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The latest news from Business Insider

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    Amazon Echo dot 2018

    • Amazon was offering the newest version of the Echo Dot for $1 to new subscribers of Amazon Music Unlimited.
    • The deal lasted for a few hours, but appears to have been taken down after only a few hours: it was hugely popular while it lasted.
    • Amazon Music Unlimited is currently $0.99 a month for the next three months as a separate limited-time promotion.

    If you've ever been interested in the Amazon Echo Dot, you may have missed the best chance to get the smart home speaker for just a fraction of the cost.

    Amazon was giving away the newest version of the Echo Dot for $1 to new Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers as a part of a limited-time offer. That deal appears to have ended, now, after only a few hours — not necessarily surprising, given the popularity of the deal. After all, the Echo Dot usually costs around $50.

    But new subscribers to Music Unlimited appear to still be able to sign up now to get the first three months for $0.99 per month, a separate promotional price. It's not as good as getting three months of music plus an Echo Dot for less than $5, but still, not bad. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: After using Samsung Galaxy phones for 5 years, I made the switch to the iPhone XS


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    paradise camp fire wildfire evacuees 22

    PARADISE, California — Like many other residents of Paradise, Jackie Rabbit didn't receive an evacuation notice on her phone the morning of November 8.

    Instead, as the fast-moving Camp Fire roared toward the 27,000-person town in Northern California, she got a call from her 12-year-old daughter. Her school was being evacuated, she said, so Rabbit had to come pick her up.

    Rabbit's husband went to retrieve their daughter, and Rabbit left 15 minutes after him with their dog, Finnegan. But everyone in the town was leaving, so traffic was gridlocked. Rabbit's husband made it to the main road, but she was stuck.

    "I was sitting, frantically texting everybody," Rabbit told Business Insider while in Chico, a town just west of Paradise. "Our nanny, who is also a very good friend of mine, is pregnant, she’s due in a couple weeks, and I’m frantically texting her to get out."

    She sat unmoving as the flames began to engulf both sides of the road around her — and approached her car.

    The Camp Fire is  now the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history, killing at least 77 people and leveling 15,558 structures. It's now 66% contained, but on that Thursday morning, it was spreading at a rate of 80 football fields per minute.

    "The only light was the sparks and flames from everything around you," Rabbit said. Otherwise, the smoke made it look like midnight.

    "The sky was completely black," she said. "It was probably 9 or 10 o’clock in the morning, but it was pitch black outside."

    Accompanying the darkness and fire were sporadic, thunderous roars.

    "You could hear explosions every couple of seconds, just like, ‘boom, boom, boom,'" Rabbit said. The sound came from propane tanks and electrical transmission lines bursting.

    Despite her panic, Rabbit said she tried to keep things in perspective.

    "I was sitting in my car just screaming waiting to die, but trying to tell myself, 'Okay, it may not look like it to me, but I bet they have this under control,'" Rabbit said. "I just can’t see that because I’m not a firefighter, I’m not an emergency personnel."

    She said she was keeping in mind previous wildfires that burned in California.

    "I remember having the thought that, 'Okay, there are fires all the time but the death toll is always almost nothing,'" Rabbit said. "Hardly anybody ever dies in these fires, I need to have faith."

    But the flames started swirling closer and closer to where she was, and the traffic still didn't move.

    paradise camp fire wildfire evacuees 25"There was that point where it's like, 'Alright, I know that I can physically outrun this right now and if I wait any longer, I can’t,'" Rabbit said. "So I grabbed my dog, grabbed my laptop bag, and we started booking it."

    She pulled her car off to the side of the road and as she got out, two firefighters came running up beside her carrying an injured firefighter. They asked if she was okay.

    "They were just like, 'Go, just keep going, we’ve gotta get out of here, just go,'" Rabbit said.

    She began to hack and cough in the smoke as she ran for her life .

    Rabbit said she abandoned her car somewhere around Pearson Street and Edgewood Lane, and took off toward Clark Road. As she ran, she passed other people still sitting in their cars. 

    "The next morning I found out that several people in that area had ended up passing away in their cars," she said. At least six people have been confirmed to have died in their cars while attempting to flee.

    Eventually, Rabbit said, she reached an area of road that was no longer lined with flames.

    Screen_Shot_2018 11 18_at_6_56_39_PM

    "You could definitely tell that we were running away from the fire," she said. "There were a couple of other families that I ran into further down, people with little bitty kids and people with their dogs. It was insane."

    She must have fallen at some point, she said, since she later realized she had a bloody knee and injured ankle.

    Rabbit later learned that her home was one of thousands destroyed by the fire. She and her family are now staying in Chico with her boss, who owns the tattoo shop where she works.

    Many other people who lost homes are living in far worse conditions, with some even camping outside of a Walmart parking lot in Chico.

    On Monday, 11 days after Rabbit abandoned her car and escaped on foot, she found her burned out car in a tow lot in Chico.

    paradise camp fire burned car

    She scoured the car's shell looking for a few keepsake items she'd left behind: her daughter's baby teeth, a doll, jewelry given to her by her grandmother, and a silver flask that Rabbit gave to her husband as an anniversary gift. She found them.

    paradise camp fire

    Rabbit said that the attendant who towed her car said the person in the car next to hers had passed away in their vehicle.

    Despite the trauma, Rabbit said, her family plans to eventually rebuild their lives in the area.

    "We're taken care of because we have resources," Rabbit said. "But there are so many people that don't."

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Skitch National Landing 2

    • Amazon has announced that its second headquarters, HQ2, will be split between Queens, New York, and Arlington, Virginia.
    • As part of Amazon's new headquarters, Virginia and Arlington will benefit from more than 25,000 full-time high-paying jobs and approximately $2.5 billion in Amazon investment.
    • National Landing is a newly defined urban neighborhood in Northern Virginia located less than 3 miles from downtown Washington, D.C. The community has a variety of hotels, restaurants, high-rise apartment buildings, retail, and commercial offices.

    Amazon has announced it will bring it's second headquarters to Queens, New York and the National Landing area of Arlington, Virginia.

    According to the official page for Northern Virginia's HQ2 bid, National Landing was jointly carved out by Arlington and Alexandria for Amazon's second headquarters.

    The newly-defined neighborhood encompasses Crystal City, the eastern portion of Pentagon City, and the northern portion of Potomac Yard.

    Let's take a look at what National Landing looks like today and envision what it could morph into in the next few decades.

    SEE ALSO: We walked around Long Island City, the New York neighborhood where Amazon is planning to bring HQ2, and saw why it'd be appealing to the e-commerce giant

    DON'T MISS: Photos show what a nightmare it already is to get around Long Island City, Amazon's new HQ2 headquarters

    Crystal City and the areas of Pentagon City and Potomac Yard that make up National Landing already have office space, housing, recreational space, three metro stations with commuter-rail access, and the Reagan National Airport all within a mile radius.



    And there are plans to add to the existing environment and infrastructure.



    Local developer JBG Smith plans to kick-start several of its unfinished projects in the area ...

    Source: Business Insider



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    startup deals black friday

    • Don't overlook the smaller online startups as you shop on Black Friday this year. 
    • Since many of these startups pride themselves on already-low prices on premium goods like jewelry, cookware, and shoes, they don't often run promotions. 
    • Black Friday is one of the few times of the year when you can save on products and gifts from these unique, up-and-coming startups. 
    • To potentially save more on Black Friday, you can visit Business Insider Coupons to find up-to-date promo codes for a range of online stores.

    The past 10 years and the next 10 years of retail belong to the direct-to-consumer online startup. By reimagining how products are made and sold, startups challenge the old way of doing business.

    Often times, the environment and worker livelihoods benefit from the innovative ways that startups operate. You, the customer, also benefit as these companies affect the way you get dressed in the morning, cook food at home, sleep, and more. 

    Amidst the chaos of large retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Target dominating Black Friday deals news, these startups are quietly offering deals as well. For some, this is the only time of the year when their products are discounted, so you should definitely take advantage of the rare opportunity. 

    If you're searching for a unique gift, you won't find any time better than now to find one and save money. We've also partnered with many of these startups to offer you exclusive reader discounts. Make sure to check back throughout the week as we add more deals. 

    Looking for more deals? We've rounded up the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on the internet.

    MVMT: Stylish and affordable premium watches

    Shop Black Friday deals at MVMT

    The deal: Up to 25% off sitewide, now through November 26

    What to buy: 

    Read more about MVMT:

     



    AUrate: Affordable and sustainably produced fine jewelry

    Shop Black Friday deals at AUrate

    The deal: 25% off sitewide with code "INSIDER25" from November 21 through November 26

    What to buy:

    Read more about AUrate: 



    Leesa: Pressure-relieving foam and hybrid mattresses

    Shop Black Friday deals at Leesa

    The deals [BI EXCLUSIVE]:

    • $160 off a Leesa mattress and a free pillow ($75 value) now through November 26 
    • $235 off a Sapira mattress and a free pillow ($75 value) now through November 26 

    What to buy:

    Read more about Leesa:



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    sarah huckabee sanders

    • The White House has issued rules for the news media in the wake of a dispute between President Donald Trump and CNN correspondent Jim Acosta.
    • The Trump administration says violating those rules "may result in suspension or revocation" of the journalist's press pass.
    • Under the rules, reporters will be allowed to ask one question and will then "yield the floor to other journalists."
    • Journalists will also be permitted to ask at least one follow-up question if Trump or another White House official approves it.

    The White House has issued rules for the news media in the wake of a dispute between President Donald Trump and CNN correspondent Jim Acosta.

    Under the rules, journalists will be allowed to ask one question and will then "yield the floor to other journalists."

    "'Yielding the floor' includes, when applicable, physically surrendering the microphone to White House staff for use by the next questioner," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and White House Communication's deputy chief of staff Bill Shine said in a statement.

    Journalists will also be permitted to ask at least one follow-up question if Trump or another White House official approves it.

    The rules come after the White House reinstated the press pass of CNN's chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, on Monday. Acosta's "hard pass," which allows him access to the White House, was suspended after Trump ridiculed Acosta as he tried to ask him a follow-up question during a press conference a day after the November 6 midterm elections.

    Read more:The White House is restoring Jim Acosta's press pass days after a judge ordered it to do so — and CNN is dropping its lawsuit

    Acosta held on to a shared microphone during the exchange, even as a White House intern tried to retrieve it from the CNN reporter.

    jim acosta

    Sanders described Acosta's conduct as "absolutely unacceptable" and accused him of laying hands on the intern, which Acosta denied. Video that Sanders shared showing the moment the intern tried to take the microphone from Acosta appeared to have been edited.

    CNN filed a lawsuit on Tuesday in response to Acosta's press-pass suspension, alleging its First Amendment rights were violated.

    On Friday, US District Judge Timothy Kelly ordered the White House to reverse its decision on Fifth Amendment grounds, ruling that Acosta's due-process rights, or his chance to appeal the White House's decision, were violated.

    The White House complied with the order and restored Acosta's pass.

    "Should you refuse to follow these rules in the future, we will take action in accordance with the rules set forth above," the White House said in its statement. "The President is aware of this decision and concurs."

    It remains unclear whether the rules will change the contentious relationship Trump and his communications team has with the news media. Reporters have pressed White House staff for answers to their questions in press briefings throughout Trump's presidency.

    The White House acknowledged its rules allowed them broad control during press conferences, but claimed it was a necessary move.

    "We are aware that [the rules] afford the White House a degree of discretion in enforcing these rules and we see no substitute for reserving such discretion," the White House's statement said. "A press conference is not a mechanical exercise."

    SEE ALSO: The White House is restoring Jim Acosta's press pass days after a judge ordered it to do so — and CNN is dropping its lawsuit

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Megyn Kelly in 2017: 'I regret a lot' of the controversial stuff I've said on live television


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    villanova

    • In a nightmarish week for the Villanova Wildcats and head coach Jay Wright, the Michigan Wolverines came to the Pavillion and avenged their 2018 national championship loss to the tune of a 27-point blowout before Villanova lost a 76-68 overtime decision to the Furman Paladins Saturday night.
    • The Wildcats subsequently fell out of the AP Top 25 Poll for the first time since 2013.
    • With no other perennial college basketball powerhouses in the conference, the Big East lost all of its representation in the rankings for the first time since January 26, 1982.


    In the world of college basketball, blue blood programs have long reigned supreme. In recent years, however, the Villanova Wildcats encroached on that space, winning two national championships in three years and ranking amongst the top programs week after week for the last few years.

    But Villanova's continued dominance may finally be coming to an end.

    In a nightmarish week for the Wildcats and head coach Jay Wright, the Michigan Wolverines came to the Pavillion and avenged their 2018 national championship loss to the tune of a 27-point blowout before Villanova lost a 76-68 overtime decision to the Furman Paladins Saturday night.

    The Wildcats — who were ranked eighth in the nation heading into those two contests — dropped out of the AP Top 25 Poll for the first time since 2013. They will cross paths with No. 2 Kansas on December 15, but the Jayhawks are the only currently ranked opponent on Villanova's schedule for the remainder of the regular season. If the Wildcats fail to secure a statement win against Kansas, they almost certainly would struggle to climb back into the rankings.

    villanova

    Not only is this a troubling sign for one of the most dominant college basketball programs in recent history, but it also spells trouble for the Big East Conference. The quality of competition in the conference dropped considerably when Connecticut, Syracuse, and Pittsburgh left in 2013 and once again when Louisville departed for the ACC the following year.

    Read more: Syracuse had a rough night and their loss to UConn wasn't even the most embarrassing part

    The conference has since leaned heavily on the Wildcats for relevance in the college basketball sphere. But with Villanova's abrupt exit from the rankings, the Big East is without representation in the AP Top 25 Poll for the first time since January 26, 1982.

    For the past four seasons, the Wildcats were the only team in the conference to remain ranked throughout an entire season. Other programs have had moments of greatness during those spans — most notably Xavier during the 2017-18 and 2015-16 seasons — but none have enjoyed the prolonged success that Villanova has enjoyed.

    The Big East has relied on its basketball prowess as its saving grace as many of its longtime members have fled for greener pastures — read: more money — in conferences that also boast strong football networks. But without the Wildcats' success, the Big East conference is rendered virtually irrelevant in the world of college basketball, especially when compared to powerhouse conferences like the ACC, SEC, Big Ten, and Big 12.

    Steve Wojciechowski Marquette

    If Villanova's matchup against the Jayhawks goes south, the Big East's best hope lies with Mike Krzyzewski disciple Steve Wojciechowski and the Marquette Golden Eagles. They also fell out of the rankings last week after losing on the road to the Indiana Hoosiers, but they will have the opportunity to prove themselves and catapult back into the rankings with a win against any of the four ranked opponents they will face before the new year.

    Still, the precarious state of today's Big East is a far, far cry from the conference that boasted grudge matches between Patrick Ewing and Chris Mullin in the mid-1980s. If the Big East wants to return to its former glory in the basketball arena, the path back will undoubtedly run through Villanova.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Inside an intense training session where aspiring WWE wrestlers learn how to fight


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    US Coast Guard Cutter James cocaine brick drug bust seizure

    • The Coast Guard has partnered with other agencies and countries to track down illegal drugs in the open ocean.
    • In recent years, the service has been seizing record amounts of cocaine on the high seas.
    • But the the Coast Guard has said it sees much more flowing toward the US than it can actually catch.

    FT. LAUDERDALE, Florida — During fiscal year 2018, which ended September 30, the US Coast Guard intercepted just over 458,000 pounds of cocaine. That was the second most in a year on record, behind fiscal year 2017, when 493,000 pounds were seized, which topped the previous record of 443,000 pounds in fiscal year 2016.

    "The Coast Guard has interdicted more than ... 1.3 million pounds of illicit cocaine in the last three years, and that rolls up to be about $18 billion of wholesale value on American streets," Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz said Thursday aboard the cutter James, which was offloading nearly 38,000 pounds of cocaine seized in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

    The pursuit of traffickers on the high seas, working with other US agencies and international partners, was part of what Schultz described as a "push-out-the-border strategy" to target the smuggling process at the point when the loads were the largest and most vulnerable.

    US Coast Guard narco sub drug smuggling Pacific Ocean

    "We're pushing our land border 1,500 miles deep into the ocean here a little bit, and that's where we find the success taking large loads of cocaine down at sea," Shultz said aboard the James, which seized more than 19,000 pounds of the cocaine offloaded on Thursday.

    "When we take down drugs at sea it reduces the violence. It maximizes the impact. When these loads land in Mexico, in Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, they get distributed into very small loads, very hard to detect, and there's associated violence," he added.

    Read also: The Coast Guard's 'push-out-the-border strategy' is fighting drugs in the Pacific — and it just brought home $500 million in cocaine

    But the Coast Guard can see much more than it can catch.

    In the eastern Pacific Ocean, where about 85% of the cocaine smuggling between South America and the US takes place, "We have visibility on about 85% of that activity," Schultz said. "Because of the capacity — the number of ships, the number of aircraft — [we act on] about 25% to 30% of that," he added.

    US Coast Guard go-fast smuggling boat drug bust rescue

    Schultz is not the first Coast Guard official to note the gap between what the service can see and what it can stop.

    In September 2017, Adm. Charles Ray told senators that the service has "good intelligence on between 80% and 90% of these movements," referring to trafficking in the eastern Pacific Ocean and Caribbean.

    But "we only have the capacity to get after about 30% of those" shipments, added Ray, who is now the Coast Guard's vice commandant.

    The eastern Pacific Ocean from the west coast of South America to the Galapagos Islands and up to waters off western Mexico and the southwest US is an area about the size of the continental US, Ray said.

    "On any given day we'll have between six to 10 Coast Guard cutters down here," he added. "If you imagine placing that on [an area the size of] the United States ... it's a capacity challenge."

    Central America drug trafficking map

    Schultz's predecessor, now-retired Adm. Paul Zukunft, noted a similar gap.

    The Coast Guard provides the "biggest bang for the buck," Zukunft told The New York Times in summer 2017. "But our resources are limited."

    "As a result, we can’t catch all the drug smuggling we know about," Zukunft added. "Just last year we had intelligence on nearly 580 possible shipments but couldn’t go intercept them because we didn’t have the ships or planes to go after them."

    Now read: The Coast Guard is catching more drug-running subs, but most 'very stealthy' narco subs are probably going undetected

    Schultz acknowledged that with more resources the Coast Guard could stop more, but said the service was getting the most out of its assets and its partners — including the Defense and Homeland Security departments and other countries in the region.

    "We have DoD support, we have partner-nation contributions ... so it's that team sport, but there is a conversation about capacity," Schultz said. "More Coast Guard capability, more enablers like long-range surveillance airplanes and ... we'd take more drugs off the water."

    "What I'm proud about is we're putting every ounce of energy we've got into this fight."

    A 'resurgence'

    US Coast Guard cutter James cocaine drug bust narco sub low-profile vesse

    Booming cocaine production in Colombia has kept a steady flow of drugs heading north. Smugglers use a variety of vessels, from simple outboard boats to commercial fishing vessels. The more frequent appearance of low-profile vessels, often called narco subs, points to traffickers' increasing sophistication.

    The Coast Guard has said it caught a record six narco subs in fiscal year 2016, which ended in September 2016. In September 2017, the service said it had seen a "resurgence" of such vessels, catching seven of them since June that year.

    "We're seeing more of these low-profile vessels; 40-plus feet long ... it rides on the surface, multiple outboard engines, moves 18, 22 knots ... and they can carry large loads of contraband," Schultz told Business Insider earlier this year.

    Narco subs can cost $1 million to $2 million but can carry multiton loads of cocaine worth tens of millions of dollars in the US.

    Mike Vigil, former chief of international operations for the US Drug Enforcement Administration, estimated Colombian traffickers were building 100 narco subs a year and said the DEA believed at least 30% to 40% of drugs coming to the US were moving on those vessels, but authorities were likely only intercepting 5% of them.

    coast guard drug smuggling

    The Coast Guard's own estimate indicates that it can block only a sliver of the narcotics coming to the US by sea.

    Asked what was needed to address the flow of narcotics, Ray in late 2017 pointed to the offshore-patrol-cutter program, which the Coast Guard has said will bridge the gap between national-security cutters like the James, which patrol open ocean, and fast-response cutters, which patrol closer to shore.

    The first offshore-patrol cutter isn't scheduled to be delivered until 2021.

    Read more: Here's how drugs are getting smuggled from South America to the US

    Coast Guard officials have touted the capabilities of national-security cutters, like the James, which were introduced in 2008 and of which six are in service.

    But the other cutters that seized drugs offloaded by the James on Thursday were, on average, 41 years old, "and are increasingly more difficult to maintain and more costly to operate" Claire Grady, the Homeland Security Department's chief of management, said on Thursday.

    "For the Coast Guard to remain always ready to combat transnational crime and conduct its 10 other statutory missions," Grady added, "it's imperative to recapitalize its aging fleet."

    SEE ALSO: Drug cartels make billions in the US, but somebody else is doing the selling

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Here's what $1 billion worth of cocaine looks like


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    mark zuckerberg sheryl sandberg

    • Facebook's latest scandals will hurt hiring efforts and damage employee morale, insiders say.
    • A recent New York Times report exposed how senior leadership tried to downplay the company's problems and smear its critics.
    • Current and former Facebook employees warn the revelations will further damage already-eroding morale at the company.
    • That, in turn, may make it harder for the company to retain and hire good talent — right as it's trying to solve some of its most difficult problems.

    Facebook is in crisis, yet again.

    This time, the issue how the company attempted to attack its critics with smears that have been accused of fueling anti-Semitism, while pushing to downplay the extent of public disclosures about Russian election meddling in 2016 — revelations exposed by a bombshell New York Times investigation.

    The company went into panic mode, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg defending his position on a conference call with reporters as further leaks spilled out about his working relationship with Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's COO. So what happens now?

    Business Insider spoke to 3 former Facebook employees, and one current worker at the company, to get a feel for what people in the know are expecting Facebook to do next. These insiders warn that employee morale could take a hit — making it harder for Facebook to hire and retain the vital talent it needs to navigate this crisis. 

    Representatives for Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Facebook's scandals are more personal than ever before

    Facebook's current woes aren't like past crises the company has weathered, said some insiders.

    "If you look back at the history of the company, there are many times when its been attacked from the outside ... but it's often felt like, internally, the leadership is on top of it," one former employee said. This person cited the company's rocky post-IPO period, and the questions over whether Facebook could effectively transition its business to capitalize on the smartphone boom, as examples of problems that Facebook leadership effectively hurdled.

    "This time around ... it's actually a criticism of the leadership. This is a new kind of threat that Facebook has not experienced before ... it is the leadership somehow failing ... [a] crisis of confidence in the leadership," said this former employee.

    Another former employee blamed some of Facebook's recent crises on the corporate culture built by Zuckerberg and Sandberg, where good news rose to the top and bad news never made it to the CEO's desk. 

    "I believe they would definitely have been kept in the dark on these issues as long as possible," this person said. "They built an executive culture that incentivized bringing only good news and deflecting bad."

    "They will change something as a result. The external message will be something about some people already being gone from [Facebook], others being redeployed, and a new task force or something about doing this better," the person predicted.


    Got a tip? Contact this reporter via Signal or WhatsApp at +1 (650) 636-6268 using a non-work phone, email at rprice@businessinsider.com, Telegram or WeChat at robaeprice, or Twitter DM at @robaeprice. (PR pitches by email only, please.) You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.


    The relentless drumbeat of crises can hurt employee morale at a critical moment

    As the scandals have mounted, the change in attitudes towards Facebook over the last year has been dramatic.

    "All of a sudden [it] went from a little bit of a darling to there was no safe haven," another former employee said.

    "Government hated us, friends started not liking you, press started talking about the constant corrosive effect ... all the hard things that are going on give new people a lot of pause ... 'does this leadership know how to save the company?'"

    Part of the problem is Facebook's rapid pace of growth. At the end of 2017, the company had around 25,000 staff, up from 17,000 at the end of 2016. A year prior to that, it was roughly 12,700, and in 2014 it was just over 9,000.

    In other words, most employees simply haven't been at the company very long — and this means they may be less incentivized to stick around to clean up the mess and tackle some of the hardest problems that Facebook has yet had to face.

    "Most of the company has not been there more than two years, so they have not been ... through a crisis like this, and they might not be emotionally invested in the company like the first thousand might be," an ex-employee said. They summarised employee perceptions of executive attitudes as "hey, we made a bunch of mistakes, and now it's your job to clean it up."

    According to a recent leak, Facebook employee morale has already plummeted, with the proportion of employees who are "optimistic about the company's future" dropping from 84% to 52% over the last year.

    Where will the buck stop?

    It's not yet clear whether we'll see any major departures as a result of the most recent revelations.

    One of the former employees suggested it was unlikely, pointing out that top communications exec Rachel Whetstone left back in August, and Elliot Schrage — head of comms and policy — has already announced his intentions to leave. 

    "Mark and Sheryl aren't going anywhere, no-one else is really worth getting rid of, so I don't really expect to see heads roll," the former employee said.

    A current employee, meanwhile, suggested that Joel Kaplan, Facebook's policy boss in DC, might ultimately exit.

    Kaplan is Facebook's policy boss in DC, and is a rare conservative at the famously liberal company, having previously served in the Bush White House. Kaplan drew flack from employees earlier this year after publicly appearing in support of his longtime friend Brett Kavanaugh as the then-Supreme Court nominee testified to Congress regarding allegations of sexual misconduct. According to the Times, Kaplan played a key role in the social network's attempts to downplay to the public the spread of misinformation on its platform.

    A former employee said that some of Sandberg’s lieutenants and other mid-level executives could leave (or be forced out) amid the turmoil.

    Meanwhile, it's almost guaranteed that there will be some kind of discipline for those leakers who spoke to the New York Times. 

    "There will be firings from that. That team is very good at what they do," the former employee added. "Ironically, if those resources had been looking at external manipulation via Facebook, we may not be where we are today."

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A running coach explains how to get through the NYC marathon this weekend


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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    Jet.com black friday deals 2018

    Black Friday is still a few days away on the calendar, but in reality, Black Friday is officially here.

    At least, that's the case if you head on over to Jet.com. The online retailer has a veritable plethora of deals on everything from kitchen appliances to TVs to video games to drones, and that's ahead of the official Black Friday sale that begins the evening of Wednesday, November 21.

    In order to make it as easy as possible for you to spend your hard-earned money (which is to say, reward yourself and your friends and family for a year well done), Jet has launched a Black Friday-specific website, because nothing is quite as annoying as scouring a site to find the sales. So if you're looking for a way to begin the buying and gift-giving process early, this is definitely the place to start.

    As of today, you can find the Nespresso VertuoPlus Coffee and Espresso Maker by Breville in white for just $162.47, down from $249.95. The Samsung 75" Class 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV has been discounted by $300, and is now $1,297.99. Similarly, the Samsung 55"Class 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV is now under $400, or $80 less than list price. In fact, the entire Samsung catalogue is now on sale at Jet, where you can buy discounted tablets, smartwatches, sound systems, and of course, television sets. Some discounts are as steep as 50%, but we don't expect these prices to last long.

    You can also find great deals on electronics and video games, like the Sony PlayStation VR Creed Bundle, which is down nearly $100 to $250. Also, the Microsoft Xbox One X 1TB Fallout 76 Bundle, which was once $499, is now $429.

    For the audiophiles in your life, you can check out Jet's selection of headphones and speakers on sale. Already, you can get the Bose SoundLink AE 2 Black for $199, down from $229. The Bose SoundSport Free Wireless Headphones have been discounted around 15% for just $169, while the Bose Companion 2 Computer Speakers have seen a 10% discount, and are now $224.

    If you're looking for a gift that's a bit off the beaten path, you may check out Jet.com's selection of on-sale drones. The DJI Mavic Air Quadcopter Drone Fly More Combo is 10% off at $878.95, while the DJI Mavic Air Quadcopter Drone is now $699, down from $799.

    While all the above deals can already be had on Jet.com, for those willing to wait, there's a wider selection still from which to choose.

    For example, the 32GB Apple iPad will be $249, which is $55 off its original price. A special-edition Fitbit Versa, on the other hand, is $49 off, and now just under $180. And if you're looking to upgrade the Wi-Fi in your house, one of the better deals on the list is the Linksys Velop Mesh WiFi System, which has been discounted by nearly 50% to just $199.

    Then, there are the gifts for the commuters in your life, like the Voyager Electric Scooter in Ion Black, which is 50% off for just $149. 

    On the smart home front, Jet is offering deals on smart home hubs like the Google Home Hub, which is $50 off its list price for $99. There's also the Dyson V6 Origin Cord-Free Vacuum, which is $40 off its normal price and available for $159. Alternatively, if you'd rather have a robot do all the heavy lifting, you'll find the iRobot Roomba 670 for $100 off its normal price, and less than $200.

    All this to say, regardless of what sort of shopping you hope to accomplish over this busy Black Friday season, it seems that Jet.com could be your one-stop shop. And with the added convenience of shopping from your couch, you may just want to keep an eye on your credit card — it could develop a mind of its own.

    Available now:

    Available starting Wednesday, November 21 at 10 p.m. EST:

    Looking for more deals? We've rounded up the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on the internet.

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    Growth Regtech Firms

    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.

    Regtech solutions seemed to offer the solution to financial institutions' (FIs) compliance woes when they first came to prominence around 24 months ago, gaining support from regulators and investors alike. 

    However, many of the companies offering these solutions haven't scaled as might have been expected from the initial hype, and have failed to follow the trajectory of firms in other segments of fintech.

    This unexpected inertia in the regtech industry is likely to resolve over the next 12-18 months as other factors come into play that shift FIs' approach to regtech solutions, and as the companies offering them evolve. External factors driving this change include regulatory support of regtech solutions, and consultancies offering more help to FIs wanting to sift through solutions. Startups offering regtech solutions will also play a part by partnering with each other, forming industry organizations, and taking advantage of new opportunities.

    This report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, provides a brief overview of the current global financial regulatory compliance landscape, and the regtech industry's position within it. It then details the major drivers that will shift the dial on FIs' adoption of regtech over the next 12-18 months, as well as those that will propel startups offering regtech solutions to new heights. Finally, it outlines what impact these drivers will have, and gives insight into what the global regtech industry will look like by 2020.

    Here are some of the key takeaways:

    • Regulatory compliance is still a significant issue faced by global FIs. In 2018 alone, EU regulations MiFID II and PSD2 have come into effect, bringing with them huge handbooks and gigantic reporting requirements. 
    • Regtech startups boast solutions that can ease FIs' compliance burden — but they are struggling to scale. 
    • Some changes expected to drive greater adoption of these solutions in the next 12 to 18 months are: the ongoing evolution of startups' business models, increasing numbers of partnerships, regulators' promotion of regtech, changing attitudes to the segment among FIs, and consultancies helping to facilitate adoption.
    • FIs will actively be using solutions from regtech startups by 2020, and startups will be collaborating in an organized fashion with each other and with FIs. Global regulators will have adopted regtech themselves, while continuing to act as advocates for the industry.

    In full, the report:

    • Reviews the major changes expected to hit the regtech segment in the next 12 to 18 months.
    • Examines the drivers behind these changes, and how the proliferation of regtech will improve compliance for FIs.
    • Provides our view on what the future of the regtech industry looks like through 2020.

       

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    iPhone XS Max

    Every fall, Apple introduces new iPhones. And every fall, many iPhone users wonder: should I upgrade? 

    This year was, in Apple parlance, an "S year," which means that one of the new iPhones, the iPhone XS, was an iterative upgrade rather than a total overhaul. Which begs the question: if you have an iPhone X, which is only a year old, do you need to upgrade? 

    Or, if you're looking for a new device, should you go for the cheaper option and buy last year's phone over the new iPhone XS?

    This year, the differences between the two phones are minor, but there are still a few things that set the new phone apart. Here's how the iPhone X compares to the iPhone XS. 

    SEE ALSO: There's only one color you should consider if you're thinking about buying the iPhone XS

    The iPhone XS comes in more colors.

    The iPhone X came in just two colors: silver (essentially white) and space gray (essentially black).

    The iPhone XS retained those two shades, but added a third color option: gold.



    The iPhone XS has a brand-new, super-fast chip.

    The iPhone XS has Apple's new A12 Bionic chip, which Apple says includes a "next-generation neural engine." Regardless, it should improve the phone's speed and performance compared with the iPhone X. 

    That being said, the iPhone X is still a high-performance phone, despite having a year-old chip. 



    The iPhone XS is slightly more water-resistant.

    The iPhone XS is water-resistant to a depth of two meters for up to 30 minutes — that's one more meter than the iPhone X, which is only water resistant in about one meter of water. 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    jeff bezos

    • The cloud computing market should continue to grow at a rapid pace in coming years, Goldman Sachs said in a new report.
    • But the market is already dominated by four big firms — Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Alibaba.
    • The opportunity for other players is rapidly closing, Goldman Sachs said.

    It's still early days in cloud computing, the hottest sector in the gigantic business technology market. But the window of opportunity for companies to grab a piece of it is closing fast.

    That's the word from Goldman Sachs, which just released its latest quarterly report on the cloud market. The good news, according to analysts Heather Bellini, Heath Terry, Piyush Mubayi, Caroline Liu, Mark Grant, and Ted Lin is that the market for cloud services will continue to grow by at least 20% a year through 2021.

    The bad news? A growing percentage of that spending will go to just four players — Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Alibaba.

    "We continue to expect that the public cloud landscape will consolidate into an oligopolistic market structure," the Goldman Sachs analysts said in the report.

    Amazon pioneered the cloud computing market when it launched Amazon Web Services more than a decade ago. Although AWS has grown since then into a multi-billion-dollar behemoth, the overall cloud computing market is still a nascent one, Goldman Sachs said in the report. Many companies still haven't shifted over to the cloud, and the vast majority of enterprise spending is still on traditional services. 

    The core cloud computing market is expanding rapidly

    The analysts focused on the core cloud services — infrastructure as a service (IaaS), where companies such as Amazon offer computing processing power; and platform as a service (PaaS), where Microsoft and other companies offer a kind of cloud-based operating system on which people can build and run applications — and the non-cloud enterprise tech services with which they directly compete. The combined amount companies spend on cloud services and the non-cloud ones that are direct competitors represents the total potential market for cloud services.

    As cloud spending expands, it will be doing so in part by eating into money companies used to spend on such things as maintaining and running applications on their own servers.

    Last year, spending on cloud services accounted for about 8% of the total potential market. That should jump to about 15% by 2021, Goldman Sachs estimated. In other words, a growing portion of corporate IT budgets will be going to the cloud.

    "Our checks continue to suggest that we remain in the early innings of public cloud," the analysts said in their report.

    cloud as portion of total potential market chart -based on Goldman Sachs data

    That trend will represent a big move in real dollars as well as percentages. Enterprise companies spent about $47 billion last year on the core cloud services, according to Goldman Sachs. The firm expects that amount to grow to $62 billion this year, and $116 billion by 2021.

    But the top four firms are leaving little room for other players

    Frequently, with a rapidly expanding market there's room for plenty of competitors to flourish. But that's not what Goldman Sachs expects. The cloud market has already started to consolidate, and that trend is only going to become more pronounced in coming years, the analyst predicted. Basically, only the biggest players — Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and Chinese giant Alibaba Cloud — have the resources to offer differentiated services and to continue to build out the data server infrastructure needed to compete, they said.

    Read this:Google just named a former Oracle exec as the head of its giant cloud business

    Last year, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Alibaba accounted for about 56% of the core cloud computing market. By next year, their combined share should hit 84%, according to Goldman Sachs' forecast. The three American giants alone will account for 77% of the total market, the analysts said.

    "The largest three players (AWS, Azure, Google), will continue to dominate share of the market," the analysts said.

    While the biggest players will see their revenue go up, the amount of revenue going to the rest of the players in the cloud market will actually decrease, despite the market's overall expansion. While companies other than the big four pulled in about $21 billion by offering core cloud services last year, that amount will decline to $20 billion this year and just $12 million next year, Goldman Sachs projected.

    That could be ominous IBM, Oracle, and other companies that have been trying to edge into the cloud-computing market. If Goldman Sachs is right, they're going to be left fighting for fewer and fewer table scraps left by the cloud giants.

    Now read:

    SEE ALSO: Microsoft has all the right ingredients to top Amazon in the cloud, says the company's former Silicon Valley chief

    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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    US Border troops razor wire

    Weeks after President Donald Trump ordered nearly 6,000 troops to the US-Mexico border, the largest active-duty mobilization to the border during his presidency, some of those troops will start heading home.

    The expected end date for the operation is December 15, but some troops that are either not needed or have completed their mission could leave before that date, according to Politico. All troops should be back to their home stations well before Christmas, Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan told Politico.

    "We will continue to support [US Customs and Border Protection's] request for support up until December 15 unless we are directed otherwise," Col. Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman, said. "At some point in time, when the work is done, we'll start downsizing some capability or shifting capability to elsewhere on the border. Our numbers will be commensurate with the capacities that DHS and CBP have requested."

    For those not heading home, Thanksgiving dinner will be shipped to troops at the border.

    A CNN report published late Monday seemed to contradict the assertion that the border operation was beginning to wind down. The news outlet said Trump is expected to grant some troops the authority to "protect" CBP personnel from migrants "if they engage in violence." The report, which cited administration officials familiar with the matter, said the troops would also be granted permission to protect federal property.

    In late October — days before the November 6, 2018, midterm elections — Trump ordered troops to the US-Mexico border to aid CBP and other law enforcement in anticipation of a caravan of migrants traveling north from Central America. Some 2,800 soldiers were sent to Texas, 1,500 to Arizona, and 1,500 to California — in addition to roughly 2,100 members of the National Guard already deployed.

    Usually, when military personnel are sent to the border to back up law enforcement and CPB, it's part-time National Guard troops (under the command of state's governors), as was previously authorized. However, the troops sent ahead of the midterm elections included active-duty troops: "three combat engineer battalions, members of the US Army Corps of Engineers and troops who specialize in aviation, medical treatment and logistics," according to The Washington Post. 

    Critics called the mobilization of troops to the border a political stunt pulled before the midterm elections to rally the president's base.

    The troops were mainly responsible for building barriers along the border including shipping containers and barbed wire. Thus far, roughly seven miles of wire have been placed at the border, according to Military.com. And the concertina wire mission has been completed in Texas, Stars and Stripes reported. The Pentagon said it does not have any clarity on the next step now that barrier emplacement has been completed.

    Migrants have begun to arrive in Tijuana, Mexico, and roughly 7,000 could end up there, according to KPBS. Earlier on Monday, CBP closed some northbound traffic and pedestrian lanes at the border crossing.

    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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    gay weddings

    • A top Australian wedding magazine was forced to shut its doors after it received backlash for refusing to feature same-sex couples in its spread.
    • White Magazine's founders issued a statement explaining that it was "no longer economically viable" after advertisers began pulling out of the publication over its beliefs. 
    • According to the statement, the company took a silent stance as Australia debated and ultimately legalized same-sex marriage in December.
    • Several of White Magazine's former photographers, some of whom are queer themselves, raised the alarm to the publication's practices.
    • "It seems they're able to differentiate a photographer from their work, as long as a heterosexual couple ends up on their pages," a former photographer for the magazine wrote on Twitter. 

    A top Australian wedding magazine was forced to shut its doors after it received backlash for refusing to feature same-sex couples in its spread. 

    On Saturday, White Magazine's founders issued a statement explaining that it was "no longer economically viable," after advertisers began pulling out of the publication due to the backlash the company recieved over its exclusion of LGBTQI+ weddings. 

    According to the magazine's statement, the company took a silent stance as Australia debated and ultimately legalized same-sex marriage in December 2017. After being questioned about representation of same-sex couples in the magazine, they said their publication received "a flood of judgment," and claimed that the magazine, its advertisers, and even couples featured had "been the subject of online abuse despite their individual beliefs."

    "Instead of allowing us the space to work through our thoughts and feelings, or being willing to engage in brave conversations to really hear each other’s stories, some have just blindly demanded that we pick a side," founders Luke and Carla Burrell wrote. "We’re not about sides, we’re about love, patience and kindness."

    The founders wrote that while the publication was secular, they as publishers are Christian.

    Several of White Magazine's former photographers raised the alarm to the publication's practices. Melbourne-based photographer Tanya Volt, who identifies as queer, says the company has published some of her work in the past, but they refused to comment when pressed to take a stance on the issue. 

    "It seems they're able to differentiate a photographer from their work, as long as a heterosexual couple ends up on their pages," she wrote on Twitter

    Queer photographer Lara Hotz, whose photos have been featured on the magazine's cover in the past, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that the company's policy is discriminatory.

    "It appears they are happy to take money, content and photographs from LGBTQI advertisers and contributors, but are yet to support and represent us in the same way as heterosexual couples are represented in the magazine," Hotz said. 

    White's Facebook and Instagram accounts were flooded with comments calling the magazine "bigoted" and "ignorant".

    Commenters reacted to the company's announcement of its closure:

    "Good riddance," someone posted on Twitter.

    "Love is love. And as a business you should have been able to put your personal religious beliefs aside," another wrote on Facebook under the magazine's farewell message. 

    Some, however, praised the company's stance and lauded its legacy.

    "I'm sorry to hear this but am so thankful and grateful for all that you have offered to married couples over the past 12 years," one commenter wrote on Facebook.

    "Have always loved the depth & beauty that White brought to the wedding space," wrote another. 

    Similar cases of businesses taking a stance on same-sex marriage have popped up around the world. In one of the most highly publicized cases in Colorado, a Christian baker refused to bake a cake for a same-sex couple. The case was taken to the Supreme Court, which ultimately sided with the baker.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A sleep expert explains what happens to your body and brain if you don't get enough sleep


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    kfc chicken and waffles

    • On November 12, KFC added three new meals made with chicken and waffles to its menu.
    • The available options are chicken tenders, fried chicken, and a sandwich with Belgian Liège-style waffle buns, along with a side of Mrs. Butterworth's syrup. 
    • The fried chicken and chicken tenders remain the same as the fast-food's other chicken menu items, but the Liège-style waffles are sweeter and doughier than expected.
    • My favorite was the chicken and waffle sandwich, which had just the right balance of spicy and sweet for my taste.

    While pairing fried chicken and waffles together predates Colonel Sanders, it isn't until this year that KFC finally decided to try its hand at the iconic dish.

    After a trial at locations in Charlotte, North Carolina, this past summer, KFC started serving chicken and waffles nationwide from November 12 and will offer the dishes through December 31. 

    kfc chicken and waffles

    Meal options include waffles topped either with KFC's "Extra Crispy" fried chicken or "Extra Crispy" chicken tenders, and a chicken and waffle sandwich consisting of KFC's new "Hot Honey" fried chicken breast between two waffle buns. All three come with a side of Mrs. Butterworth maple-flavored syrup.

    Available in three different varieties, INSIDER tried KFC's new menu additions to see how they compare.

    The chicken tasted like any other KFC chicken, but the waffles made all the difference 

    kfc chicken and waffles

    For all three menu options, KFC used Belgian Liège-style waffles that are known to be dense and richer than Brussels waffles, the light and rectangular variety most popularly used in American cooking.

    Speaking to INSIDER, KFC's head chef Bob Das said the fast-food restaurant wanted to create a "new spin on a classic dish" while still maintaining the fundamentals of what makes chicken and waffles such a classic pairing.

    Das added that the company went through 15 different waffle variations before settling on the Liège-style waffle. He went on to say that the waffle is "sweeter and doughier than American style waffles," but that it combines seamlessly with KFC's fried chicken.

    KFC's chicken and waffle sandwich took me by surprise and ended up being my favorite

    KFC chicken and waffle sandwich

    As a self-professed lover of chicken and waffles, KFC entering the market was welcome news to me. Though they're fast food and not home-cooked, the dishes are still rich and a satisfying.

    KFC's use of the Liège-style waffle lent itself especially well to the sandwich, in my opinion. The waffles' density coupled with their sweetness complemented the chicken's sweet and hot flavoring. I thought the sandwich's flavor is unlike anything else on KFC's menu.

    The other chicken and waffle meals paled in comparison to the sandwich

    chicken and waffles ad kfc

    One mark against the release is that KFC lost some of its creativity with the two other dishes. In the plated chicken and waffle meals, the only new components were the addition of the waffles and syrup; the chicken remained unchanged from what KFC already offers.

    Read more: We tried fried chicken from 4 fast food chains — and the winner was clear

    I've eaten KFC's fried chicken and chicken tenders before, so there weren't any surprises there. While the sandwich took some liberties with its honey flavoring, I was a bit bored eating the plated dishes and it didn't feel like I was really getting anything new.

    That being said, I thought the waffles still paired well with KFC's chicken and made for a no-nonsense eating experience, as chicken and waffles always should.

    You can try the new chicken and waffle dishes at KFC restaurants in the US until December 31. 

    Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The first woman in space almost didn't make it back to Earth and she had to keep it a secret for 30 years


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    Chicago Mercy Hospital shooting

    • At least four people are dead, including a Chicago police officer and a suspected gunman, after a shooting at Chicago's Mercy Hospital on Monday afternoon. 
    • The 28-year-old officer, identified as Samuel Jimenez, had just completed his probationary period local news outlets reported.

    At least four people are dead — including a 28-year-old Chicago police officer and a suspected gunman — after a shooting at Chicago's Mercy Hospital on Monday afternoon, Chicago police officials told local news media.

    The 28-year-old officer, identified as Samuel Jimenez, had just completed his probationary period local news outlets reported.

    Two other people were wounded in the shooting, according to officials cited by Reuters. The newswire service said an investigator at the Cook County Medical Examiner's office said those two had also died.

    Around 3:30 p.m. local time on Monday afternoon, Chicago Police communications officer Anthony Guglielmi tweeted that there had been reports "of shots fired in the vicinity of 26th and Michigan" and warned the public to stay away from the area.

    Screen Shot 2018 11 19 at 5.34.28 PM

    Around 4:40 p.m., a tweet from the Mercy Hospital account indicated that Chicago Police had secured the scene and that "patients are safe."

    Hours after police had secured the area, Guglielmi confirmed Officer Jimenez's death and called the shooting incident "senseless."

    "Please pray for his family, his fellow officers & the entire Chicago Department,"Guglielmi wrote on Twitter.

    Chicago Sun-Times reporter Sam Charles said he spoke to a man who was visiting his wife at the hospital, who said he heard five "rapid-fire" shots from what appeared to be a "large caliber weapon."

    Bill West, a local traffic reporter, tweeted that the hospital was being evacuated as police officers searched the building. However, he said so far there "appears to be" only one shooter. West said evacuees were being put on buses to get them away from the scene. 

    One hospital employee told the Tribune that she was in her office when she heard an announcement over the building's PA system, telling everyone to lock their doors. She was later evacuated and put on one of the buses. 

    "I don't know what happened," she told the reporter as she was ushered onto the bus. 

    "They told us to run so we did," another evacuated employee told the Tribune. 

    Another shaken employee told ABC 7 Chicago that she was "scared as hell."

    "I have never been so scared, I hear of shootings going on every day at people's workplaces, but not where I work at. This was very too close to me. That could have been us back there and if any bullets had pierced the wall we all would have been hurt," the employee said. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Valedictorians rarely become rich and famous — here's why the average millionaire's college GPA is 2.9


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    Ivanka Trump

    • White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump reportedly sent numerous emails related to internal government affairs using her personal email address.
    • The first daughter is believed to have discussed government policy in her emails, and sent her work schedule and travel information to herself and personal assistants.
    • Ivanka, who took on her unpaid White House role in March 2017, "sometimes used her personal account, almost always for logistics and scheduling concerning her family," according to a statement from a spokesman for Abbe Lowell, Ivanka Trump's attorney.
    • The spokesman claimed that none of Ivanka's emails contained classified information, adding that although she received an official email account, she did not recieve "the same guidance" other government employees received after assuming a government role.

    White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump reportedly sent numerous emails related to government affairs using a personal email address, potentially in violation of records laws, according to a Washington Post report published Monday.

    The first daughter was found to have sent hundreds of messages from her private email address to numerous White House aides, officials, and assistants, after a public-records lawsuit prompted a White House ethics invesitgation, The Post reported, citing people familiar with the situation.

    Ivanka took on her unpaid White House role in March 2017. Her spokesman, Abbe Lowell, claimed "sometimes used her personal account, almost always for logistics and scheduling concerning her family," according to a statement from a spokesman for Abbe Lowell, Trump's attorney.

    Ivanka Trump

    The spokesman asserted that none of the first daughter's emails contained classified information.

    Lowell also claimed that Ivanka did not receive "the same guidance" after assuming her role as other government employees have.

    Ivanka claimed she was unaware of the White House's email policy, and was found to have not received reminders from the White House forbidding private emails, sources said to The Post.

    Her frequent use of her private email address concerned aides, including one former senior official who described her as "the worst offender in the White House."

    Some government officials, including Treasury official Dan Kowalski, were reportedly familiar with Ivanka's personal email address, but not her official one.

    "I apologize for reaching out to you on your personal email for this, but it is the only email I have for you," Kowalski said in an April 2017 email obtained by government watchdog group American Oversight.

    "For future reference my [White House] email is [redacted]," Ivanka Trump said in her reply. "Thanks for reaching out and making this introduction."

    The emails were sent using the "ijkfamily.com" domain, which was registered in December 2016, shortly before Donald Trump took office. Emails were checked for security concerns, including viruses, by the Trump Organization, sources told The Post.

    Ivanka and husband Jared Kushner's private email accounts were scrutinized after earlier reports suggested Kushner had corresponded with White House officials, prompting congressional investigators to request a retainment of the emails.

    SEE ALSO: White House issues rules for the media after it grudgingly reinstates CNN correspondent Jim Acosta's press pass

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This top economist has a radical plan to change the way Americans vote


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    Michelle Wolf White House Correspondents' Association dinner

    • For the first time in over three decades, a stand-up comedian will not headline the White House Correspondents' Dinner. Biographer Ron Chernow, who wrote the book on Alexander Hamilton that was turned into the musical "Hamilton," will be headlining.
    • "The WHCA are cowards," last year's comedian headliner Michelle Wolf tweeted, on Monday. "The media is complicit. And I couldn't be prouder."
    • "While I have never been mistaken for a stand-up comedian, I promise that my history lesson won’t be dry," Chernow said in a statement.

    For the first time in over three decades, a stand-up comedian will not headline the White House Correspondents' Dinner. Instead the event, which will take place on April 27, 2019, will feature Ron Chernow, the noted biographer whose books include those about Alexander Hamilton, President George Washington, and President Ulysses S. Grant.

    However, comedian Michelle Wolf, who headlined last year's dinner, is not pleased. "The WHCA are cowards. The media is complicit. And I couldn't be prouder," she tweeted on Monday.

    The White House, members of the news media, and the correspondents' association criticized Wolf's edgy performance— and her roast of White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders this spring.

    While some said she had gone too far, others defended her, saying that the biting truth in her jokes were supposed to make people feel uncomfortable.

    Other comedians have pushed boundaries during the White House Correspondents' Dinner: Stephen Colbert lampooned President George Bush, and Larry Wilmore dropped the N-word in 2016.

    However in 2019, the WHCA is eschewing comedy as a means to speak truth to power in favor of a historical perspective — and a lesson on the First Amendment.

    "The White House Correspondents' Association has asked me to make the case for the First Amendment and I am happy to oblige," Chernow said in a statement. "Freedom of the press is always a timely subject and this seems like the perfect moment to go back to basics."

    "My major worry these days is that we Americans will forget who we are as a people and historians should serve as our chief custodians in preserving that rich storehouse of memory," Chernow continued. "While I have never been mistaken for a stand-up comedian, I promise that my history lesson won’t be dry."

    The announcement of Chernow as keynote speaker is happening as the Trump administration's relationship with the press continues to suffer. The White House this week reinstated CNN correspondent Jim Acosta's press credential after a heated exchange between Acosta and President Donald Trump earlier this month landed in court.

    The White House reacted to a judge's order to give Acosta his press credential back by announcing a set of "rules" meant to govern reporters' interactions with Trump.

    Of course this is hardly the first White House Correspondents' Dinner to break with tradition in recent years. Trump became the first president in 36 years to not attend. He skipped the dinner in both 2017 and 2018.

    SEE ALSO: White House issues rules for the media after it reinstates CNN correspondent Jim Acosta's press

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Megyn Kelly in 2017: 'I regret a lot' of the controversial stuff I've said on live television


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    Venezuela Nicolas Maduro Vladimir Padrino military army parade

    • The Trump administration is reportedly considering naming Venezuela a state sponsor of terror.
    • The designation would put Venezuela alongside countries like Iran and North Korea.
    • But applying the label may hinder efforts to help Venezuelans, millions of whom have fled their country.

    The Trump administration is reportedly preparing to escalate its campaign to isolate and pressure the regime of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela by adding the government to the US's state sponsors of terror list, according to The Washington Post.

    Countries on the list have been found by the US secretary of state "to have repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism."

    The four main kinds of sanctions that result from designation are "restrictions on US foreign assistance; a ban on defense exports and sales; certain controls over exports of dual-use items; and miscellaneous financial and other restrictions."

    North Korea, Iran, Syria, and Sudan are the only countries on the list, which critics say has been used inconsistently.

    Trump Tillerson venezuela

    The designation has not be made, but the State Department has sought feedback on naming Venezuela to the list, according to The Post, including from the Health and Human Services Department.

    Emails to HHS officials did not name the country, but a State Department officer did say Venezuela was the country in question on a phone call with officials last week from various US agencies. The officer did not give a date, saying only that "they expect to make a decision soon," an official on the call told The Post.

    Read also: Millions of Venezuelans have fled their homes, and it's affecting the entire region — here's where they're going

    Trump has sought to pressure the Venezuelan government since taking office — his National Security Council was reportedly told that the South American country was one of his top-three priorities, alongside Iran and North Korea.

    The South American country economy has deteriorated, with the public facing political repression, health crises, and widespread violence. Government services have broken down, including healthcare, allowing disease to spread and depriving patients of treatment. Some three million people have left the country in recent years.

    Colombia Venezuela border migrants

    In August 2017, Trump said he was "not going to rule out a military option" in Venezuela, and he has raised the possibility in public and private since then. Trump's aides have reportedly dissuaded him, and US officials have met with but rebuffed inquiries from Venezuelan military officers who said they were planning a coup.

    The Trump administration has sanctioned dozens of Venezuelan officials, including Maduro.

    Republican Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, John Cornyn of Texas, and Cory Gardner of Colorado, wrote a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in September supporting the terrorism-sponsor designation for Venezuela.

    Now read: Drug cartels make billions in the US, but somebody else is doing the selling

    The letter said Maduro's government had associated with Colombian left-wing rebel groups the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, and the National Liberation Army, or ELN, as well as with Hezbollah, a Lebanese group recently named by the Justice Department as one of the main transnational criminal threats to the US.

    The FARC has agreed to demobilize, though some former members are still involved in criminal activity. The ELN has engaged in peace talks with the Colombian government that have not gone anywhere; the group is believed to be growing in power and present in at least half of Venezuela's states, where it has attacked the military and civilians.

    Corruption and impunity in Venezuela have allowed criminal activity to flourish, with Colombian groups deeply involved and with Venezuelan officials actively participating.

    Venezuela Colombia Cucuta migrants refugees

    However, officials have said the links to Hezbollah and other terrorist groups may be overstated. "The whole Hezbollah line has been distorted for political purposes by the more extreme elements of the US right wing," a former CIA senior official told Reuters earlier this year.

    Assessments of the potential impact of such a designation on Venezuela were mixed, according to officials who spoke with The Post.

    Naming Venezuela as a state sponsor of terrorism could interfere with efforts to support health programs in the country, though Trump could provide waivers to groups involved, William Brownsfield, a former US ambassador to Venezuela, told The Post.

    Read more: Mexican troops are in the streets to fight the drug war, and the country's defense chief says legalization may be 'a way out'

    Designating Venezuela as a sponsor of terrorism could also complicate dealings with the US oil industry, which processes most of Venezuela's crude. (Venezuela has the world's largest proven oil reserves.)

    The designation may also further efforts to portray Venezuela as a threat to US national security, though applying it and further discussion of military action may be counterproductive to the goal of forcing Maduro out of power.

    Such threats "contribute to the unity and coherence of the Maduro government and undermine opposition organization and unity," David Smilde, a Venezuela expert and senior fellow at the Washington Office on Latin America, told The Post. "Since President Trump first suggested a military option in August 2017 the Venezuelan opposition has fallen apart."

    SEE ALSO: The Justice Department just named these 5 groups as the top transnational organized-crime threats to the US

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Venezuela was Latin America’s richest country and now it is in complete crisis — here’s how it fell apart


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    meghan markle michael buble 2

    • Markle and Bublé met at a dinner party hosted by Jessica Mulroney in November 2015.
    • The now Duchess wrote on her blog that the singer was "one hell of a dinner companion."
    • Bublé created a playlist of Christmas tunes for the actress, which she shared with her fans.

    He's the king of Christmas and she's an actual Duchess — and apparently, Michael Bublé and Meghan Markle are friends.

    Writing on her (now closed) blog The Tig back in 2016, Markle revealed that she met Bublé at a dinner party hosted by her best friend Jessica Mulroney in Canada in November 2015, where Markle was filming "Suits" at the time.

    "This proud papa, husband to the lovely Luisana Lopilato, and certifiably delightful guy, makes for one hell of a dinner companion," Markle wrote, according to The Sun.

    "But there’s this other thing about him that is perhaps worth mentioning. Oh right. He sings."

    Read more: Michael Bublé had to walk away during the 'Today' show's video about his son's cancer

    Bublé even created a special Christmassy playlist for Markle, which she then shared with readers of The Tig.

    Here's what was on the festive mixtape:

    • "I'll Be Home For Christmas" by Bing Crosby
    • "Jingle Bells" 
    • "White Christmas"
    • "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" by Darlene Love
    • "Blue Christmas" by Elvis Presley
    • "Cold December Night" by Bublé himself

    Regarding the addition of one of his own Christmas hits, Bublé said: "I wrote it. Sorry. Had to add one of my own. Please download it 200,000 times."

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A baker made life-size cakes that look just like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle


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