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The latest news from Business Insider

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    US Navy guided-missile destroyers and guided-missile cruisers

    • The US Navy destroyer USS Stockdale and the underway replenishment oiler USNS Pecos sailed through the tense Taiwan Strait Wednesday.
    • The maneuver through the closely watched strait comes just days ahead of a meeting between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit.
    • Tensions between Washington and Beijing have been running high these past few months as a number of key issues go unresolved.

    The US Navy sent two warships through the Taiwan Strait Wednesday, just days ahead of a planned meeting between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

    The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stockdale, accompanied by the Henry J. Kaiser-class underway replenishment oiler USNS Pecos, transited the tense strait to send a message to China, the US Pacific Fleet explained to Business Insider in an emailed statement.

    “The ships' transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Dave Werner, a Pacific Fleet spokesman, told BI. “The U.S. Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows.”

    With a similar intent in mind, the US Navy sent two warships — the destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur and the cruiser USS Antietam — through the strait in October.  A similar operation was carried out in July, when the destroyers USS Mustin and USS Benfold sailed between mainland China and Taiwan.

    Read More:US Navy warships just rocked the Taiwan Strait in a rare move, turning up the pressure on China

    Beijing is extremely sensitive to US military maneuvers near Taiwan, which it considers a breakaway province.

    The US Navy’s bold move comes just days before President Donald Trump is expected to sit down to dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    The two leaders are expected to discuss a number of different issues, ranging from trade to tensions at sea, during their meeting.

    In recent months, the US Air Force has repeatedly sent B-52 bombers tearing through the South China Sea. In September, a US Navy destroyer conducted a freedom-of-navigation operation near the contested Spratly Islands, where it was challenged by a Chinese warship that forced the American vessel off course.

    Read More:A Chinese warship reportedly threatened a US Navy destroyer in the South China Sea

    Despite some goodwill gestures, such as the recent port call by the USS Ronald Reagan in Hong Kong, tensions between Washington and Beijing continue to run high.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: What serving in the military taught beauty YouTuber Jackie Aina

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    The Dominican Republic is known for its white-sand beaches, unbeatable service at all of its great resorts, and stunningly luxurious accommodations. But there are several things you might not know about the Caribbean island. Watch the video to learn some surprising facts about the Dominican Republic.

    Let Apple Vacations help you plan your next vacation to the Dominican Republic.

    Dominican Republic Has It All

    This post is sponsored by Apple Vacation. | Video provided by Apple Vacations. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    man working starbucks laptop

    • Starbucks is rolling out a new tool meant to stop customers from watching pornography and viewing other explicit content in stores in 2019, the company told Business Insider.
    • The coffee giant has been under pressure to block pornography for years, as chains including McDonald's and Chick-fil-A have set up content filters on public Wi-Fi.
    • The internet-safety organization Enough Is Enough slammed Starbucks earlier this week over its lack of action on the issue despite a 2016 commitment to block explicit content.

    After years of pressure, Starbucks says it has found a way to prevent customers from watching porn in its stores.

    Next year, the coffee giant plans to introduce a new tool meant to prevent customers from viewing pornography or other explicit content in stores. While watching pornography is banned at Starbucks locations, the chain does not have content blockers on its Wi-Fi service.

    "To ensure the Third Place remains safe and welcoming to all, we have identified a solution to prevent this content from being viewed within our stores and we will begin introducing it to our US locations in 2019," a Starbucks representative told Business Insider in an email on Wednesday.

    Starbucks declined to give details on the solution but said the company tested multiple tools, hoping to avoid accidentally blocking unoffensive sites.

    The rollout comes after years of pressure from the internet-safety organization Enough Is Enough.

    A petition from Enough Is Enough calling for Starbucks to filter pornography was signed by more than 26,000 people as of Wednesday. Earlier this week, Enough Is Enough CEO Donna Rice Hughes attacked Starbucks for not following through on a commitment it made in 2016 to block explicit websites.

    Read more:Starbucks will put an end to an unexpected consequence of offering free Wi-Fi

    "By breaking its commitment, Starbucks is keeping the doors wide open for convicted sex offenders and others to fly under the radar from law enforcement and use free, public Wi-Fi services to access illegal child porn and hard-core pornography," Hughes said in a statement.

    "Having unfiltered hotspots also allows children and teens to easily bypass filters and other parental control tools set up by their parents on their smart phones, tablets, and laptops," Hughes continued.

    While Hughes told Business Insider she was "thrilled" that Starbucks said it was rolling out a solution, she noted that the chain had lagged behind others — including McDonald's, Subway, and Chick-fil-A — that introduced filters in 2016 or earlier. As recently as this summer, Starbucks responded to an inquiry from Hughes about its progress with a form letter saying the chain was still looking for a solution.

    "People sit there for hours using the internet," Hughes said. "They're known for this. Let's make it safe and secure."

    SEE ALSO: Black Friday sales were the best they have been in years — but companies lost out on millions of dollars because they weren't ready for success

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Target has a few sneaky ways it gets customers to spend more money

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    ipad ad original

    • Microsoft surpassed Apple as the most valuable US company when markets opened on Wednesday.
    • The last time Microsoft was worth more than Apple was in 2010.
    • The technology industry has changed a lot since then. 

    Microsoft dethroned Apple as the most valuable US company when trading opened on Wednesday. 

    The largely symbolic and brief milestone came less than two months after Apple's market cap reached a peak above $1.12 trillion, significantly above Microsoft's peak of $887 billion. Apple was even the first US company with a $1 trillion valuation. But since then, Apple's stock has gotten whacked based on fears of slowing iPhone demand, seemingly confirmed by the company when it said on November 1 that it would no longer disclose iPhone unit sales.

    The last time that Microsoft was more valuable than Apple was back in 2010 — eons ago in the fast-moving technology market.

    On the day that Apple overtook Microsoft back then, Apple was worth only about $222 billion in terms of total market capitalization — compared to Microsoft's $219 billion. (Before that, the last time the two companies switched places was in 1989.)

    In fact, just a quick recap of what products were on the market back then will make you realize it was an entirely different era:

    SEE ALSO: Microsoft dethrones Apple as the most valuable US company

    Microsoft was still selling the Zune — it wouldn't be discontinued until 2011.

    The Zune was a portable music player that was supposed to compete with Apple's iPod. It came with 32GB of built-in storage.

    It was launched in 2006 but was never as successful as the iPod.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    amy schumer

    • Comedian Amy Schumer posted a video of her vomiting on the way to her show in Tarrytown, New York.
    • The comedian was hospitalized earlier this month for hyperemesis gravidarum, a condition that causes severe nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.
    • Schumer also took the opportunity to make a point about how important it is to have access to health care.

    Comedian Amy Schumer posted a video of her vomiting on the way to her show in Tarrytown, New York to show why she’s having to cancel more dates on her tour.

    "Turn sound off if you have a weak stomach," she wrote in the caption.

    Turn sound off if you have a weak stomach. This was my ride to my show at @tarrytownmusichall tonight and a picture from the end of my set. I love doing stand-up more than anything and I hate cancelling shows. I have to postpone some until I feel human again. But i will make up these dates and we will have a great time. I’m so proud of my stand up right now and can’t wait to share it. Thanks to the amazing crowd tonight for being so warm and such great laughers and for being cool with my sweatpants and slippers on stage. Shots by @marcusrussellprice we are shooting a doc of me these past few months leading up to a special Im filming and you will see that I’m strugglin right now. But I’m so grateful and excited to be a mom. I’m grateful I have access to healthcare, as we all should have. But I guess what I’m really saying is Fuck Hyde-Smith and anyone who voted for her. My feelings on her are best expressed by the above video. And I don’t usually agree with speaking ill of crackheads, but she has a crackhead looking mouth. Tiny racist teeth confederate ass campaign with her crack mouth said she would attend a public hanging. #crackmouth #tinyracistteeth #hyperemesisgravidarum

    A post shared by @ amyschumer on Nov 27, 2018 at 9:13pm PST on


    Schumer is seen vomiting into a cup in the car, showing us just how brutal pregnancy can be.

    "I love doing stand-up more than anything and I hate canceling shows. I have to postpone some until I feel human again," she continued. "But I will make up these dates and we will have a great time. I’m so proud of my stand up right now and can’t wait to share it."

    If you slide over to the second photo after her vomiting video, Schumer can be seen bowing after her show in sweatpants and slippers.

    Read more: Amy Schumer says it's not fun being pregnant the same time as Meghan Markle

    This comes after the comedian was was hospitalized for hyperemesis gravidarum, a condition that causes severe nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Schumer posted a photo of her in the hospital earlier this month to announce that she had to cancel her Texas show, saying she is "v
    ery lucky to be pregnant but this is some bulls---!"



    Schumer also took the opportunity to make a point about how important it is to have access to health care. "I’m grateful I have access to healthcare, as we all should have," she added in the caption of her post.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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

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    • Botox, the pharmaceutical drug best known for smoothing out wrinkles, took more than a decade to reach its potential.
    • Initially found to be a treatment for a tight eyelid condition, doctors started realizing that after treatment with botulinum toxin A, patients came out with "lovely, untroubled expressions."  
    • Here's the history of how Botox went from an understudied toxin to a blockbuster drug used by millions. 
    • To hear the full story of Botox, subscribe to Business Insider's podcast "Household Name." 

    Mitchell Brin has a license plate that says "Botox." 

    Brin's been researching Botox since 1984 and is currently the chief scientific officer of Botox at the drug company Allergan. It's one of many Botox-related license plates he owns, including some more scientific nods like one that says "Snap-25." That's a reference to a protein affected by botulinum toxin A, leading to smoother foreheads when used in the right doses.

    "Botox is a big component of my life," Brin told Business Insider.

    Brin is one of the scientists who saw Botox through from its early days as a potential treatment for muscle disorders to what it is today — a blockbuster pharmaceutical drug best known for cosmetic uses like smoothing out wrinkles on patients' faces.

    Here's the story of how a poisonous toxin became a blockbuster treatment for everything from wrinkles to migraines. 

    Subscribe for free to Household Name

    SUBSCRIBE TO: Business Insider's "Household Name" podcast

    Researchers had been looking into whether botulinum toxin, a neurotoxin that works by paralyzing parts of the body, could be used as a treatment for muscle-related conditions starting around the 1970s.

    Yes, it's a toxin — the deadliest on Earth even. Botulinum toxin is a byproduct of the bacteria clostridium botulinum, the same one implicated in canned food gone bad.

    Source: The Conversation

    In the 1980s, Vancouver-based ophthalmologist Jean Carruthers was treating people with a tight eyelid condition with Botox injections when one patient got angry with her. She wanted to know why Carruthers hadn't given her an injection near her inner brow. Carruthers explained it was because she wasn't spasming there, but the patient was insistent. "Every time you treat me there, I get this beautiful, untroubled expression," she told Carruthers.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Moderna therapeutics

    • Moderna Therapeutics, a buzzy startup with a $7.5 billion private valuation, filed paperwork in November to go public.
    • According to an updated filing, Moderna plans to sell shares for as much as $24 each, raising $600 million.
    • Here's who stands to gain the most on what's heading to be the biggest IPO in biotech history. 

    One of the highest-valued private companies in biotech is finally going public, and when it does, there are a number of investors and individuals who stand to benefit. 

    Moderna Therapeutics, a company developing treatments based on messenger RNA, has racked up a private valuation of $7.5 billion. In early November, it filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission to go public.

    In a filing released on November 28, Moderna unveiled new details about its plans. The company said it plans to sell 25 million shares for as much as $24 each, raising $600 million. Those figures could still changes before the company goes public. 

    Read more:The president of the company headed for the biggest IPO in biotech history has a surprisingly large pay package

    The filing also includes new information about how much stock top executives and investors in Moderna own.

    Here are the biggest potential winners from that IPO, based on that new information: 

    • Noubar B. Afeyan, 56, is Moderna's chairman. He controls 19.5% or 58.9 million of Moderna's shares. Afeyan is the founder and CEO of Flagship Pioneering, the venture firm that founded Moderna. Afeyan owns 42,201 shares directly, and the rest are owned by Flagship-related funds. 
    • Stéphane Bancel, 46, is Moderna's chief executive officer. He controls 10% or 30.9 million of the company's shares ahead of Moderna's plan to go public. Like Afeyan, Bancel doesn't hold that entire stake directly. Bancel's direct ownership is 6.7 million shares.
    • AstraZeneca is a giant pharmaceutical company that invested in Moderna in 2016. Prior to the IPO, AstraZeneca controls 8.4% of Moderna's shares, or roughly 25.5 million.
    • Timothy Springer, a professor at Harvard Medical School and a founding investor in Moderna, controls 5.7% or 17.3 million of Moderna's shares. 
    • Viking Global Investors, a hedge fund that initially invested in Moderna in 2015 controls 5.5% or 16.6 million shares. 
    • Bob Langer, 70, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, controls 3.9% or 11.7 million of the company's shares. He's a member of the company's board and one of its academic co-founders.
    • Stephen Hoge, 42, is Moderna's president. Hoge joined Moderna in 2013 and became president in 2015. He controls 1.3% or roughly 4 million of the company's shares. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: There's so much CO2 in the atmosphere that planting trees can no longer save us

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    Kalin Bennett

    • Kalin Bennett, 18, will play Division 1 basketball at Kent State University next year. 
    • He is the first player with autism to earn a scholarship for a Division 1 NCAA team sport.
    • The 6'10", 300-pound center hopes to inspire others on and off the court. 

    A Kent State basketball recruit will become the first player with autism to earn a scholarship for a Division 1 NCAA team sport when he joins the team next year.

    Kalin Bennett, an 18-year-old from Little Rock, Arkansas, was recruited by several schools, but chose Kent State University not only for its basketball team but for its dedication to autism awareness, his mother, Sonja Bennett, told INSIDER.

    Bennett, a 6'10", 300-pound center, signed a letter of intent to join Kent State's team earlier this month, according

    Now Bennett, who is attending a gap year program at Link Year Prep in Branson, Missouri, wants to use his platform to inspire others.

    Read more: College basketball fans are roasting the NCAA and its new RPI killer which has Ohio State at No. 1 and Kentucky on the tournament bubble

    "It feels good to be able to make history like this," Bennett told INSIDER. "It feels good to hear stories about other people struggling with autism looking up to me.”

    He hopes that his rebound talents, positive attitude and ability to be a team player will help Kent State succeed next season.

    "They someone who can hoop — and I can hoop," he said.

    Kalin BennettDoctors didn't know if Bennett would ever speak or walk

    As a child, doctors that Bennett would remain nonverbal throughout his life, and early diagnosis suggested he may never walk.

    But Bennett prevailed, and through hard work and therapy he overcame his struggles to become the basketball player he is today.

    His coach at Link Year, Adam Donyes, said Bennett is the glue that holds his team together.

    "He's one of the most positive young men I’ve ever met," Donyes said. "When you know the entire background story of Kalin and everything he’s overcome, I can’t see how it doesn’t motivate more kids to try harder and believe in themselves."

    Read more:Commissioner Adam Silver is 'very confident' the NBA will hire the first female head coach in major men's professional sports

    Donyes said Bennett will need to push himself to learn new concepts to succeed at Kent State.

    "He might not get it as quick as everybody else, but he'll get it, and once he does it's locked in," he said.

    And during a recruiting visit to Kent in September, he wowed coaches and school officials.

    "He is really a phenomenal human being,’" Gina Campana, Kent State’s assistant director of the Autism Initiative for Research, Education and Outreach, "A light emanates from this young man. We're going to be lucky to get him at Kent State."

    While Bennett will be the first basketball player with autism in the NCAA on a scholarship, he will not be the first athlete with autism to compete at the college level. Anthony Ianni walked on to Michigan State University’s basketball team in 2009.

    Ianni played just 49 minutes in three seasons, but Kent State recruited Bennett with more action in mind.

    "I didn't recruit him for the story," Kent State’s men’s basketball coach Rob Senderoff told WVXU. "I recruited him because I believe in him as a basketball player, and I believe he can help our program. I think his best basketball is ahead of him."

    Bennett's mother's moving to Kent with him for support

    Kalin Bennett

    Sonja Bennett said she is now looking for a safe place to live in Kent, Ohio, where she will move to be with her son when he starts school.

    Coach Donyes said that it might take time for Bennett to adjust to being in a new city with a new team, but he'll need to find a community group to support him.

    "It will be a little adjustment period, but once he plays he's going to do great," he said.

    After college, Bennett hopes to play professional basketball, continue to raise autism awareness, and one day launch his own charity.

    "I want to be able to make a place where [autistic] kids can just come by, have fun, don't feel no fear being around other people," he told Bleacher Report. "Be able to express themselves, be able to be who they are without worrying about what people think about them, or how they process stuff."

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Why you shouldn't be afraid to fly, according to a pilot with over 20 years of experience

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    Off-duty border patrol agent shoots box explosives starts wildfire

    • A new video published by the Arizona Daily Star shows an off-duty Border Patrol agent starting a massive wildfire in Arizona last year by shooting a box of explosives to celebrate his baby son. 
    • The video shows the box in the middle of a field of long, dead grass suddenly exploding after what sounds like a gunshot. 
    • The surrounding grass then catches fire.
    • Dennis Dickey, 37, admitted in September to starting the Sawmill Fire in April 2017, which scorched 47,000 acres and cost $8.2 million to put out.

    The Arizona Daily Star published a video on Wednesday of an off-duty Border Patrol agent starting a massive wildfire in Arizona last year by shooting a box of explosives to celebrate his baby boy. 

    The video shows the box of explosives in the middle of a field of long, dead grass suddenly exploding after what sounds like a gunshot. The surrounding grass then catches fire before two blacked out images of people walk through the shot and someone yells, "Start packing it up!" 

    The Daily Star obtained the video from the US Forest Service through a Freedom of Information Act request. 

    Dennis Dickey, 37, admitted in September to starting the Sawmill Fire in April 2017, which scorched 47,000 acres and cost $8.2 million to put out, the Daily Star reported. 

    Watch the video below:

    The off-duty agent shot the box of Tannerite, a legal explosive generally used for target practice, to celebrate finding out the gender of his unborn son, the Daily Star reported.  

    Dickey pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of causing a fire without a permit, and was sentenced to five years probation and agreed to pay $220,000 in restitution, the Daily Star reported. 

    "Blowing up Tannerite is its own YouTube genre," the Washington Post's Alex Horton wrote in May about unexplained explosions in Pennsylvania. 

    Horton linked to one YouTube video in which a group of individuals blew up a barn with 164 pounds of Tannerite. "Nobody cares. I blew it up because I can," the YouTube user wrote alongside the video.  

    Almost 85% of all wildfires in the US are caused by humans, according to the National Park Service, citing data from the US Forest Service from 2000 to 2017.

    "Human-caused fires result from campfires left unattended, the burning of debris, negligently discarded cigarettes, and intentional acts of arson," the NPS wrote, not to mention shooting boxes of Tannerite with guns. 

    SEE ALSO: An off-duty FBI agent accidentally shot a man while doing a backflip in a Denver nightclub, police said

    SEE ALSO: I went on a Border Patrol ride-along in one of the most heavily crossed areas on the US-Mexico border — here's what happened

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The true story behind Boston gangster Whitey Bulger

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    Lincoln Aviator

    • Lincoln revealed its new three-row Aviator SUV at the LA Auto Show.
    • The crossover SUV will slot between the smaller Nautilus and the full-size Navigator in Lincoln's lineup.
    • A robust, 400-horsepower V6 and an even more powerful 450-horsepower hybrid are on order.

    The great American four-door luxury car is vanishing, but it's being replaced by SUVs. 

    That's an industry-wide trend, and Lincoln, Ford's revived luxury brand, is right in the middle of it. Lincoln launched a new Navigator full-size SUV for the 2018 model year, and it has a five-passenger midsize in the Nautilus, also now on sale.

    Joining that lineup is the Aviator, a three-row midsize crossover to be revealed on Wednesday at the LA Auto Show. The name echoes an SUV that Lincoln sold in the mid-2000s.

    Lincoln Aviator

    "Aviator represents the very best of our brand DNA and signals the direction for Lincoln vehicles going forward," Joy Falotico, Lincoln's president, said in a statement. "It offers elegance, effortless performance and unparalleled comfort – a true representation of Lincoln’s vision for the future."

    The crossover will be available with either a 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 and a ten-speed automatic transmission or a gas-electric hybrid powertrain in the Grand Touring trim level; the former will serve up 400 horsepower, and the latter will bump that to 450 horsepower.

    According to Lincoln, the Aviator's digital instrument cluster will combine the minimalist design that Lincoln has deployed across its new models with the ability to monitor various drive modes.

    "In addition to Lincoln’s five signature settings – Normal, Conserve, Excite, Slippery and Deep Conditions – two new modes are engineered specifically for Aviator Grand Touring," the carmaker said in a statement. "These modes, Pure EV and Preserve EV, allow clients to choose when and how to best use their electric energy, while an enhanced Excite mode maximizes performance."

    Lincoln Aviator

    Lincoln has combined nautical and aviation themes in its new crossovers, with the Aviator focusing on the airborne side of the equation.

    "The connotations of flight are intrinsic in the lines of the vehicle," David Woodhouse, the brand's design director, said in a statement.

    Several available design themes have been combined with a suite of in-vehicle technologies that strive to be more unobtrusive and elegant than what consumers might find in other luxury brands. The Aviator is also outfitted with advanced driver-safety-and-assist features, collectively known as Lincoln Co-Pilot360. Owners could enjoy adaptive cruise control for stop-and-go traffic, as well as collision-avoidance tech and parking assist features.

    In another trend that coming to the industry, the Aviator also permits drivers to dispense with their key fob and use a smartphone to operate the SUV.

    The Aviator will go on sale for the 2020 model year; Lincoln didn't announce pricing, but it will slot between the Nautilus and the Navigator, replacing the current MKT crossover, which stickers at about $50,000.

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

    Join the conversation about this story »

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

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    khashoggi mbs

    • Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is facing global outcry over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. 
    • Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul this past October. 
    • Prince Mohammed was once seen as the face of reform for the kingdom, but is now the central villain in the controversy over Khashoggi. 
    • The world is slowly turning against the crown prince, the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, and he's becoming increasingly isolated. 

    It wasn't that long ago that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto ruler of the kingdom, was seen as someone who would modernize his country. 

    Today, Prince Mohammed, 33, is widely viewed as the central villain in the brutal killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

    Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. Less than two months later, the crown prince's image as a reformer has been flipped on its head amid global outcry over the killing.

    The crown prince was engaged in dubious activities prior to Khashoggi's killing, such as kidnapping the Lebanese prime minister and imprisoning his rivals, but he largely continued to receive favorable coverage. 

    Khashoggi family bin Salman

    Khashoggi's killing, however, has dramatically changed the narrative on Prince Mohammed and the world is slowly turning against him. 

    Trump is standing by the crown prince, but the rest of Washington is starting to turn against the Saudi ruler

    The CIA reportedly concluded with "high confidence" that Prince Mohammed ordered the killing, though the Saudi government has vehemently denied this. 

    Read more: Trump accused of 'cover-up' after reportedly barring CIA director Gina Haspel from briefing Senate on Khashoggi killing

    President Donald Trump has so far stood by the crown prince as he faces allegations of ordering the hit on Khashoggi. Trump has consequently been accused of once again undermining the US intelligence community, but he's remained steadfast in his support for the kingdom as he emphasizes the purported economic benefits of the US-Saudi partnership.

    But other politicians in the US, including some of Trump's fellow Republicans, are not on the same page.

    After a briefing on Khashoggi's killing on Wednesday, Republican Sen. Bob Corker —  chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee — told reporters, "I don't think there's anybody in the room that doesn't believe [Prince Mohammed] was responsible for it."

    Read more: Bernie Sanders slams US support for 'despotic' Saudi Arabia in Yemen and bashes Trump over Khashoggi: 'No more! Enough death. Enough killing.'

    The US Senate on Wednesday subsequently voted 63-37 to advance a resolution to end support for Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen. The same resolution failed in the Senate back in March in a 55-44 vote, revealing how quickly feelings have shifted on the US-Saudi relationship among members of Congress. 

    'The murderer is not welcome'

    Earlier this week, Prince Mohammed faced mass protests in Tunisia as he visited, marking a profound rebuke from the citizens of a fellow Arab country. Protesters chanted "the murderer is not welcome in Tunisia" and "shame on Tunisia's rulers" for allowing the crown prince into the country, NBC News reported

    MBS protest

    Meanwhile, a prosecutor in Argentina has agreed to a request from Human Rights Watch to prosecute the crown prince for crimes against humanity, including mass civilian casualties in Yemen and Khashoggi's killing, The Guardian reported.

    Several European nations — including Germany, Finland, and Denmark — have all recently announced they would halt arms sales to the Saudis. In justifying their respective decisions, Germany and Denmark specifically cited Khashoggi's killing, while Finland pointed to the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

    Indeed, the crown prince now faces opposition in multiple corners of the world, and growing resistance in Congress to the historic US partnership with his country.   

    SEE ALSO: ‘POTUS sided with a brutal dictator over CIA? Shocking’: Trump widely bashed for siding with Saudi Arabia over Jamal Khashoggi’s killing

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The Obamas are worth $40 million — here's how they make and spend their money

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    rich ennoul faith manning

    • Rich Enuol lived in a remote tribe in the rainforests of Vietnam before moving to the US when he was a teenager.
    • Enuol's journey from Vietnam to the United States was difficult. His tribe was driven from the rainforests and was evacuated to a Cambodian refugee camp, where he learned English and experienced life with electricity for the first time.
    • He now lives in Massachusetts with his wife.
    • Interest in isolated, "uncontacted" tribes has risen after the American missionary John Allen Chau was killed by the Sentinelese, a tribe living on a remote Indian island.

    Until he was a teenager, Rich Enuol, 32, lived in an isolated tribe in the rainforests of Vietnam. He lived without electricity, slept under a thatched roof, and had never used a flush toilet. 

    Today, he's in Massachusetts with his American wife, living an existence totally alien to the life he once had.

    "Life was very different. There was no technology. I didn't have cell phones. I didn't have any of the skyscrapers, buildings. None of that," he told INSIDER of his childhood. "[I was] just basically living in the forest."

    The rainforest was a 'paradise'

    Enuol's life in the rainforests of the Vietnamese highlands was dramatically different to how he lives today.

    Enuol is part of the Degar (sometimes called Montagnard) people, a collection of indigenous tribes that populated the Vietnamese Central Highlands. Once numbered in the millions, the population dwindled to the low hundreds of thousands after the Vietnam War.

    Since then, the Degar community has continued to decline. Climate change, deforestation, and government-sponsored persecution have all threatened the Degar way of life. Enuol's own tribe — the Ede, or Rhade, people — and the language the group speaks, is nearly extinct.

    Enuol's mother died when he was young, and he and his siblings lived with his aunt and uncle in a remote village several days' travel from other villages.

    Read more: Here's what we know about the isolated tribe that reportedly killed a 26-year-old American tourist

    Growing up, Enuol's tribe practiced small-scale horticulture, were hunter-gatherers, and foraged the forest's resources. Clothing was made from cotton harvested by the community. 

    "I remember the rainforest, being surrounded by wildlife. Monkeys, tigers, elephants, bears, snakes — you name it," he said. "We only saw tribespeople. You'd have to walk days to actually see other people."

    "It's just a paradise," he said. "The rainforest was our refuge."

    A way of life nearly extinct

    The lives of tribes like Enuol's have become a point of fascination in recent weeks, following the death of American missionary John Allen Chau, who was killed by a remote tribe living on India's Sentinel Island. The Sentinelese have historically not been open to outsiders. The incident sparked controversy over the ethics of contacting and proselytizing to remote indigenous communities.

    john allen chau

    Read more: More than 100 'uncontacted' tribes exist in total isolation from global society — here's what we know about them

    Like the Sentinelese, the Degar people have come into contact with outsiders in several waves over the past centuries. In the 1800s and early 1900s, European Catholic and American Protestant missionaries converted remote villages to Christianity. Those religious influences were reinforced during Vietnam's French occupation, and by the large American presence in the country during the Vietnam war.

    Enuol's own family converted to Christianity from a native animist faith. 

    rich enuol vietnam jungle

    For most of his time in the jungle, Enuol says he had mostly negative experience with non-Degars. He was forced to learn Vietnamese by a wary and suspicious Vietnamese government. And sometimes outsiders would walk into his village and steal from his family, taking crops and supplies. 

    "There was nothing we could do about it," he said.  

    degard refugees

    "Modern" Vietnamese visitors burned down his village a number of times, he said — the community lived in tents and thatched-roof houses. Worn down from the experience, Enuol's family eventually moved out of the jungle and to a community near a Vietnamese military base. A United Nations mission later moved them to a refugee camp in Cambodia's Mondulkiri region when he was around 13.  

    "I started to see this oppression happen in my lifetime, during my childhood years," he said. "That land did not belong to them."

    'It was like I was on a totally different planet'

    It was at the Cambodian refugee camp where Enuol first learned how different life was outside the rainforest.

    "It was like I was on a totally different planet. The people. The language," he said. "I was in shock about everything. From the toilets to the escalators to the planes. It was so strange."

    Mondulkiri Refugee Camp

    An American working at the camp taught Enuol English, and in 2000, he applied for political asylum in the US. He moved to Washington State, where he graduated from high school. He then attended Appalachian State University in North Carolina and gained American citizenship.

    He now lives in Massachusetts with his wife  and works as a site manager for a non-profit that helps people with developmental disabilities.

    In 2015, thanks to a GoFundMe campaign, Enuol returned to the site where his village used to be and visited with family still living there. He was shocked to find the area completely changed, and much of the forest cleared.

    "The forest where I grew up, and what I saw when I was growing up — it's not there," he said. "It's mind-blowing to see something that was so real before and then now — because of modernization, globalization, climate change happening, assimilation — we lost it."

    degard refugee

    'Why isn't my culture good enough?' 

    Today, Vietnam continues to persecute the Degar people. Since 2001, around 3,000 have escaped to Cambodia (though Cambodia has in recent years refused refugees entry), and many hundreds have resettled across the US.

    Despite the encroachment his tribe experienced, Enuol is judicious about the role that missionaries like John Allen Chau have played in the lives of indigenous communities. 

    "For indigenous people, [religious conversion] is another way to wash away our belief," he said. "When someone gives up their original faith to believe in the new faith — [it] doesn't jive well with me because I feel like, 'Why isn't my culture good enough?'"

    Chau — and people like him — he believes, are simply a small symptom of the larger lack of understanding of indigenous cultures. 

    "Indigenous people have always been in this position, where people are interested in finding the people who lived in the rainforest, the jungle," he said. "I get that. But I don't think it's their right to come in and change someone's way of life. I didn't want to be found. If they wanted to be found, they would have been found."

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

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    IKEA employee

    • Ikea US announced in a post on its internal network on Wednesday that it plans to bump up the pay of its merchandising basics employees.
    • Ikea employees previously told Business Insider that merchandising basics employees had gotten the short end of the stick during the retailer's 2017 overhaul of its US-based stores.
    • Merchandising basics employees are responsible for all of the backend work in the stores' departments.

    When Ikea restructured its 48 US-based stores in 2017, the furniture retailer created a number of new job categories in the process. And, according to a number of Ikea employees, one new role in particular got the short end of the stick: merchandising basics.

    Previously, sales employees would work in different departments, assisting shoppers and accomplishing backend tasks.

    With the advent of the restructuring policy O4G, or "organizing for growth," all the backend work in the store's departments fell on the newly minted merchandising basics employees. The other group of former sales employees, who were called active sellers with the rollout of O4G, received a pay bump and instructions to dedicate their time to helping customers.

    But Ikea US is seemingly on the verge of changing at least one part of this: their pay.

    Business Insider reviewed an article posted on Ikea Inside, the company's internal website, that said the retailer would be boosting the pay grade of merchandising basics employees to match that of active sellers. An Ikea spokesperson did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.

    The internal article also said that Ikea US would increase the pay tiers at 14 of its stores to meet the current living wage in those locations, as well as give "all eligible" employees merit increases starting on January 1, 2019. Those merit increases would begin on February 15 and end on April 15, 2019.

    The post added that Ikea US would be looking at "compression" from February 15 to April 15. One Ikea employee told Business Insider that this term referred to the widespread perception among store workers that newer hires were earning substantially higher wages than more experienced employees.

    Business Insider previously spoke to eight current Ikea employees— whom Ikea calls "coworkers"— across four states, all of whom asked to be kept anonymous for fear of retribution. Business Insider also spoke to four former employees about their experiences working for the retailer.

    The current and former Ikea employees almost universally singled out merchandising basics as the employees who were negatively impacted by the changes. One employee told Business Insider that the merchandising basics employees were overburdened with too much work, and another employee said that their wages fell into "lowest pay band within the store."

    Some employees said that the pay disparity and work differential caused tensions within the store, especially between merchandising basics employees and active sellers. One longtime employee told Business Insider that the merchandising basics employees "seem to be the most disgruntled" over the changes.

    Are you an Ikea employee with a story to share? Email

    SEE ALSO: Ikea was once touted as one of the best places to work. Now workers are fleeing over a policy they say has backfired spectacularly.

    DON'T MISS: Ikea employees say that changes to the stores are creating a divisive environment where 'nobody is willing to help'

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: IKEA is making their furniture even easier to put together

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

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

    edge popularity

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

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

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

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

    Here are some key takeaways from the report:

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

    In full, the report:

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

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

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    mark zuckerberg amuzed smiling congressional hearing

    • Facebook is expanding "Today In," its local-focused news hub, to more than 400 cities.
    • Today In shows users news, posts, and events from their local area.
    • But it also provides a new avenue through which misinformation and fake news could spread.

    Facebook is widely rolling out a new feature for local news and events, a tool intended to engage users with their local communities that also opens up a new front in the company's battle against fake news and disinformation.

    On Wednesday, the social network announced that it is expanding "Today In" to more than 400 cities across the US, as well as some in Australia. It had previously been tested in around 100 American cities. (There's a complete map of cities where the feature is available here.)

    It is also trialing an alert system that will let government pages flag "time-sensitive and need-to-know information," such as natural disasters and road closures, to users.

    Today In is a portal that sits inside the main Facebook app and provides local-focused news and updates for users about their area, as well as nearby events and posts. But for years, Facebook has been bedeviled by fake news and hoaxes spreading on its platform; if the company is not careful, Today In could provide a new avenue in which hyper-local falsehoods could spread.

    Local news has suffered heavily from falling advertising revenues and layoffs in recent years, and Facebook (and Google) have been heavily criticised for contributing to this. Today In may help to get local news outlets greater exposure — but it seems unlikely to reverse the trend alone.

    Do you work at Facebook or WhatsApp? Got a tip? Contact this reporter via Signal or WhatsApp at +1 (650) 636-6268 using a non-work phone, email at, 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.

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    NOW WATCH: Jeff Bezos on regulating giant tech companies: 'I expect us to be scrutinized'

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    Senator Maggie Hassan

    • The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will investigate the use of loot box micro-transactions in video games at the request of U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire.
    • Hassan and other critics of the digital goods have compared loot-box transactions to gambling and have expressed concerns that the business model introduces children to addictive behavior.
    • The move follows a September statement from European regulators promising to explore the connection between loot boxes and gambling.

    Video game loot boxes are facing a fresh round of scrutiny from United States officials as the Federal Trade Commission prepares to launch an investigation into the increasingly popular business model at the request of Senator Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire.

    Loot boxes are virtual packages containing digital items for use in a specific video game; most games sell loot boxes for real cash via micro-transactions, but some allow players to earn them by playing too. The items inside each virtual box are randomized, with odds of encountering each item set in advance by the developer. Especially rare items often come with really long odds. In some cases, the items inside a loot box can enhance the player's gameplay, creating an added incentive to spend real money to acquire a digital item faster.

    Clash Royale (loot box)

    Critics of the loot box business model compare the practice to gambling, because the odds of obtaining specific items are often unknown to the buyer, and the desire to find the rarest items can lead some players to continue spending money on a game with little return on investment. As more video games adopt loot boxes and micro-transactions as a standard, lawmakers around the world have expressed concerns that children are being exposed to an entry-level form of gambling.

    Read more: Regulators from more than a dozen countries are looking to crack down on 'loot boxes,' a controversial video gaming practice that could be too much like gambling

    During an oversight hearing for the Federal Trade Commission, Sen. Hassan asked the commissioners to investigate loot-box practices to ensure that children are protected from habit-forming or addictive business models and that parents are informed about other potential negatives. Earlier this year Sen. Hassan wrote an open letter to the Entertainment Software Ratings Board asking the board to collect data on the use and revenue generated by micro-transactions in video games. 

    "Loot boxes are now endemic in the video game industry and are present in everything from casual smart phone games to the newest high budget video game releases," Sen. Hassan said during the hearing. "Loot boxes represent a $50 billion industry by the year 2022 according to the latest research estimates."

    FTC Chairman Joseph Simons agreed to investigate the loot-box model and issue a report.

    Sen. Hassan's comments reference an April 2018 report from UK-based Juniper Research, which predicts that loot box revenue will grow from $30 billion this year to $50 billion in 2022. Juniper recommended that regulators step in to stop teenage gamers from selling items scored in loot boxes or using them to gamble. Hassan also referenced a survey of 2,865 11- to 16-year-olds from the UK Gambling Commission showing that 31% of participants had paid for a loot box or had used an in-game item to open a loot box.

    However, in a statement given to prior to Monday's hearing, the UK Gambling Commission clarified that though 31% of the surveyed teens had used loot boxes, there was no direct correlation with gambling.

    The Entertainment Software Association, which represents the political interests of American video game companies, issued the following statement in response to Sen. Hassan's comments:

    "Loot boxes are one way that players can enhance the experience that video games offer. Contrary to assertions, loot boxes are not gambling. They have no real-world value, players always receive something that enhances their experience, and they are entirely optional to purchase. They can enhance the experience for those who choose to use them, but have no impact on those who do not."

    The ESA also said that the ESRB already documents the presence of loot boxes and other interactive elements in video games. As of February 2018, games rated by the ESRB now carry an "in-game purchases" label when micro-transactions are present. Tools for parents to monitor the contents of their children's games are available at

    Read more:Video game addiction has sparked a culture war in China — and it’s having huge repercussions for the world's biggest video game maker

    In September, the Gambling Regulators European Forum released a joint statement signed by officials from 15 European countries and the Washington State Gambling Commission mirroring concerns about the potential connection between loot boxes and gambling.

    Some European countries have already implemented regulations on micro-transactions, leading developers to disclose the odds of winning each item included in loot boxes or discontinue their sale entirely. A Belgian investigation of popular games like "Overwatch,""FIFA 19,""PlayerUnkown's Battlegrounds," and "NBA 2K19" for their implementation of loot boxes ultimately sparked reform earlier this year.

    Despite warnings from politicians and waves of consumer outrage, gaming companies are seeing larger percentages of their revenue generated from micro-transactions each year. While some contend that buying optional loot boxes is ultimately an issue of player's choice, the concern from critics is that, like gambling, the issue is not knowing when to stop.

    SEE ALSO: Video game addiction has sparked a culture war in China — and it’s having huge repercussions for the world's biggest video game maker

    SEE ALSO: Regulators from more than a dozen countries are looking to crack down on 'loot boxes,' a controversial video gaming practice that could be too much like gambling

    Join the conversation about this story »

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

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    washing romaine lettuce e coli

    • Romaine lettuce is now safe to eat, as long as it was not grown in northern and central California, the FDA announced Monday. 
    • Major romaine lettuce producers and distributors will begin labeling lettuce with its harvest location and date. If lettuce is unlabeled, the FDA says it should not be eaten and instead be thrown away.
    • Romaine lettuce has been linked to an E. coli outbreak that resulted in 43 reported illnesses across 12 states in the US, as well as 22 people in Canada who have become ill, as of Monday. 

    Romaine lettuce is back on the menu. 

    On Monday, the US Food and Drug Administration announced that romaine lettuce not grown in northern and central California is safe to eat. 

    The romaine has been linked to an E. coli outbreak that resulted in 43 reported illnesses across 12 states in the United States, as well as 22 people in Canada who have become ill, as of Monday. 

    Read more:Romaine lettuce sales are down more than $71 million so far this year as the industry has been pummeled with food-poisoning outbreaks — and things are about to get worse

    Major romaine lettuce producers and distributors will begin labeling lettuce with its harvest location and date to ensure that the vegetables were not contaminated by E. coli. Specific counties where the romaine linked to the outbreak was harvested include Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, and Ventura, the FDA announced on Wednesday. 

    If the lettuce is labeled and not from northern and central California, it is safe to eat; if it is not labeled, the FDA is advising against buying or eating the lettuce. 

    "The FDA believes it was critically important to have a 'clean break' in the romaine supply available to consumers in the US in order to purge the market of potentially contaminated romaine lettuce related to the current outbreak," the FDA said in a statement. "This appears to have been accomplished through the market withdrawal request of Nov. 20, 2018."

    On November 20, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told people across the US to stop eating and get rid of romaine lettuce in all forms. At that point, at least 32 people in 11 states had reported E. coli infections linked to romaine lettuce starting in October, according to the CDC. 

    Food poisoning outbreaks have cost the romaine lettuce industry millions of dollars so far in 2017. In April, the FDA revealed that romaine lettuce harvested in the Yuma, Arizona, region was contaminated with E. coli in an outbreak that left five people dead and sickened at least 210. 

    The outbreak sent romaine lettuce sales plummeting more than 40% in the weeks after the CDC told people to throw away all types of romaine. Romaine lettuce sales are down by more than $71 million so far in 2018, according to Nielsen data.

    Despite the rough year, Bill Marler, an attorney who specializes in food-poisoning cases, says there's no clear reason why romaine has been at the center of two major E. coli outbreaks.

    "I think it's just, romaine's getting a bad draw," Marler said. "It could have just as easily happened to other kinds of lettuce or other types of leafy greens, such as spinach."

    SEE ALSO: Romaine lettuce has been linked to an E. coli outbreak that has sickened at least 32 people in 11 states. Here's why this food-poisoning expert never orders salad in restaurants.

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    NOW WATCH: Target has a few sneaky ways it gets customers to spend more money

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    Tim Cook

    • Apple's stock has fallen sharply this month.
    • Investors have been spooked by the company's decision to discontinue reporting the number of iPhones it sells — and by indications of weak sales of the latest phones.
    • Investors are right to be upset about Apple's decision and concerned about iPhone sales, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives said in a new report in which he cut his price target for Apple.
    • But shareholders who get too caught up in the iPhone news are missing a big reason to be bullish about Apple's stock, he said.

    Daniel Ives wants you to know that he's still bullish on Apple. 

    But even his outlook on the iPhone maker isn't as rosy today as it was just a few weeks ago. 

    In a research note on Wednesday, Ives, a financial analyst for Wedbush and a longtime bull on Apple's stock, slashed his price target on the company's shares from $310 to $275 and cut his earnings estimates for its current quarter and fiscal year. The updates reflect reports that sales of the company's iPhones have been lower than anticipated and his expectation that they may not get better anytime soon.

    Still, he's sticking by the company, maintaining his "outperform" rating on its shares and trying to reassure shareholders made nervous by the recent plunge in Apple's shares.

    "The key question we keep getting from investors is, do you stay bullish on the name or just throw in the towel on the stock till the dust clears?" Ives said in the note. "It's a good and valid question."

    In his opinion, the selloff has only made Apple more attractive. 

    "Apple still remains of our favorite tech names heading into 2019 despite the horror show over the last month seen out of Cupertino," he said.

    Apple's stock has been plunging since its earnings report

    The tech giant has been reeling since it announced its latest earnings report at the beginning of this month. Although the company's sales and profit results topped Wall Street's expectations, it sold fewer iPhones than expected and projected that its holiday results may come in below analysts' forecasts. Worse, it announced it would no longer report the number of iPhones it sells each quarter, stoking fears that it was trying to hide an expected sales decline. Those fears have been amplified since with reports that indicate weak demand for the company's latest phones. 

    Wedbush financial analyst Daniel Ives, who covers AppleOn top of all that, President Trump indicated this week that Apple may be hit with a tariff on the iPhone and its other products that are manufactured in China.

    Since November 1, when it reported earnings, Apple's stock has fallen 18%. Thanks to that drop, the company's market capitalization has fallen well below the $1 trillion mark it topped in August and even briefly fell below that of Microsoft.

    Read this: Microsoft's surprising comeback over Apple is the outcome of two new CEOs with radically different game plans

    All the bad news out of and surrounding the company has been a "perfect storm" that has bolstered the pessimistic — or bear — case on Apple's stock, Ives said. Those bears have argued that Apple is a maturing company and, as such, should trade at a lower multiple to its earnings than it has in the past when it was growing rapidly. 

    "Many of those bears have come out of their caves after hibernation, arguing the iPhone upgrade cycle will continue to decelerate and multiple compression is on the horizon," Ives said.

    iPhone sales have been a "disappointment"

    Apple bears some of the blame for the selloff, he said. Sales of the latest iPhones have been a "clear disappointment," and the company needs to rethink its pricing strategy and the design of its upcoming phones, he said. What's more, it bungled the way it communicated its decision to stop providing unit sales of the iPhone, he said. 

    "It is extremely frustrating and perplexing the way Apple communicated the 'metrics move,'" Ives said.

    Even so, those who are focusing on the bearish case are missing some important trends, he said. While Apple's move to hike prices on the iPhone may have depressed sales, the decision has meant that its revenues have held up and likely will continue to do so.

    While the company's decision to stop reporting iPhone unit sales was disappointing, the company had a legitimate reason for doing so, Ives said. Apple is no longer just a hardware company. Its services business — which includes both its AppleCare warranty and subscription offerings such as Apple Music and iCloud storage — is now its second biggest segment  and one of its fastest growing. The company's revenues aren't just determined by how many iPhones it sells, but also how many additional services for which it convinces customers to sign up. 

    Apple's "underlying goal [in discontinuing reporting the unit-sales numbers] is to get the Street to start valuing the entire business as an overall services business with hardware/iPhone purchase the first step," Ives said.

    Apple is becoming a services company

    The services business has huge potential, Ives said, and it's ultimately what keeps him bullish on Apple. That business posted more than $37 billion in sales in the company's last fiscal year, which ended in September. It should easily hit $50 billion in annual sales by 2020, Ives said.

    Even better for Apple and its investors, that segment's gross margins — which represent the difference between what a company charges consumers for its products and services and its direct costs of making and providing those products and services — are about double that for its hardware sales. So, if Apple continues to see more of its revenue coming from services rather than from selling phones and computers, it should start posting even healthier profits.

    Apple's services revenue grew 24% last year, and Ives expects it to continue to grow by at least 20% a year for the foreseeable future. Because of that growth and the revenue it's already posting, he thinks the services business alone is worth $400 billion to $450 billion. By way of comparison, Apple's overall market capitalization at the close of trading on Wednesday stood at $859 billion.

    "The services business represents the linchpin of Apple's future," Ives said. He continued: "Now it's about Cook and [Apple] navigating through this white-knuckle period and proving that Apple's ability to monetize its billion [-plus] devices sold to date and unparalleled installed base is still on the horizon and not in the rear view mirror."

    Now read:

    SEE ALSO: Apple's $1,000 iPhones are turning it into a luxury brand — and it could lose a whole generation of customers

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    happy endings wedding

    • Many people get cold feet before their weddings. 
    • Some people go through with it, some don't.
    • These people told their stories of getting cold feet and either calling it off or going through with the wedding. 

    It's normal to feel very nervous or even anxious before you walk down the aisle to marry someone. Some of that could be from feeling worried about standing in front of a big crowd of people, but sometimes, it's more serious than that. While some people get over their cold feet and go on to have happy marriages, others don't… and they let things totally fall apart.

    There are a bunch of stories on Reddit about people who got cold feet right before their wedding, and they're pretty horrifying. They might even make you nervous about your own future wedding day. Of course, these are just for fun as INSIDER cannot independently authenticate these stories:

    "I didn't leave and I should have."

    "I realized 10 days before the wedding it was a mistake, but talked myself into believing it was cold feet, and got caught up thinking about the deposits and guests traveling. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Almost divorced now! Worst years of my life." - Redditor Daiye7

    "I left a man at the altar."

    "I was in my dress and getting ready to go to the chapel when I realized I couldn't. I froze. I didn't love him as much as I craved the safety and security that being married would bring. I was fairly recently divorced and very young and scared." - Redditor fluffledoodle

    "My sister was left at the altar by my best mate and I was the best man."

    "He met my sister through me and they went out with each other for two years and were engaged for a year before the big day. We're in the church, at the front, waiting for the bride with about 15 minutes to go. He says he needs the toilet and walks to the back of the church. A minute or so later it hits me that the toilets aren't at the back of the church and I start to worry, so I go looking for him. He's not in the toilets, not around the church, nowhere to be found.

    "My best mate had legged it. We didn't see or hear from him for three days, his own family for two days, and by then - he was in Europe somewhere 'staying with a friend,' where he's been ever since, three years now. He's never made any effort to explain, even to my sister." - Redditor thrownitawayday

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Stormy Daniels

    • Adult-film actress Stormy Daniels said Michael Avenatti, her firebrand attorney, had filed a defamation lawsuit against President Donald Trump without her approval.
    • Daniels also said Avenatti ignored her monthslong requests to give accounting information on crowdfunding for her legal fees and launched another campaign "to raise money on my behalf," without her knowing.
    • Daniels suggested she is still considering whether to keep Avenatti as her attorney.
    • Avenatti released his own statement saying he was Daniels' "biggest champion" and had "personally sacrificed an enormous amount of money, time and energy" for her case.

    Adult-film actress Stormy Daniels said Michael Avenatti, her firebrand attorney, had litigated on her behalf against President Donald Trump without her approval.

    In a statement sent to The Daily Beast, Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, said Avenatti had spoken on her behalf "without my approval" and filed a defamation case "against my wishes."

    Daniels also said Avenatti had ignored her monthslong requests to give accounting information on crowdfunding for her legal fees, and instead, launched another crowdfunding campaign"to raise money on my behalf."

    "Now he has launched a new crowdfunding campaign using my face and name without my permission and attributing words to me that I never wrote or said," Daniels said in her statement. "I'm deeply grateful to my supporters and they deserve to know their money is being spent responsibly. I don't want to hurt Michael, but it's time to set the record straight."

    Read more: 'I have never struck a woman': Michael Avenatti denies domestic violence allegations after his arrest by the LAPD

    stormy daniels

    Daniels suggested she was still considering whether to keep Avenatti as her attorney. After Avenatti was arrested on suspicion of felony domestic abuse earlier in November, Daniels said she would be "seeking new representation" if the allegations were proven to be true.

    Avenatti adamantly denied the domestic abuse allegations. The Los Angeles district attorney declined to press charges, and the case, which is still under investigation, was referred to the city attorney.

    "I haven't decided yet what to do about legal representation moving forward," Daniels said. "Michael has been a great advocate in many ways. I'm tremendously grateful to him for aggressively representing me in my fight to regain my voice."

    "But in other ways Michael has not treated me with the respect and deference an attorney should show to a client," Daniels added.

    In response to Daniels' claims, Avenatti released his own statement to The Beast. The attorney asserted he was Daniels' "biggest champion" and had "personally sacrificed an enormous amount of money, time and energy" for her case.

    Avenatti said the funds from the crowdsourced donations were intended to pay for legal fees and costs, but instead, a portion of it went toward "security expenses and similar other expenses." He continued by saying the new crowdsource effort "was simply a refresh" of the previous campaign and was "designed to defray some of [Daniels'] expenses."

    "We reset the page as the focus of the case changed from when we first launched the site," Avenatti said to The Beast.

    Avenatti, who asserted he had not "received a dime in attorney's fees" through the crowdsource campaign, added in another email that Daniels' "extraordinary" fees amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars "due to the high level of death threats" and "out-of-pocket costs" for litigation.

    In her lawsuit against Trump, Daniels said he had defamed her by suggesting she had lied about an alleged relationship with him. A federal judge eventually ruled in favor of Trump and ordered Daniels to pay for his legal fees. Avenatti said he would appeal the case.

    Avenatti and Daniels became household names after she said she and Trump had an affair in 2006. Trump has vehemently denied the allegation. Michael Cohen, Trump's former personal attorney, said he arranged a $130,000 hush payment to squash the story in order to protect Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

    SEE ALSO: 'I have never struck a woman': Michael Avenatti denies domestic violence allegations after his arrest by the LAPD

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