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The latest news from Business Insider

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    National Weather Service

    • Hundreds of flights have been either canceled or delayed on Thursday as Winter Storm Avery, the first of the season, bears down on the East Coast.
    • According to the National Weather Service, an early season winter storm is set "to bring ice and heavy snow from the Ohio Valley to the Appalachians and interior Northeast through Friday.
    • According to FlightAware, by 3:45 p.m. on Thursday, 4,561 flights within, into or out of the United States have been delayed, with an additional 1,567 canceled. 
    • American, Delta, United, Southwest, and JetBlue have all issued fee waivers for passengers affected by the storm. 

    Hundreds of flights have been either canceled or delayed on Thursday as Winter Storm Avery, the first of the season, bears down on the East Coast, multiple outlets have reported. 

    According to the National Weather Service, an early season winter storm is set "to bring ice and heavy snow from the Ohio Valley to the Appalachians and interior Northeast through Friday." 

    The National Weather Service reports that the nor'easter is affecting states in the northeastern part of the country with "some inland locations getting in excess of six inches (of snow) thus far," while "Strong winds and coastal flooding will be possible from Long Island to coastal Maine as the low pressure intensifies overnight." 

    Newsweek reports the storm is expected to reach parts of southern Missouri and Illinois, bringing snowfall to St. Louis.

    As could be expected, this winter storm has wrought chaos on air travel and airports. 

    Read More:These are the best and worst airports in America to get stranded at over the holiday season

    According to FlightAware, by 3:45 p.m. on Thursday, 4,561 flights within, into, or out of the United States had been delayed, with an additional 1,567 canceled. 

    Southwest Airlines leads all carriers with 252 cancellations, while New York's LaGuardia Airport has experienced nearly 200 total cancellations. Airports in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Newark have all experienced over a hundred cancellations. 

    Major US airlines have issued fee waivers for passengers traveling today, with United Airlines' waiver covering three dozen airports along the eastern seaboard and American Airlines' waiver covering 20 airports. 

    Southwest Airlines has announced that its customers traveling through cities affected by the storm can rebook their tickets within 14 days of their intended flying date and not be hit with any further charges. 

    Delta Air Lines will allow customers to cancel or reschedule plane tickets free of charge if their travel on November 15 is disrupted by the storm.

    American Airlines and JetBlue have issued a similar travel fee waivers. 

    SEE ALSO: 14 things to do in an airport if your flight is delayed this holiday season

    FOLLOW US: On Facebook for more car and transportation content!

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This LEGO Bugatti Chiron is drivable — here's what it can do

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    julian assange

    • The DOJ reportedly plans to indict WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
    • The exact charges prosecutors would bring are unclear, but they are likely to include some related to the Espionage Act.
    • Assange and WikiLeaks are at the center of the special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.
    • Washington has been buzzing with speculation in recent days that Mueller will soon drop an indictment related to WikiLeaks' activities during the 2016 election.

    The Department of Justice (DOJ) is preparing to bring charges against Julian Assange, the founder of the radical pro-transparency group WikiLeaks, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

    Over the past year, prosecutors are said to have discussed a variety of charges they could bring against Assange and are reportedly optimistic that they could get Assange, who is currently seeking asylum at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, into a US court.

    The US' push comes as Assange's relationship with Ecuador is in decline, and as the South American country is looking to bolster its relationship with the US.

    The DOJ has been investigating Assange since 2010, and according to The Journal, while the exact charges prosecutors want to bring against him are unclear, they may involve the Espionage Act.

    Assange and WikiLeaks are at the center of the special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 US election.

    In an indictment charging 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking into the Democratic National Committee and disseminating stolen emails, Mueller's office mentioned WikiLeaks — though not by name — as the Russians' conduit to release hacked documents via the hacker Guccifer 2.0, who is believed to be a front for Russian military intelligence.

    WikiLeaks touts itself as an independent organization, but US intelligence believes the group to be a propaganda tool for the Kremlin. Former CIA director Mike Pompeo also characterized WikiLeaks as a "non-state hostile intelligence service."

    The Journal reported that prosecutors are weighing whether to publicly charge Assange, like they did with the Russian nationals who have so far been indicted as part of the Russia probe, to force the Ecuadorean embassy to turn him over to the US.

    The last indictment Mueller's office issued was against the 12 Russian military intelligence officers in July. The special counsel's office has been quiet over the last month or so, likely adhering to DOJ guidelines that bar prosecutors from taking any overt action that could influence the outcome of an election like the recent November midterms.

    But Washington is currently buzzing with anticipation that Mueller will drop something big soon, whether it's in the form of an indictment or a report in his ongoing obstruction investigation against the president.

    In recent days, speculation has mounted that he will charge certain individuals in connection with WikiLeaks' activities during the election, including the longtime GOP strategist Roger Stone and the far-right conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi.

    Assange's lawyer told The Journal they hadn't heard anything about a potential DOJ case against the WikiLeaks founder.

    "We have heard nothing from authorities suggesting that a criminal case against Mr. Assange is imminent," the attorney Barry Pollack said. "Prosecuting someone for publishing truthful information would set a terrible and dangerous precedent."

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Trump once won a lawsuit against the NFL — but the result was an embarrassment

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    Black Friday shopping fight

    • Black Friday can bring out the worst in some people.
    • Retail workers Business Insider surveyed shared some of their most cringe-worthy stories.
    • We also scoured Reddit for workers' horrifying accounts of Black Friday mayhem.

    If you ask the people who work in retail, Black Friday is rarely described in the most flattering of ways.

    "Being retired now, Black Friday is a nightmare of the past," a former retail worker told Business Insider. "In my many years in retail, each one seemed to get worse." 

    This isn't to say all Black Friday shoppers are horrible people. 

    As one retail worker told Business Insider, "For the most part, people have always been very nice and patient. They can see it's busy and I'm doing my best to get everybody taken care of." They said it's usually the customers who are never satisfied — "we can spot them a mile away"— that are more likely to make a scene.

    In honor of the "wild and hectic" day when everyone is "tired and cranky"— their words — Business Insider asked more than 40 Black Friday workers to share some of the most outrageous things they've seen working Black Friday.

    We also scoured Reddit for horror stories told by former Black Friday workers.

    SEE ALSO: 14 things Black Friday workers wish shoppers would stop doing

    DON'T MISS: Black Friday workers confess 9 things they'd love to tell shoppers but can't

    "Black Friday is like Hunger Games. The tributes are released, and everyone thinks they are extra special, so they should be allowed to just open pallets and take whatever they want well before the sale."

    "I once saw a fight between strangers because someone changed lines. They did not cut in line, they just got behind the other line. And someone in front of that person — so no way they were being affected — decided to verbally attack this person ...

    "... the person fought back. Nasty things were said, and both these individuals had kids with them to witness this.'"

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Papua New Guinea Peter O'Neill China Xi Jinping APEC Port Moresby

    • A mini Pacific Game of Thrones will be going down this weekend as Papua New Guinea plays host to 21 nations at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Port Moresby.
    • Australia and China in particular will be vying for influence and they already have the checkbooks out.
    • China's President Xi Jinping is already on the ground in Papua New Guinea for a state visit.
    • But Bridi Rice, the Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Australian Council of International Development and a former Australian government anti-money-laundering adviser to Papua New Guinea says the country needs genuine partners, not handouts.

    On Friday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison joined his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe on an historic visit to the northern Australian city of Darwin that Japanese forces attacked more than 75 years ago

    Just a few hours earlier, Chinese President Xi Jinping touched down for a state visit with the Pacific neighbor where Japan and Australia met in a bloody struggle across the highlands that became known as the New Guinea campaign.

    Xi stepped onto a red carpet at Port Moresby's Jackson International Airport on Friday as Chinese flags flew across the Papua New Guinean capital to welcome him and China's commitment to this resource rich, but socially impoverished Pacific nation.

    While Jackson Airport is surrounded by billboards for Chinese banks, the airport is named for John F. Jackson, a pilot and squadron leader who died in combat 75 years ago. He was one of approximately 7,000 Australians who died in the New Guinea campaign during World War II.

    This history is part of the complex backdrop to the APEC summit and it's the history that Australia's new Prime Minister Scott Morrison was happy to lean on when he called the Pacific Australia's "backyard."

    Morrison said in his first landmark Pacific policy address, that Australia will commit anew to the Pacific, setting up a multibillion-dollar infrastructure bank to fund projects in the region and appointing a series of new diplomatic posts.

    "Australia will step up in the Pacific and take our engagement with the region to a new level," the prime minister said last week.

    Now, a new contest is opening up across the Pacific from Port Moresby to Tahiti. The weapon of choice: money and the major players from the US to China, Japan, and Australia will face off this weekend.

    The Pacific's annual regional economic summit takes place in the heart of APEC's poorest member country, Papua New Guinea, which has itself become the keystone in an accelerating struggle for influence.

    Xi will tour some of China's headline gifts and investments — including the multimillion dollar APEC house — ahead of the weekend’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, with PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill hoping for further commitments from China and its former colonial power and closest neighbor, Australia.

    As Xi Jinping makes his maiden state visit as Chinese president Canberra will be watching closely.

    The state of regional competition on Papua New Guinea at the time of APEC is best characterized by an anecdote retold by Dr. Graeme Smith, a research fellow at the Australian National University's Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs.

    Meeting a military official on Manus Island, a former US staging base and, more recently, the site of an Australian immigration detention center, Smith says the official pointed out the impressive runways now overgrown by vegetation.

    Read more: The poorest nation in the Pacific will host its richest economic get-together, and it could descend into a dash for cash

    If Australia is unwilling to invest, then we can always turn to our new friends, the official suggested.

    Australia has it seems, awoken to the idea of the challenges presented by a Chinese base operating 60 minutes flight time to its major northern cities.

    Consequently, Canberra this month put its hand up to back the Manus project, part of what analysts see as a push to re-assert its dominance in the South Pacific as Beijing seeks a more prominent role.

    "The Manus Island port was a big concern for us,"a senior US diplomatic source told Reuters, on condition of anonymity.

    "It was feasible Chinese military vessels could have used the port so we are very happy that Australia will fund the re-development."

    Australia is reportedly ready to make the verbal agreement formal sometime over the weekend.

    After five years of relentless cuts to Australia’s aid program, regional aid experts have cautiously welcomed the turnaround.

    Bridi Rice, Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Australian Council of International Development said that the admission by the Prime Minister that "too often" we have taken our Pacific neighbours for granted is right on the money.

    "The announcement of plans to deepen Australia’s ties is welcome," Rice said.

    "But for Australia to continue to build influence as a trusted development partner and foster confidence, stability, and sustainability in the Asia-Pacific, the Australian development cooperation program must have the development interests of our partners at its heart."

    Rice, the Australian Government’s former senior anti-money laundering adviser to the Papua New Guinea government said however, that the development challenges of the region cannot be solved by money alone.

    "A quick fix expenditure and political point scoring at the cost of long term development initiatives won’t generate development outcomes or foreign policy wins for Australia," Rice told Business Insider.

    This year's APEC was supposed to showcase Papua New Guinea's ascension onto the world stage.

    Read more:The South China Sea is fabled for its hidden energy reserves and China wants to block outsiders like the US from finding them

    Prime minister O'Neill said it would put New Guinea "on the map."

    What it has highlighted so far is less about infrastructural achievement and more about what can slip through the cracks when the focus shifts from hard assistance to soft power.

    Papua New Guinea police (L) prevent students from marching from University of Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, June 8, 2016. PNGFM News/ via REUTERS

    "For Australia’s development cooperation program to be a critical soft power tool requires more than just infrastructure allocations, it also requires tough discussions to be had around issues of corruption, governance, natural resource protection, civil society, human-rights and associated expenditure on the soft infrastructure that enables development."

    New Guinea is one of only five countries experiencing the return of polio. It faces endemic problems including corruption, tribal and urban violence, preventable disease outbreaks, a flawed currency and an ailing economy.

    According to Rice, also a current La Trobe University research candidate on Australia’s aid program in Papua New Guinea,  inclusive infrastructure investment may be welcome, but other reactive expenditure on short-term public diplomacy is simply ineffective.

    Such efforts in an attempt to increase Australia’s profile and influence in the region come to nothing, when the have no long-term benefits."

    "(New infrastructure investment) should not come at the cost of what we know works — that is — long-term relationships, deep cultural understanding, and development cooperation which works primarily in the interests of the countries where Australia works,” Rice told Business Insider.

    Speaking to an Australian parliamentary inquiry into the strategic effectiveness of Australia’s aid program on Thursday, Rice proposed that Australia can "walk and chew gum at the same time" when it comes to establishing a development cooperation program driven by values, and given the same level of strategic priority as defense within Australia’s foreign policy architecture.

    "My friends and colleagues from Papua New Guinea are fighting for the future of their country," Rice said.

    SEE ALSO: Australia's new prime minister sounds like he wants to take on China's growing influence in the South Pacific

    DON'T MISS: The South China Sea is fabled for its hidden energy reserves and China wants to block outsiders like the US from finding them

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Mark Zuckerberg

    Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Friday.

    1. The research firm Facebook hired to smear its critics has been pushing an anti-Apple campaign that has Qualcomm’s fingerprints on it. A New York Times story said Facebook had employed research firm Definers Public Affairs to spread potentially damaging stories about Facebook's critics, and it mentioned there is another technology client which is paying the firm to spread negative press about Apple.
    2. Sheryl Sandberg responded to the New York Times story in a Facebook post, saying she "did not know we hired" Definers. Sandberg also said that she has "great respect" for billionaire George Soros, who The New York Times reported was targeted by Definers in research sent to reporters.
    3. Mark Zuckerberg also said he didn't know Facebook hired Definers. On a marathon 80-minute press call with reporters on Thursday, Zuckerberg explained why it cut ties with the PR company.
    4. Facebook hit back at The New York Times, pointing out the "inaccuracies" in its blockbuster report on leadership missteps. Facebook published a blog post refuting elements of the report, such as Russian interference, political point-scoring, and Zuckerberg banning his executives from using iPhones.
    5. A George Soros group slammed Facebook as a threat to democracy in open letter to Sheryl Sandberg. Soros' Open Society Foundations sent out an open letter to Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg that accused the company of "disseminating vile propaganda" that threatens the values "underpinning our democracy."
    6. Mark Zuckerberg insists he's still the best person to run Facebook, despite the endless scandals. The 34-year-old billionaire has ignored previous calls to step down as CEO, so Business Insider asked him why he thinks he's still the best person for the job.
    7. Sony will skip the world's biggest video game event next year, despite the fact that the PlayStation 4 is the most popular console on the market. According to a report from Variety, Sony's PlayStation branch has declined to attend E3, the video game industry's largest annual conference.
    8. Facebook confirmed Mark Zuckerberg's beef with Apple CEO Tim Cook in an official company statement. Apple CEO Tim Cook and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg have traded insults and barbs over the years, and Facebook confirmed the conflict in a public statement. It said that Zuckerberg asked his employees to use Android because it's a more widely used operating system.
    9. SpaceX is about to rocket a fleet of satellites into space that will hunt smugglers, pirates, and other "dark ships" by tracking radio signals. An unprecedented rocket mission for SpaceX, called SSO-A, will launch 71 small satellites at once on Monday.
    10. Elon Musk said the Boring Company is hiring a "Watchtower guard" for a 50-foot tower it's building, but the bizarre job only lasts two days. He added that the company needs "a knight to yell insults at people in a French accent," a likely reference to the 1975 film "Monty Python and the Holy Grail."

    Have an Amazon Alexa device? Now you can hear 10 Things in Tech each morning. Just search for "Business Insider" in your Alexa's flash briefing settings.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    • A wheel of parmesan cheese can cost over $1,000.
    • A single wheel takes at least one year to age, 131 gallons of milk to make, and it can only be made in a restricted area in northern Italy.
    • The industry is worth 2.2€ billion ($2.5 billion).
    • We visited a dairy in Parma, Italy to find out why it is so expensive.


    A wheel of parmesan cheese can cost over $1,000 and has an average weight of 88 pounds, which means it cost over $11 per pound.

    Parmesan cheese is a big business for Italy. An average of 3.6 million wheels are produced each year, and the industry is worth an eye-popping 2.2€ billion ($2.5 billion), making this cheese one of Italy's biggest exports.

    A single wheel takes at least one year to age, 131 gallons of milk to make, and it can only be made in a restricted area in northern Italy, in the region of Emilia Romagna. Its Italian name, in fact, Parmigiano Reggiano, means 'from the cities of Parma and Reggio Emilia.'

    We visited a dairy in Parma, Italy to find out how the cheese is made and why it is so expensive.

    Produced and filmed by Claudia Romeo

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    american flag sowing machine jobs factory worker

    • Seth Carpenter, the most senior US economist at UBS, says that the trade war is already having an outright negative impact on the US economy.
    • UBS expect that the tariffs will halve the speed of GDP growth in the world's largest economy this quarter.
    • They will also lead to the collapse of many small manufacturing firms, which have wafer thin margins, and will not be able to adapt to rising prices.
    • "We are outliers compared to the rest of Wall Street in terms of how big an effect the tariffs have on the US economy."

    President Donald Trump's trade war is already wiping out small American manufacturing businesses and it's going to have a more negative impact on the US economy than most are expecting, say economists at Swiss banking giant UBS.

    Tariffs imposed by Trump on Chinese goods and China's retaliatory levies will halve the speed of GDP growth in the world's largest economy, said Seth Carpenter, UBS' top US-focused economist.

    "We are outliers compared to the rest of Wall Street in terms of how big an effect the tariffs have on the US economy," he said in London on Thursday at the launch of the bank's 2019 Global Economic Outlook. "We expect a material slowing in the fourth quarter of this year — so right now — into the first quarter of next year."

    He pointed to official UBS forecasts, which see annualized growth at 1.7% in the fourth quarter, and just 1.5% in the first quarter of 2019. The annualized growth rate, as reported by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, was 3.5% — which already represented a slowing from the previous quarter, and showed a significant negative impact from the trade war.

    Read more: Trump's trade war took a stunning bite out of the US economy, and it's the strongest evidence yet that he's shooting himself in the foot

    Most of the slowdown, UBS says, is likely to come in the manufacturing sector, which is much more sensitive to changing prices for raw materials. The impact is likely to be so acute that many new manufacturers are likely to go out of business.

    Yet much of Trump's reasoning behind the trade war is to reinvigorate the US manufacturing sector.

    Here's the key extract from Carpenter's presentation on Thursday (emphasis ours):

    The US economy has created more manufacturing jobs in the past year than at any point since the 1990s. We know from a variety of different sources that the vast majority of that increase in employment is coming at brand new firms. Brand new firms notoriously have very thin margins and a lack of ability to pass on costs. Small cost shocks tend to cause large disruptions to new firms. We see some of these new firms failing, others of them failing to expand in a way they would have otherwise. 

    Carpenter's warning about the negative impacts of the trade war are the latest in a chorus of warnings about the consequences of the president's policies. Earlier this week, for instance, the world's biggest shipping company, Maersk, argued that the trade war is already having a material impact on global trade.

    Carpenter did however, offer some reassurance.

    "What we know from manufacturing, especially in the United States, is that you have very lean inventories, you have fragile but easy-to-repair supply chains," he said. "And so when there's a hit, the swing in quantities is large, but fairly short-lived."

    UBS forecasts that annualized growth in the second quarter of 2019 will be around 2.7%.

    SEE ALSO: One of China's most senior officials is said to be headed to the US to try to diffuse Trump's trade war

    SEE ALSO: Trump's trade war is already leading to layoffs and pain for American businesses

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    mark zuckerberg

    • Mark Zuckerberg said he has no intention of stepping down as Facebook chairman.
    • That's despite fresh calls from investors to split his dual role as CEO and chairman after an explosive New York Times investigation into Facebook's crisis management.
    • Zuckerberg shifted the focus to other initiatives, including creating an independent body to help Facebook make decisions about whether controversial content should be deleted.

    Mark Zuckerberg is ignoring calls for his head.

    A blockbuster New York Times report on Wednesday exposed new management failings at Facebook and a controversial pact with a PR firm to smear the company's critics, which Zuckerberg, and his second-in-command Sheryl Sandberg, said they knew nothing about.

    The Times investigation prompted fresh calls from investors for Zuckerberg to relinquish his dual role as CEO and chairman, and appoint an independent director to oversee the board.

    "A company with Facebook’s massive reach and influence requires robust oversight and that can only be achieved through an independent chair who is empowered to provide critical checks on company leadership," said Scott Stringer, the New York City comptroller.

    Read more: Mark Zuckerberg's spectacular failure of leadership shows why some Facebook investors are desperate to fire him

    Stringer, who controls Facebook shares worth around $1 billion, is one of many vocal investors intent on removing Zuckerberg as chairman. And with each new crisis, they get louder with their demands.

    But in a call with journalists on Thursday, Zuckerberg dug in. "I don’t think that that specific proposal is the right way to go,"he said when asked if he would consider stepping down as chairman.

    Facebook has previously said dividing the roles would create "uncertainty, confusion, and inefficiency." Although Zuckerberg did not go that far, it's clear he still sees it as a bad idea.

    Instead, the billionaire shifted the focus to other initiatives Facebook has launched to "get more independence into our systems." This included creating an independent body to help Facebook make decisions about whether controversial content should remain on the site or be removed.

    Ultimately, he said Facebook is never going to eradicate mistakes. "We’re never going to get to the point where there are no errors," he told reporters. "I’m trying to set up the company so that way we have our board, and we report on our financial results and do a call every quarter, but that also we have this independent oversight that is just focused on the community."

    SEE ALSO: Mark Zuckerberg insists he's still the best person to run Facebook, despite the endless scandals

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Ariana Grande

    • Ariana Grande has cut off her famous ponytail.
    • She shared a captionless photo to Instagram on Thursday which appears to show a bob haircut.
    • The photo has already been liked more than 2.5 million times, and fans seem to love her new look.

    Ariana Grande has cut off her famous ponytail, and fans can't get enough of it.

    The "Thank U, Next" singer shared a captionless photo of her fresh bob on Instagram on Thursday.

    Since posting nine hours ago, the photo already has 2.5 million likes and more than 33,000 comments.

    You can see her new look here:

    A post shared by Ariana Grande (@arianagrande) on

    While her long hair may return in the form of extensions, this is a drastic change for the star, who is known for her sleek high ponytail.

    However, fans seem to love the new do, with thousands of people commenting their support.

    The haircut also makes a lot of sense, since earlier this month she tweeted that she was "in constant pain always" because of it.

    Read more:Ariana Grande has finally admitted her high ponytail leaves her in 'constant pain'

    The new look could also be a fresh start for Grande, who has certainly had a challenging few months.

    In September, Grande's ex, rapper Mac Miller, died of an apparent overdose at 26.

    Shortly after the news broke, a flood of comments blaming ex Ariana Grande for his death started filling her Instagram feed.

    Miller and Grande dated for two years until May 2018.

    Read more:Ariana Grande posted a heartbreaking tribute to Mac Miller: 'I'm so sorry I couldn't fix or take your pain away'

    Just a month later, she confirmed her engagement to "Saturday Night Live" star Pete Davidson just weeks after reports emerged that they were dating.

    However, the relationship appears to have been "too much too soon," as the couple broke off their engagement in October.

    Earlier this month, Grande dropped a new single titled "Thank U, Next" in which she namedrops her exes — including Davidson and Miller — and details what they taught her.

    It seems her new cut could be another way of moving on.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 7 places you can't find on Google Maps

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    Abe Putin ASEAN

    • Shinzo Abe told Vladimir Putin the US won't be allowed to build military bases on four disputed Russian islands if they're given back to Japan.
    • The islands were taken by the Soviet Union in 1945 and Japan wants them back.
    • But post-war agreements between the US and Japan suggest the US can build military bases anywhere on Japanese soil. 
    • The leaders were talking in Singapore on Wednesday and both committed to resolving the issue, the Asahi Shimbun reported.

    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told Vladimir Putin on Wednesday he won't let the US build any military bases on a group of long-disputed islands after Russia returns them to Japan.

    At a summit in Singapore, Putin and Abe agreed to accelerate talks over Russia's return of the Southern Kuril islands — four small Russian islands half way between Japan and Russia — and Abe assured Putin no US military troops would get anywhere near there, The Asahi Shimbun reported.

    The Southern Kuril islands off the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido were taken by the Soviet Union in 1945 after World War II.

    Abe said: "This issue, which has existed for more than 70 years since the end of the war, will be solved by Putin and me, and not left for the next generation. President Putin and I completely shared that strong desire,"Bloomberg reported.

    But the post-war agreement between Japan and the US could prove problematic, as the US can seek to build military bases in Japan due to the Japan-US Security Treaty and Japan-US Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA,) the Asahi Shimbun reported. 

    The agreements say the US has a duty to protect Japan, which includes a prerogative to built military bases.

    Wednesday's talks are late culmination of the 1956 joint-declaration where the Soviet Union promised it would give Japan two of those islands.

    The declaration wasn't a peace treaty though, and Abe has previously said he won't sign that treaty until the islands are Japanese again, the Associated Press reported.Putin Abe

    Read more:PHOTOS: This is how Russian President Vladimir Putin spent his first 24 hours in Singapore

    Abe's promise on Wednesday is an attempt to sweeten the proposal, but Putin has previously been less forward about the deal.

    Russian news agency TASS quoted Putin saying the 1956 declaration "certainly demands separate, additional, and in depth analysis, given that not everything is clear in that Declaration,"Reuters reported, citing TASS. 

    Abe and Putin are set to meet again on November 30 at a G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and when Abe goes to Russia in early 2019. 

    Abe has said he wants the issue resolved before his tenure ends in 2021, the Asahi Shimbun said. 

    Japan claims the Soviet Union booted out 17,000 Japanese residents when they took the islands in 1945. 

    Japanese people call the islands the Northern Territories and Russians call them the Southern Kuriles.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Navy SEALs explain the dangers of overplanning in both the military and business

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    Sheryl Sandberg Jack Dorsey

    • Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has responded to the bombshell New York Times report on mismanagement at the company.
    • In a Facebook post, Sandberg said she had no idea Facebook hired a PR firm to smear the company's critics, including billionaire George Soros.
    • CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook's communications team was to blame.
    • Sandberg also denied suggestions that she blocked internal investigations into Russian interference.

    Facebook's COO Sheryl Sandberg has responded to the 6,000-word New York Times exposé on the company's chaotic leadership in a Facebook post on Thursday.

    Sandberg joined CEO Mark Zuckerberg in saying that she had no idea about Facebook's involvement with a PR firm called Definers Public Affairs, which reportedly disseminated research to journalists showing billionaire George Soros was quietly funding anti-Facebook movements.

    "I did not know we hired them or about the work they were doing, but I should have," she wrote.

    Facebook cut ties with Definers less than 24 hours after the Times' story broke. Zuckerberg said he only found about the relationship after reading the Times' report. In an 80-minute call with journalists on Thursday, he said someone on Facebook's communications team "must have hired them."

    USA Today reporter Jessica Guynn summed up the exchange:

    Facebook's communications team was led by Elliot Schrage until he quit this summer. He has now been succeeded by former British deputy prime minister Nick Clegg. Schrage said Zuckerberg and Sandberg personally requested that he stay on as an adviser, which he has agreed to do.

    A subsequent article from the Times delved deeper into the tactics Definers employed to push negative press about Facebook's critics. Apart from Soros, Definers also sent information to journalists about the US senators who grilled Sandberg along with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in September.

    Definers sent reporters a list of the tracking tools the senators' websites used, as well as how much cash each senator had spent on Facebook ads — the aim being to push journalists into portraying the senators as hypocrites for scrutinising Facebook.

    Read more:Sheryl Sandberg repeatedly tried to downplay Russia's involvement in misinformation on Facebook, report says

    Elsewhere in Sandberg's post, she denied suggestions that she blocked internal investigations into Russian interference. "Mark and I have said many times we were too slow. But to suggest that we weren't interested in knowing the truth, or we wanted to hide what we knew, or that we tried to prevent investigations, is simply untrue," she wrote.

    You can read Sandberg's full post here:

    I want to address some of the claims that have been made in the last 24 hours.

    On a number of issues – including spotting and understanding the Russian interference we saw in the 2016 election – Mark and I have said many times we were too slow. But to suggest that we weren’t interested in knowing the truth, or we wanted to hide what we knew, or that we tried to prevent investigations, is simply untrue. The allegations saying I personally stood in the way are also just plain wrong. This was an investigation of a foreign actor trying to interfere in our election. Nothing could be more important to me or to Facebook.

    As Mark and I both told Congress, leading up to Election Day in November 2016, we detected and dealt with several threats with ties to Russia and reported what we found to law enforcement. These were known traditional cyberattacks like hacking and malware. It was not until after the election that we became aware of the widespread misinformation campaigns run by the IRA. Once we were, we began investing heavily in more people and better technology to protect our platform. While we will always have more work to do, I believe we've started to see some of that work pay off, as we saw in the recent US midterms and elections around the world where we have found and taken down further attempts at interference.

    I also want to address the issue that has been raised about a PR firm, Definers. We're no longer working with them but at the time, they were trying to show that some of the activity against us that appeared to be grassroots also had major organizations behind them. I did not know we hired them or about the work they were doing, but I should have. I have great respect for George Soros – and the anti-Semitic conspiracy theories against him are abhorrent.

    At Facebook, we are making the investments that we need to stamp out abuse in our system and ensure the good things people love about Facebook can keep happening. It won’t be easy. It will take time and will never be complete. This mission is critical and I am committed to seeing it through.

    SEE ALSO: Mark Zuckerberg's spectacular failure of leadership shows why some Facebook investors are desperate to fire him

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    • Companies that invest heavily in the future are generally able to generate outsized profit growth further down the line, and Goldman Sachs says these companies are already being rewarded.
    • The firm has identified the 17 companies that have been sinking the most money into future initiatives, which is positioning them to continue outperforming the market.

    The old saying is that you have to spending money to make money.

    That's abundantly true in the equity market, where companies that sink considerable capital back into their businesses frequently see their stocks rewarded further down the line.

    But investing for future growth is easier said than done. After all, many traders are impatient, and want to see bottom lines swell right this instant. It's the sort of pressure that can dissuade some companies from thinking about the long-term picture.

    However, according to Goldman Sachs, corporations that are investing in the future are actually outperforming the market. The firm has constructed a basket of stocks that possess a high growth investment ratio, which has handily beaten the benchmark S&P 500 in 2018.

    The index consists of the companies with the highest ratio of three-year capital expenditure and research and development spending, as a share of cash flow from operating activities.

    And to make matters even more enticing for potential buyers of the stocks in this index, these types of companies should theoretically be able to turn that reinvestment into robust earnings growth further down the line. Considering that profit expansion has been the foremost driver of gains throughout the bull market, this is an attractive attribute.

    Without further ado, here are the 17 stocks Goldman says have poured the most money into future growth over the past three years, ranked in increasing order of three-year growth investment ratio.

    17. Symantec

    Ticker: SYMC

    Industry: Information technology

    Market cap: $14 billion

    3-year growth investment ratio: 88%

    16. Juniper Networks

    Ticker: JNPR

    Industry: Information technology

    Market cap: $10 billion

    3-year growth investment ratio: 92%

    15. Deere & Co.

    Ticker: DE

    Industry: Industrials

    Market cap: $47 billion

    3-year growth investment ratio: 100%

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan makes a speech during a ceremony marking the second anniversary of the attempted coup at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey, July 15, 2018.

    • The White House reportedly considered extraditing Fethullah Gulen, an influential cleric who Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blames for a 2016 coup, to stop Ankara's investigation into Jamal Khashoggi's death.
    • But a senior Turkish official on Friday said it wouldn't work, telling Reuters: "We have no intention to intervene in the Khashoggi investigation in return for any political or legal favor."
    • The White House denied looking into extraditing Gulen, though Turkey has several times demanded they do so.
    • Turkey is furious at Saudi Arabia for carrying out the killing on Turkish soil, and has for weeks challenged Riyadh's version of events and leaked key details of the investigation.
    • Turkey's slow drip of leaks from the Khashoggi investigation have implicated Saudi Arabia's top leadership in a cover-up, putting pressure on the US to cut its ties with the kingdom. 

    Turkey said any US attempt to hush its investigation into Jamal Khashoggi's death won't work after the White House reportedly considered extraditing an influential Turkish cleric that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blames for an attempted 2016 coup to quiet the probe. 

    NBC News reported on Thursday that the White House was looking for legal ways to deport Fethullah Gulen, an exiled Turkish cleric whose followers Erdogan has called "terrorists," in exchange for Turkey taking pressure off the Saudi government over Khashoggi's killing.

    US national security and foreign policy experts were stunned by the report, and former National Security Council senior director Ned Price told INSIDER: "This is the Trump administration seeking to barter away a US resident who has lived here legally for years,” adding that such a move would be “seeking to skirt the rule of law."

    State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert rejected the NBC News report on Thursday, saying: "The White House has not been involved in any discussions related to the extradition of Fethullah Gulen."

    Read more: Trump administration's reported effort to 'barter' a US resident to convince Turkey to ramp down Khashoggi probe stuns foreign-policy veterans

    FILE PHOTO: U.S. based cleric Fethullah Gulen at his home in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, U.S. July 29, 2016.  REUTERS/Charles Mostoller/File photo

    Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who wrote critical articles about his government for The Washington Post, died inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is widely believed to be responsible for the death, though Saudi officials have gone to great lengths to absolve him of the crime.

    But Ankara, which has provided media a steady drip of leaks implicating Saudi leadership in its ongoing investigation into Khashoggi's death, has ruled out any sort of cooperation with the US to ramp down its investigation.

    An unnamed senior Turkish official told Reuters on Friday: "At no point did Turkey offer to hold back on the Khashoggi investigation in return for Fethullah Gulen's extradition. We have no intention to intervene in the Khashoggi investigation in return for any political or legal favor."

    An unnamed Turkish official also told NBC News on Thursday that the government did not link its investigation into Khashoggi's death with Gulen's extradition case.

    "We definitely see no connection between the two," the official said. "We want to see action on the end of the United States in terms of the extradition of Gulen. And we're going to continue our investigation on behalf of the Khashoggi case."

    Gulen is a legal US resident and a green-card holder who's been living in Pennsylvania since the late 1990s. He commands a large network of followers around the world, whom Erdogan has referred to as "terrorists."

    mbs khashoggi erdogan

    Turkey has for weeks contradicted Saudi Arabia's narratives of the murder and leaked details of the investigation to US and state-run media outlets.

    Earlier this month Erdogan accused the "highest levels" of the Saudi leadership of being behind the killing — heavily pointing fingers at, but without naming, Crown Prince Mohammed.

    The Turkish president has long emphasized the importance of national security. Experts say he likely saw Khashoggi's killing in Istanbul as a personal affront.

    Read more: Crown Prince Mohammed comes out on top of Khashoggi case that could see 5 others killed

    President Donald Trump's administration has been under pressure to punish Saudi Arabia.

    On Thursday, the Treasury Department sanctioned 17 Saudi officials— including one of Crown Prince Mohammed's top aides — over their alleged involvement in Khashoggi's killing.

    Senators also introduced a bipartisan legislation on the same day that would suspend the sale of weapons to Riyadh and block the refueling of Saudi coalition warplanes involved in the deadly civil war in Yemen.

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    Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. of the U.S. poses for a photograph with his opponent Tenshin Nasukawa during a news conference in Tokyo.JPG

    • Floyd Mayweather and Tenshin Nasukawa are set to fight on December 31 in Japan.
    • Mayweather had previously backtracked on the deal to box Nasukawa, claiming he had been blindsided at a press conference earlier this month.
    • But the American confirmed the show is back on in an interview with TMZ Sports.
    • If this sounds too good to be true, it's because it is. The fight is not a real fight. It's an exhibition consisting of three, three minute rounds. There will also be no kicking.

    Floyd Mayweather has said that the Rizin 14 bout against Tenshin Nasukawa is back on.

    The retired American boxer originally stunned the media and fans alike when he attended a press conference in Tokyo, Japan earlier this month to confirm a December 31 show at the 37,000-capacity Saitama Super Arena in Saitama against unbeaten kickboxer Nasukawa.

    The New Year's Eve event captivated the combat sports world. Even Mayweather's former opponent Conor McGregor, whom he beat in a 10th round stoppage in his last fight in 2017, said the match-up is "like something out of Rush Hour 5."

    But the Rizin 14 main event seemingly disappeared as quickly as it materialised, as within hours of Mayweather landing back on American soil, he backtracked on the apparent deal. "I was completely blindsided," he wrote earlier this month.

    Now, he says the "fight" is back. "It's going to be the highest-paid exhibition ever,"Mayweather told TMZ Sports on Thursday.

    However, he confirmed that the bout is not a real fight.

    Instead, it's set to be a glorified sparring session for three, three minute rounds. There will be no kicking, as the exhibition will be fought using boxing rules. It will therefore not be included on Mayweather or Nasukawa's record.

    "Not no official fight," Mayweather said. "Exhibition. Small, nine-minute exhibition."

    Floyd Mayweather pulls out of Rizin 14.JPG

    Regardless, it is going to make Mayweather even richer. "It's going to be the highest paid exhibition ever," he said. "Just for promoting this event, so far, I've made seven figures. Just talking about the event, I've already made crazy money."

    Mayweather has attracted criticism over the way the Rizin 14 show has been handled. Not least because it was reportedly canceled shortly after it had seemingly been arranged, but also because Nasukawa weighs 125 pounds — 29 pounds lighter than Mayweather's fighting weight of 154 pounds.

    "Everybody talking about I'm fighting a small guy, people don't understand… 'Floyd fight him because he needs money,' it's more like this… Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Oprah [Winfrey], they still go out there and do different things and get paid finanically great. I got a ton of money."

    A fight between a boxer like Mayweather and a mixed martial artist in Nasukawa needs rules.

    He went on: "It's just a little boxing exhibition, no kicking, I'm moving around with the guy for nine minutes.

    "It's going to be the highest paid exhibition ever. Mayweather Promotions/Rizin. We're going to make it happen."

    SEE ALSO: Floyd Mayweather has deleted all his Instagram posts referencing the Tenshin Nasukawa fight after claiming he never agreed to it in the first place

    DON'T MISS: Conor McGregor says Floyd Mayweather's Tenshin Nasukawa matchup is like 'something out of Rush Hour 5'

    UP NEXT: Floyd Mayweather has deleted all his Instagram posts referencing the Tenshin Nasukawa fight after claiming he never agreed to it in the first place

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    David hockney

    • The sale of David Hockney's work smashes auction estimates with $90.3 million sale
    • Hockney is now the most expensive living artist in the world, overtaking Jeff Koons. 

    A British currency trader turned billionaire just catapulted David Hockney to status as the world's most expensive living artist after selling one of Hockney's most famous works for a record $90.3 million

    Joe Lewis, the East End-born owner of financial firm Tavistock Group and the Tottenham Hotspur football team,  sold "Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures),” putting Hockney, 81, now above American Jeff Koons, 63, who held the title since 2013, when his orange balloon dog sold for $58.4 million. The painting broke its $80 million estimate at a Christie's auction on November 15. 

    Lewis has an estimated net worth of $5 billion and also owns pieces by Picasso, Degas, Klimt, and Freud. 

    The painting was bought by a client of Marc Porter, chairman of Christie's Americas. Bidding started at $18 million and finished at $80 million with the final price including a buyer's premium, Christie's said in a release. Hockney's 1972 work depicts a landscape reminiscent of the South of France containing two men including the artist's former lover Peter Schlesinger.

    Another of Hockney's works, a 1990 landscape “Pacific Coast Highway and Santa Monica,” fetched $28.5 million at Sotheby's in May. 

    SEE ALSO: The 4 biggest mistakes people make when buying art, according to experts

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    Jeff Bezos

    • Jeff Bezos told Amazon employees that he predicts "one day Amazon will fail," according to a recording of an internal meeting heard by CNBC.
    • Bezos added that Amazon's job is to delay failure for as long as possible by focussing on its customers.
    • Amazon staffers told CNBC that issues such as government regulation and potential antitrust violations worry them.

    Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos made a stunning admission last week in an all-hands meeting, a recording of which was heard by CNBC.

    With the company valued at just shy of $1 trillion and Bezos being the richest man in modern history, the Amazon CEO said his 24-year-old firm is far from invincible.

    Read more: Creditors urge Sears to shut down all its stores, calling its plan for survival "wishful thinking"

    "Amazon is not too big to fail... In fact, I predict one day Amazon will fail. Amazon will go bankrupt. If you look at large companies, their lifespans tend to be 30-plus years, not a hundred-plus years," Bezos reportedly said when addressing a question about Sears recently going bankrupt.

    While history shows that no empire lasts forever, it is unusual for any CEO — particularly a boss of one of the world's most successful companies — to talk down their firm in such unvarnished terms.

    Bezos said the goal was to delay the inevitable for as long as possible — and the way to do that was to focus on customers.

    "If we start to focus on ourselves, instead of focusing on our customers, that will be the beginning of the end... We have to try and delay that day for as long as possible," he said.

    Several Amazon employees who spoke to CNBC on condition of anonymity said government regulation and potential antitrust violations are "big concerns" when they look to the future of the company.

    "It’s a fact that we're a large company," Bezos said in the recording heard by CNBC. "It's reasonable for large institutions of any kind, whether it be companies or governments, to be scrutinized."

    Amazon this week announced it is going to expand into two new locations for its second headquarters, dubbed "HQ2," which will mean an increase of roughly 50,000 employees.

    Amazon did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.

    SEE ALSO: Amazon's cloud CEO pooh-poohed employee concerns about selling its facial-recognition software to ICE and law enforcement

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    Theresa May

    This is Business Insider's politics live-blog charting the latest developments as Theresa May's Brexit deal continues to dominate Westminster. Refresh the page for updates. All times are in GMT.

    LONDON —Theresa May faces another bruising day with the possibility of further Cabinet resignations and letters of no confidence from her own Conservative MPs over her Brexit deal with the European Union.

    The prime minister had perhaps the most challenging day of her premiership on Thursday, suffering several resignations, including those of Dominic Raab as Brexit Secretary and Esther McVey as Work & Pensions Secretary.

    Leading Brexiteers Jacob Rees-Mogg and Steve Baker plus several other pro-Leave Conservative MPs submitted letters of no confidence in the prime minister. If the number of letters reaches 48, there'll be a no-confidence vote.

    They refused to advocate the agreement negotiated between May and the EU, which will keep the UK in a customs union with the EU for years after Brexit, and potentially create checks between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

    The chaos is set to continue on Friday with more Tory MPs sending no-confidence letters to Conservative grandee, Sir Graham Brady. Scroll down for the latest updates. 

    12:30 AM: Lunchtime summary

    Theresa May's bid to brave out what Jacob Rees-Mogg yesterday denied was an attempted coup against her, appears to be working for now. Her press conference yesterday and her appearance on LBC this morning suggests that she is following what Tony Blair's former press chief Alistair Campbell famously called the "masochism strategy." When Blair was in trouble over the Iraq War, Campbell persuaded him to go in front of the cameras for multiple difficult confrontations, including on Question Time. The idea was that by braving such appearances, the prime minister was seen to be still in charge, even if it meant taking a public barracking or two.

    May's advisers are pointing her down a similar path with more awkward media experiences expected over the weekend. So will it work? Well the threat of yet more senior resignations from Cabinet appears to have subsided for now, with the prime minister set to reshuffle her top team within the next day or so. The long-promised 48 letters of no-confidence in May also have yet to materialise, despite Rees-Mogg's public assault on her yesterday.

    How long May can last until the 48 letter threshold is breached remains to be seen. However, in one sense this is all something of a sideshow. All that really matters is whether the prime minister can get her Brexit deal through parliament and right now the arithmetic for that looks incredibly bleak.

    If she can't get her deal through parliament then the prospect of a catastrophic no-deal Brexit will suddenly become very real indeed. And if that happens, the ins and outs of a possible Conservative leadership election will appear very parochial concerns indeed.

    12:12 AM: Liam Fox tells Brexit rebels: 'We're not elected to do what we want'

    Trade Secretary Liam Fox has been defending Theresa May this morning, telling reporters that Conservatives trying to get rid of her are not acting in the national interest. Here's a clip.

    Fox said: "We're not elected to do what we want. We are elected to do what's in the national interest. Ultimately I hope that across Parliament will realise that a deal is better than no deal. Businesses require certainty and confidence as they go forward with their planning." 

    Earlier, he said: "I have full confidence in the Prime Minister. I think she is taking us forward with confidence and — I have to say — with resilience, and I very much agree with Michael Gove that what we need now is stability."

    Fox is a leading Brexiteer but has decided not to resign from Cabinet. 

    11:45 AM: Gove staying to get the 'right deal in the future'

    Michael Gove has made a statement explaining his decision to remain as Environment Secretary following speculation that he would resign.

    He says: "I’ve had a very good morning in a series of meetings with my colleagues here at Defra, just making sure that we have the right policies on the environment, on farming and on fisheries for the future.

    "And I’m also looking forward to continuing to work with all my Government colleagues, and all my colleagues in Parliament in order to make sure that we get the best future for Britain.

    "I think it’s absolutely vital that we focus on getting the right deal in the future and making sure that in the areas that matter so much to the British people, we can get a good outcome."

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    alexandra ocasio cortez

    • A conservative author and reporter tweeted a picture taken from behind Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and criticized her clothes as being too nice, saying they didn't match her working-class public persona.
    • Eddie Scarry, the reporter, got predictably torched on Twitter, was denounced by a member of his own publication, and eventually deleted the tweet. 
    • Ocasio-Cortez is without an income until she takes her job in Congress in January.

    A conservative author and reporter tweeted a picture taken from behind Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and criticized her clothes as being too nice, saying they didn't match her working-class public persona.

    Eddie Scarry, the reporter, got predictably torched on Twitter and was denounced by a member of his own publication. He eventually deleted the tweet. 

    ocasio cortez mocked eddie scarry

    "Hill staffer sent me this pic of Ocasio-Cortez they took just now. I'll tell you something: that jacket and coat don't look like a girl who struggles," Scarry wrote.

    Ocasio-Cortez campaigned on her working-class upbringing and life. Before entering politics, she worked as a bartender and took on student debt while getting a degree in economics.

    After defeating Democrat incumbent Joe Crowley in one of the biggest upsets of the 2018 midterm elections, Ocasio-Cortez noted that she was in between jobs and without an income.

    Read more:Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says people on Capitol Hill keep assuming she's an intern

    As a congresswoman, Ocasio-Cortez can expect to pull in $174,000 a year, placing her in a high tax bracket by anyone's count. But she'll have to maintain a residence two expensive districts: New York's 14th, and Washington, DC.

    Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, and does not have the accumulated wealth that see other incoming congress members through the transition.

    She commented on the struggle her financial struggle on Twitter, saying: "There are many little ways in which our electoral system isn’t even designed (nor prepared) for working-class people to lead. This is one of them."

    But when Scarry shared a surreptitious photo of Ocasio-Cortez taken from behind, and apparently without her knowledge, to cast doubt on her financial struggles, she defended her wardrobe and joined most of Twitter in mocking him.

    "If I walked into Congress wearing a sack, they would laugh & take a picture of my backside. If I walk in with my best sale-rack clothes, they laugh & take a picture of my backside,"she tweeted.

    In a subsequent tweet, she called for Scarry to apologize. He has not yet done so publicly. 

    Read more:Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says she won't be able to afford to rent in DC until she starts collecting her congressional salary

    Scarry — a conservative writer who works at the Washington Examiner and who recently wrote a book pushing back on Bob Woodward's "Fear: Trump in the White House"— deleted the tweet after resounding disapproval from conservatives and liberals alike. 

    The Examiner's breaking news editor, Daniel Chaitin, apologized on behalf of his publication. He tweeted"I'm sorry, but this is not a proud moment" for the Examiner, "the place where I work and have fought so hard to make respectable as a breaking news editor."

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    narcissus reflection

    When a narcissist targets their victim, there's little chance of escape. They've identified the strength they want to use for their own gain or destroy, and they strike when they know they'll succeed.

    There are several red flags someone is toxic when you start spending time with them — some might even be visible on a first date.

    But if you're unsure, there are four major signs the person you've started dating is a narcissist, according to counsellor Suzanne Degges-White in a blog post for Psychology Today.

    Essentially, she says, it all comes down to whether you think your partner is trying to change you, and you feel like everything they say and do is for their own gain.

    If you suspect you're being abused by a narcissist, you should be aware it takes the average person seven times to leave. So it's a good idea to be vigilant and know the signs early on.

    1. Gifts always have strings attached

    At the beginning stages of a relationship with a narcissist, they will likely be charming and full of affection. This is known as the love bombing stage, and during it the victim can expect gifts, compliments, and their full attention. However, as time goes by, they may notice the narcissist is losing interest, and every gift suddenly has a catch.

    Degges-White says narcissists see people as objects and leave their partners feeling like accessories. So if they feel their affection is being bought, it's a sign there are strings attached.

    2. You feel guilty

    Narcissists are masters of manipulation, and they know how to twist any situation to make their victims feel ashamed, guilty, and responsible for everything that's gone wrong. They believe they're entitled to every shred of their partner's attention, so they label anything else as "selfish."

    "When someone tries to convince you that they know better than you do about what would make you happy or help you become a 'better you,' take that as a warning sign that the purpose of the change is to please your partner, not support you," says Degges-White.

    3. You feel like an object

    The victim will never win an argument with a narcissist. Rows can quickly spiral out of control, and they may use tactics to baffle their partner — speaking very quickly and making confusing and contradictory statements, known as a "word salad."

    In private, they will argue and abuse, while in public they'll be charming and show their victim off. Essentially, they only see their worth when they have someone else to boast to. The rest of the time, the victim is just a punching bag — both metaphorically and literally.

    Degges-White says if someone is more concerned about themselves (or what other people think) than the relationship, then they're probably a narcissist.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    paradise California fire

    Thick wildfire smoke from California's Camp Fire is being blown across the state and blotting out the sun.

    As well as making the sun a blurry orange mark in the sky, temperatures are dropping by 10 degrees in some places,  the US National Weather Service told Bloomberg on Thursday.

    This is because the smoke is so thick "it prevents the sunlight from reaching the surface. It prevents surface heating," Meteorologist Hannah Chandler-Cooley from the US National Weather Service Sacramento told Bloomberg.

    The Los Angeles Times' Sacramento Bureau chief John Myers shared this picture of Sacramento's Capitol draped in smoke from California's deadliest wildfire, 88 miles away from the town of Paradise.

    Others pointed out the sun had turned red because of the smoke:

    Smoke drifting from the wildfire which destroyed Paradise traveled nearly 200 miles to San Francisco.

    Read more:10 photos show the grim reality for evacuees of California's wildfires

    Smoke clouded the sky in San Rafael, in the San Francisco Bay area, over 150 miles from Paradise.  

    And Oakland saw a shrouded sun too:

    The smoke has also affected air quality in northwestern California. The National Weather Service Sacramento tweeted the air quality was "very poor" across much of the region.

    On Thursday, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare, and Kern counties were placed under an "air quality alert" telling people to "avoid prolonged exposure, strenuous activities, or heavy exertion," by order of The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.paradise ridge winery after fire 3


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