keira Knightley has great fun with this role, adding unexpected elements of Mae West to its Snow White core."

    Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

    Mackenzie Foy is a convincing heroine.

    mackenzie foy nutcracker

    "It's safe to say the whole film would fall apart if not for a brilliant performance from Mackenzie Foy as Clara. Soft, angry, tender, pained and regal — Foy is absolutely luminous, both a tomboy and a princess. She speaks through her eyes and really digs into lines like 'The real world doesn't make sense anymore.'"

    Mark Kennedy, AP

    "Perhaps a generation of young girls will find inspiration in seeing Clara discover the strength she needs inside (Foy plays her newfound confidence quite convincingly) before charging off to battle like some cause-less Joan of Arc."

    Peter Debruge, Variety

    "Thanks to her youthful freckled face and porcelain features, casting her as Clara makes aesthetic sense. She looks the part. The good news is, she also has talent. That freckled face is subtly expressive, and she does her best to give depth to the tired lines she's given." 

    Callie Ahlgrim, INSIDER

    Ultimately, it pays too much attention to aesthetics and not enough to everything else.

    helen mirren nutcracker and the four realms

    "Here we have an uninspired screensaver of a movie that fails to offer children interesting characters to care about/see themselves in, a coherent plot to follow, or even the faintest trace of humanity under its $130 million husk of gorgeous sets and garish special effects. It’s a chore to sit through now, and in all likelihood it will be a chore to sit through always."

    David Ehrlich, IndieWire

    "Much of the film feels like a cast improvising their way through a big-budget 'Wizard of Oz'-esque spectacle... There’s nothing grounding enough here; everything — the sets, the costumes, the performances — seems to drift off in a CGI haze."

    — Emily Yoshida, Vulture

    "'The Nutcracker And The Four Realms' is probably going to be nominated for at least one Oscar. And costume designer Jenny Beavan and production designer Guy Hendrix Dyas will richly deserve the nods their fanciful Rococo creations will more than likely earn them a couple of months from now. And that’s about all anyone will remember about this latest in Disney’s line of milquetoast live-action fairy tales, another beautiful yet oddly flavorless confection that treats movie magic as a primarily visual concern."

    Katie Rife, The A.V. Club

    The movie is currently in theaters. Watch the trailer below.

    Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    wedding married bride

    It can be difficult to come up with the words to describe just how much you love someone. That can be even trickier at a wedding in front of your closest friends and family.

    But whether you're looking for vow inspiration, quotes for invitations, or readings to be said during the ceremony, it's important to pick one that speaks to you. 

    Here's a selection of some of our favorite readings and poems for your wedding.

    "The Red String Of Fate" by Anonymous

    "This red string of fate binds us, through all eternity, we once were to blinded by heartbreak, to hurt to see.

    We lived our lives separate, always feeling incomplete, to ignorant to notice this invisible red thread at our feet.

    No matter the distance it can become tangled, yet never broken, the moment we met it was as if destiny had spoken.

    The red string of fate can stretch throughout the world, yet will always lead us to eachother, forbidding us to successfully love another.

    We are forever connected, by this string tied around your ankle and mine, binding our hearts together since the beginning of time.

    It led me to you, now we have found our way, in my heart and soul forever is where you will stay.

    When this life ends and we begin anew, I have no doubt that this red string of fate will again lead me to you."



    "Every Day" by David Levithan

    "This is what love does: It makes you want to rewrite the world. It makes you want to choose the characters, build the scenery, guide the plot. The person you love sits across from you, and you want to do everything in your power to make it possible, endlessly possible. And when it’s just the two of you, alone in a room, you can pretend that this is how it is, this is how it will be."



    “First Poems” by Rainer Maria Rilke

    "Understand, I'll slip quietly

    Away from the noisy crowd

    When I see the pale

    Stars rising, blooming over the oaks

    I'll pursue solitary pathways

    Through the pale twilit meadows,

    With only this one dream:

    You come too."



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    weddings america england

    If you are an American, one thing you may not realize is that the wedding you envisioned for Harry and Meghan isn’t exactly the one that happened.

    This isn’t only because their wedding is fit for royalty. As it turns out, there are a bunch of interesting, and fundamental differences between weddings in America versus those across the pond.

    So, while you wait for your invite to the wedding of the year check out these surprising differences between British and American weddings.

    British wedding toasts are more like roasts

    At an American wedding, you can generally expect the toasts and speeches to rely heavily on sap and sentimentality. But at British weddings, the toasts might seem, well, rather rude.

    According to Vogue, the goal of wedding speeches in the UK is to fully mortify its recipient. So, if you’re giving a toast in the US, you can prepare your standard touchy-feely fare. If you’re giving one in England, just pretend like you’re getting ready for a roast.



    If you’re a woman, you probably won’t give a toast

    According to Cosmopolitan, British weddings traditionally only have three sets of speeches —one from the groom, one from the father of the bride, and one from the best man. 



    British wedding guests wear hats

    One thing you can definitely be prepared to see at the upcoming royal wedding is some fancy headwear. According to PureWow, it is royal protocol for all royal women to wear hats on official occasions. (So, yes — Kate Middleton is going to be wearing one at the upcoming royal wedding.)

    And if you were wondering, this isn’t just a royal thing — according to Vogue, almost every wedding outfit in the UK tends to be topped off (literally) with a fancy hat or fascinator.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Redskins

    Halfway through the NFL season, our best bets have been hovering around 50% — slightly less than profitable, but good enough that we're not yet out of the running in the Westgate SuperContest.

    Still, we have to get hot, and time is running out — after a 3-2 week last week, let's keep the positive money rolling and get right to our picks.

    Take a look below for our best five bets against the spread for this Sunday, plus a few other wagers to consider making this weekend.

    Home teams get the asterisk.

    Minnesota Vikings* (-4.5) over Detroit Lions

    The Minnesota Vikings' loss to the Saints last weekend wasn't as bad as it looked on paper.

    While the final score read 30-20 and the game was never really in doubt for the Saints in the second half, the big swing of the game came late in the second quarter when an Adam Thielen fumble resulted in a 10- or 14-point swing just before halftime. Erase that fumble, and it's a completely different game.

    The Lions have been a tough team to get a read on all year, but their offense really opens up only when they can get their rushing attack going, and the Vikings' defense should be able to keep Kerryon Johnson in check.

    The Vikings aren't losing two straight home games, and if they play their game, they should be able to cover this number.



    Washington Redskins* (-1.5) over Atlanta Falcons

    How many wins do the Redskins have to rack up before the betting public starts to believe?

    I don't even like Washington all that much this year, and I still think that the Falcons are undervalued in a lot of people's minds, but Alex Smith and the Washington offense has been rolling pretty steady in recent weeks, and Atlanta can't get a stop to save their lives.



    Denver Broncos* (-1) over Houston Texans

    The Houston Texans are simply riding too hot.

    They've won five straight to jump back into the lead of the AFC South, but none of their victories have been especially impressive, and they feel due to fall back to Earth soon.

    A trip to Denver feels like just the spot to jump off their bandwagon and fade Houston.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    couple kissing

    Anyone who's in a relationship wants to know the secret recipe to making their love last. And while everyone's relationship is different, there is something to be learned from those who have managed to keep the spark alive for years or even decades. 

    INSIDER asked real people in real relationships what they do to keep their partnerships exciting and healthy. Their advice was heartwarming, informative, and, at times, surprising. 

    Be adventurous.

    It's important to take risks with your partner to keep things interesting, said Ellanore Holbrook, who has been with her partner Nick for over two years.

    "Be adventurous together and push one another to try new things!" she told me. "It's scary but you always have the support of the other person to push you!"



    Spend time alone.

    It may sound counter-intuitive but Amy Bryne, who has been married to her husband Killian for three years, said that time spent without your partner is key to making it last. 

    "Time spent apart!" she said. "Killian's been gone almost four months and I'm quite ready to have him back like NOW."

    This advice was echoed by so many people I spoke to, so it seems to stay together, you must be apart sometimes. 



    Make a big move.

    Going through something big was key to cementing Renée Hagerty's two-year relationship to her partner Adam.

    "When in doubt, move across the country together," she said. "It sounds dramatic, but it boils down to choosing to face risks together. Every time we are faced with a difficult choice, we pick what scares us most and grow through it."



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    parks and rec proposal

    Everyone loves a good fairytale romance, but no romantic movie can compare to a real life love story.

    To get some inspiration to show your partner how much you love them, INSIDER browsedReddit and rounded up the most romantic moments that actually happened to real Redditors. 

    "I mentioned to her that I had never actually had a girlfriend on Valentine's Day before."

    "The first year my girlfriend and I were dating, Valentine's Day was coming up and I mentioned to her that I had never actually had a girlfriend on Valentine's Day before. The day of, she gives me 25 completely handmade and drawn Valentine's Day cards, one for each year I missed, each with memories of me she is fond of." - Redditor edrz

     



    "I worked a ton of overnights, and my wife used to wake up and bring me hot food."

    "I worked a ton of overnights and my wife used to wake up and bring me hot food when I was on patrol. At 3 a.m., fresh, hot chicken cutlets with mashed potatoes and corn is something really amazing." Redditor c3h8pro



    "She's the one who gets me coffee because she knows I'm exhausted."

    "It's not what she did once, but what she's continuing to do.

    I'm in medical school, and she is my cheerleader. She lets me talk my notes out to her when she knows I need help studying. She's the person I call at 2 a.m. when I'm struggling before a test. She's the one who gets me coffee because she knows I'm exhausted.

    And what's most important is she knows deep down that I don't choose school over her because I want to but because I have to. I know this because she's told me." - Redditor UptownShenanigans



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    jacob sartorius musically

    • TikTok is a social platform popular amongst teens made-up of short videos that often play catchy songs in the background. 
    • According to TechCrunch report on Friday, TikTok was the most downloaded app in the US in September. 
    • This marked the first time in the US that TikTok had more downloads than Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat in a given month.
    • Today, TikTok is the 4th ranked social app in the App Store’s Top Charts, behind YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat. 

    TikTok — an app you may have never heard of before — was the most downloaded app in the US in September, according to a TechCrunch report on Friday using data from SensorTower. 

    For the first time in the US, TikTok had more downloads than Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat in a given month.

    TikTok had 3.81 million downloads from the iOS App Store and Google Play combined in September. Facebook had the second highest download count at 3.53 million first-time installs, according to the TechCrunch report. 

    Today, TikTok is the 4th ranked social app in the App Store’s Top Charts, behind top-ranked YouTube, 2nd ranked Instagram, and 3rd place Snapchat. 

    So what is TikTok? 

    It's sort of like Vine, the viral video creation app that Twitter acquired and later killed. TikTok is a social platform popular amongst teens made-up of short videos that often play catchy songs in the background. 

    On a recent meander through the app, I watched a US Marine do one-handed pull-ups to Panic! At The Disco's "High Hopes," a woman singing a John Legend's "All of Me" to her bag of Hot Cheetos, and so much more.

    You'll quickly find how addicting TikTok can be. 

    Read more: The most downloaded iPhone app in the world right now is one you've probably never heard of

    TikTok is owned by the same Beijing-based parent company that bought social video app Musical.ly for $1 billion last year. 

    Musical.ly, which had 60 million users at the time of its acquisition, was folded into the TikTok app to help it gain traction in the US. 

    With TikTok number one downloaded social app in September, that strategy seems to be working quite well. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

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

    Emerging markets are going to be essential for e-commerce growth, as retailers in developed markets may soon reach saturation in terms of consumer growth.

    APAC CAGR

    For example, almost half of US households now have a Prime membership, diminishing Amazon's growth potential in the country. Meanwhile, in China, the world's largest e-commerce market, nearly half of the population is actively making online purchases, leaving little room for growth. 

    However, India, Southeast Asia, and Latin America are worth keeping an eye on. E-commerce penetration rates in these areas hover between 2-6%, presenting a huge opportunity for future growth as online sales gain traction. Moreover, these regions are expected to grow at compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) of 31%, 32%, and 16%, respectively, through 2021.

    This report compiles several e-commerce snapshots, which together highlight the most notable emerging markets in various regions. Each provides an overview of the e-commerce industry in a particular country, discusses influential retailers, and provides insights into the opportunities and challenges for that specific domestic industry.

    Here are some of the key takeaways:

    • Emerging markets are going to be essential for e-commerce growth, as retailers in developed markets may soon reach saturation in terms of consumer growth.
    • India is the clear overall leader in e-commerce potential, but countries in Southeast Asia and Latin America are also worth keeping an eye on. Within Southeast Asia, Indonesia shows the most promise for retailers, as the government is loosening restrictions on foreign investments, and its massive population is gaining spending power and more access to internet. Meanwhile, Mexico is a retailer's best bet for expansion in Latin America, due to its stable economy and rising middle class, but Brazil may be gearing up to steal the top spot.
    • However, doing business in these regions can be difficult. In most of these emerging markets, infrastructure is underdeveloped and the population is largely unbanked, making digital payments a challenge.
    • If retailers can build a brand presence in these markets while online shopping is still in its nascent stages, they may become market leaders as e-commerce takes off in the regions. Moreover, these markets could provide new sources of growth for companies that would otherwise stagnate in more mature e-commerce markets.

     In full, the report:

    • Explores the e-commerce industry in India, Southeast Asia, and Latin America.
    • Highlights the leading country in each region, as well as key e-commerce players there. 
    • Outlines the challenges and opportunities each region faces.
    • Gives insight into how these emerging markets may shape the future of e-commerce.

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    mbs khashoggi erdogan

    • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday said Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's killing was ordered at the "highest levels" of the Saudi government and is calling on Riyadh to be more cooperative moving forward. 
    • Critics say Erdogan is also part of the problem, however, and are urging him to formally request an independent UN investigation. 
    • Amnesty International, The Committee to Protect Journalists, Human Rights Watch, and Reporters Without Borders have all called on Turkey to ask the UN to intervene.

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday said Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's killing was ordered at the "highest levels" of the Saudi government and is calling on Riyadh to be more cooperative moving forward. 

    But critics say the Turkish leader is also part of the problem, and that neither Turkey nor Saudi Arabia have been particularly transparent since Khashoggi disappeared one month ago on October 2. 

    "We know that the order to kill Khashoggi came from the highest levels of the Saudi government," Erdogan said in an op-ed for The Washington Post, where Khashoggi was a columnist. "A month after his killing, we still do not know where his body is. At the very least, he deserves a proper burial in line with Islamic customs."

    Erdogan went on to accuse Saudi officials of continuing to "cover up the murder," decrying the Saudi public prosecutor for refusing to "cooperate with the investigation and answer even simple questions" during a recent visit to Istanbul. 

    The Saudis have shifted their story multiple times 

    The Turkish leader is correct the Saudis have not provided answers to basic aspects of the case, such as where Khashoggi's body is. The Saudis have shifted their narrative on Khashoggi's killing multiple times, but recently admitted it was premeditated. With that said, they've not revealed who ordered the killing.

    The Saudis have also arrested 18 people in connection with the case, but are refusing to extradite them to Istanbul where the crime was committed. 

    Read more: Khashoggi's brutal killing could lead to charges against Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman under international law. But experts say the Saudis will 'never go along.'

    Istanbul's chief prosecutor earlier this week expressed similar frustrations to Erdogan over these factors, and Saudi Arabia does seem to be evading and stalling so that the world will forget about Khashoggi and stop pushing for answers.

    Khashoggi's killing is widely suspected to have been orchestrated by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia.

    This incident has already been a major crisis for the Saudis and placed strains on its relationship with the US. But if it was proven without question that Prince Mohammed ordered the killing, it would be beyond calamitous for the kingdom and the consequences would be immeasurable. Some experts have contended Prince Mohammed could even face charges under international law. 

    But others warn nothing concrete will happen until there's a transparent, independent investigation. 

    'What we have are two so-called investigations'

    Sherine Tadros, head of the UN office for Amnesty International in New York, has been among the most vocal proponents of such an inquiry. Tadros recently told Business Insider neither the Saudis nor Turkey are genuinely interested in such an investigation, however, despite Erdogan's attempts to appear sincerely disconcerted by Khashoggi's fate. 

    "What we have are two so-called investigations," Tadros told Business Insider. Tadros said the "best shot we have" at legitimate justice for Khashoggi is a "UN investigation that will be transparent, not politicized, and credible."

    "At the end of the day the Saudis have clearly had a very destructive hand in the events that went on inside of that consulate," Tadros added. "They don't want to see a real investigation happen."

    Turkey's conduct has been 'highly suspect'

    Meanwhile, Tadros also said the way Turkey has conducted itself has been "highly suspect" and "highly politicized."

    Over the past week, Turkey offered its most official description yet of the events surrounding Khashoggi's death.

    Istanbul's chief prosecutor Irfan Fidan on Wednesday said an investigation into Khashoggi's killing concluded he was strangulated shortly after entering the consulate and subsequently dismembered. Prior to this, many of the purported details surrounding Khashoggi's disappearance were a product of leaks from Turkish officials to local and international media. 

    Read more: Saudi Arabia hopes the world will forget about Jamal Khashoggi's killing, and still hasn't answered simple questions about his death

    Some of these leaks have been contradicted by public statements some Turkish officials have made, which has made it difficult to discern exactly what happened. 

    In this context, Tadros said the UN needs to be allowed into Turkey to conduct an independent probe. The UN has repeatedly expressed a willingness to do so, but Tadros suspects Erdogan is not particularly fond of this idea due to his dubious record on human rights and freedom of the press. Permitting the UN to investigate the murder of a journalist on Turkish soil would set a precedent for future inquiries that could prove uncomfortable for Erdogan, she said. 

    But for such an investigation to happen, Turkey needs to write a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres formally requesting a probe, Tadros said. 

    The Committee to Protect Journalists, Human Rights Watch, and Reporters Without Borders have also called on Turkey to ask the UN to conduct an investigation. And more than 100 prominent writers, actors, and activists signed a letter this week calling for the UN to launch an independent probe into Khashoggi's death. 

    Erdogan is complaining that Saudi Arabia is impeding a legitimate investigation by not cooperating with Turkish officials, but by ignoring widespread calls for him to formally request a timely, independent UN probe he's arguably guilty of the same thing. 

    The Turkish leader in his op-ed for The Post claimed his government has "moved heaven and earth to shed light on all aspects of this case." Based on the limited details Turkey has officially released and the lack of an independent investigation, this is a bold statement. 

    Turkey on October 23 said it would cooperate if the the UN and international bodies call for an independent probe into Khashoggi's death.

    The UN has done so repeatedly, so the ball is in Turkey's court. 

    SEE ALSO: Here's everything we know about the troubling disappearance and death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi

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

    Edge computing solutions are key tools that help companies grapple with rising data volumes across industries. These types of solutions are critical in allowing companies to gain more control over the data their IoT devices create and in reducing their reliance on (and the costs of) cloud computing.

    edge popularity

    These systems are becoming more sought-after — 40% of companies that provide IoT solutions reported that edge computing came up more in discussion with customers in 2017 than the year before, according to Business Insider Intelligence’s 2017 Global IoT Executive Survey. But companies need to know whether they should look into edge computing solutions, and what in particular they can hope to gain from shifting data processing and analysis from the cloud to the edge.

    There are three particular types of problems that edge computing solutions are helping to combat across industries:

    • Security issues. Edge computing can limit the exposure of critical data by minimizing how often it’s transmitted. Further, they pre-process data, so there’s less data to secure overall.
    • Access issues. These systems help to provide live insights regardless of whether there’s a network connection available, greatly expanding where companies and organizations can use connected devices and the data they generate.
    • Transmission efficiency. Edge computing solutions process data where it’s created so less needs to be sent to the cloud, leading to lower cloud storage requirements and reduced transmission cost.

    In this report, Business Insider Intelligence examines how edge computing is reducing companies' reliance on cloud computing in three key industries: healthcare, telecommunications, and the automotive space. We explore how these systems mitigate issues in each sector by helping to efficiently process growing troves of data, expanding the potential realms of IoT solutions a company can offer, and bringing enhanced computing capability to remote and mobile platforms.

    Here are some key takeaways from the report:

    • In healthcare, companies and organizations are using edge computing to improve telemedicine and remote monitoring capabilities.
    • For telecommunications companies, edge computing is helping to reduce network congestion and enabling a shift toward the IoT platform market.
    • And in the automotive space, edge computing systems are enabling companies to increase the capabilities of connected cars and trucks and approach autonomy.

    In full, the report:

    • Explores the key advantages edge computing solutions can provide.
    • Highlights the circumstances when companies should look into edge systems.
    • Identifies key vendors and partners in specific industries while showcasing case studies of successful edge computing programs.

      Subscribe to a Premium pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to:

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