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The latest news from Business Insider

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    canada cuba embassy

    • Canada says another one of its diplomats in Cuba has been taken ill from a mysterious health incident.
    • 13 Canadians, including diplomats posted to the Canadian embassy in Havana and some of their family members, have come down with a mysterious illness that causes dizziness, headaches and trouble concentrating.
    • American embassy workers in Cuba have also been affected by mysterious health incidents, suffering a range of symptoms and diagnoses including mild traumatic brain injury, also known as concussion.

    OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Canada says another one of its diplomat in Cuba has fallen ill from a mysterious health incident.

    That brings the total number of Canadian confirmed cases to 13. Twenty-five American embassy workers in Cuba have also been affected by mysterious health incidents, suffering a range of symptoms and diagnoses including mild traumatic brain injury, also known as concussion.

    Among those already taken ill have been diplomats posted to the Canadian embassy in Havana and some of their family members, who have come down with a mysterious sickness that causes dizziness, headaches and trouble concentrating.

    Global Affairs Canada said late Wednesday the government continues to investigate the cause.

    The department is allowing diplomatic personnel to return to Canada if they wish.

    The government plans to hold a conference call with media on Thursday.

    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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    Big Mouth Billy Bass

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

    1. Internal documents show Facebook considered charging advertisers and developers for access to user data, The Wall Street Journal reports. The documents are from court filings in the US, and are a small window on a cache of papers British politician Damian Collins plans to publish.
    2. Elon Musk's Boring Company axed plans to build a massive tunnel under Los Angeles. The decision came after several local groups sued the city over its plan to exempt the project from environmental regulations and The Boring Company settled with them.
    3. Microsoft surpassed Apple as the most valuable US company when markets opened on Wednesday. Apple stock is on course to have its worst month since 2008, dropping 21% and wiping out over $200 billion in value.
    4. Uber's plan to buy UK delivery giant Deliveroo has stalled, with the two sides said to be "miles apart" on valuation. Uber reportedly offered less than the company's current $2 billion valuation, while Deliveroo is pushing for $4 billion.
    5. Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy roasted Larry Ellison by turning the Oracle founder into a cartoon-like face peeking over a wall."People are sick of it, and now they have choice," Jassy said of Oracle's databases.
    6. A San Francisco politician is trying to get Mark Zuckerberg's name removed from the hospital to which he donated $75 million. Earlier this year, nurses at the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital protested the facility's attachment to the Facebook CEO.
    7. The FTC will investigate whether a multi-billion dollar business model is getting kids hooked on gambling through video games. The Federal Trade Commission will investigate the use of loot box micro-transactions in video games at the request of US Senator Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire.
    8. Facebook is expanding its local news feature "Today In" to more than 400 US 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.
    9. You can now buy a Big Mouth Billy Bass that works with Amazon Alexa. The fish's lips will even sync up with what Alexa is saying.
    10. Amazon is releasing a $400 self-driving toy car.You can program the DeepRacer to drive itself via a technique called reinforcement learning, which means it learns through trial and error.

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

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Review: Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL are the best smartphones you can buy right now


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    Theresa May

    LONDON — Theresa May will be grilled on her performance as prime minister and her controversial Brexit deal on Thursday morning as she appears before senior MPs on the House of Commons Liaison Committee.

    Business Insider will be following proceedings live as the prime minister takes questions from a super-committee of 35 MPs who each chair their own separate Commons committees. The MPs represent parties across the House of Commons and include both staunch Brexiteers and passionate Remainers. 

    Home Office Committee Chair Yvette Cooper, who has been a thorn in the side of the government's Brexit plans, is on the committee. As are leading pro-EU MPs Brexit Committee Chair Hilary Benn, Treasury Committee Chair Nicky Morgan, and Sarah Wollaston, the pro-second referendum MP who chairs the liaison committee.

    Arch Brexiteers PAC Committee Chair Bernard Jenkin and European Security Committee Chair Bill Cash will also put questions to May. The prime minister will faced barbed questions from all sides of the Brexit debate.

    With there being less than two weeks until MPs vote on May's Brexit deal with the European Union, you can expect the prime minister to face some tough questions on the crucial details of the Withdrawal Agreement.

    Scroll down to find the latest developments. All times are in GMT.

    SEE ALSO: The UK government admits Brexit will inevitably leave Britain poorer

    10:10 AM — "Friends with benefits?"

    Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat gets the first laugh of the liaison committee hearing. He asks May whether the EU will be the UK's "friends with benefits" after Brexit.

    Sadly, the prime minister didn't hear Tudendhat's quip. Here's a clip.

     



    09:51 AM — Yvette Cooper tells May: You'd never accept no deal

    Home Affairs Select Committee Yvette Cooper, renowned for her forensic questioning, tells the prime minister that she "isn't being straight with people" about the reality of Brexit.

    "Here's your problem. You're saying to some people that we are going to get frictionless trade and something close to Norway, and you're saying to others that you're going to get something close to a Canada-style trade deal. And in your head you're resting on max fac which has already been rejected. You're not being straight with people," the Labour MP said.

    Cooper suggests that May would never actually accept a no deal Brexit, despite her claims that it would be better than a bad deal. 

    "Knowing you for 20 years, I don’t believe you are the kind of person who can contemplate no deal, I think you’d take action to avert it. Am I wrong in my judgement of you?"



    09:35 AM —May accused of "obsession with immigration"

    The SNP's Pete Wishart accuses Theresa May of sacrificing the rights of young British people in order to fulfil her vision of a much more restrictive immigration policy.

    "Isn't it the case, that the rights you & I had to live, work and love across a continent of 28 nations is going to be deprived to our young people because of your obsession with with immigration?" Wishart asked May.

    The prime minister said "no" and explained that under her plans, young British people will continue to have access to the EU through schemes like the Erasmus Programme for students.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    paris BENOIT TESSIER

    • The Institute of International Finance says austerity probably damages economies trying to recover from the great financial crisis.
    • Since 2008, GDP growth in the US has been 10% greater than in Europe, the IIF says. In terms of GDP growth per capita, the reduction was 5%. Fiscal tightening in Europe was the main difference.
    • Trend growth in the US was double what it was in Europe following the financial crisis, the IIF says. Prior to 2008, they had been the same.
    • "Fiscal austerity is a mistake," IIF Managing Director & Chief Economist Robin Brooks tells Business Insider.

    Since the great financial crisis of 2008 there has been a debate about what the right plan for economic recovery should have been across the US and Europe.

    For conservatives, fiscal "austerity" was the answer — limiting debt, deficits, and consequently government spending, in order to put the economy on a sound basis for future growth.

    The left, by contrast, argued that fiscal spending was the solution — using the government to supply the investment money that disappeared in the private markets during the crash, thus priming the pump (but at the risk of funding it with more debt).

    Now, the Institute of International Finance has published a series of research papers showing that austerity was probably the wrong choice. Fiscal tightening in Europe reduced GDP growth by 10% compared to the US, the IIF says. In terms of GDP growth per capita, the difference was 5%.

    Trend growth in the US was double that of Europe following the financial crisis, the IIF says, whereas prior to 2008 they had been the same.

    IIF GDP

    Austerity hurts growth, in other words.

    The main difference between Europe and the US in the post-crisis period was that the US embarked on an era of robust government spending in addition to a massive monetary stimulus package from the US Federal Reserve.

    The European Central Bank also adopted a monetary program of low interest rates and quantitative easing (QE). But the European Union continued to enforce its fiscal austerity program, banning member governments from running deficits greater than 3% of GDP. The EU also forced countries to pay down their debts during the recovery. The most dramatic example of that was Greece, which stayed inside the EU's debt repayment program even though its economy shrunk by 45%, peak to trough. Today, the EU is trying to force Italy to keep its deficit below 1.8% of GDP, even though the Italian economy has stalled at 0% growth.

    Two continents conducted an historic experiment in macroeconomics, and the data is stark

    The two continents thus conducted an historic experiment in macroeconomic policy: The US went on a government spending splurge while Europe tightened its purse strings.

    The IIF's data is stark. Europe is now poorer than the US, in growth terms, because of austerity, according to Managing Director & Chief Economist Robin Brooks and Senior Research Analyst Greg Basile.

    "What I find fascinating is that trend growth in the US and the eurozone was basically the same," Brooks told Business Insider. "Leading up to the global financial crisis, they were both growing around 2%. And afterwards you have this big divergence."

    "It's not like Europeans are fundamentally lazier than Americans in the last 10 years"

    "So to me, that says it's not like Europeans are fundamentally lazier than Americans in the last 10 years. It's just that [economic] policy hasn't been as supportive."

    Brooks and Basile discovered the gap while researching the IMF's data on potential GDP output gaps. Put simply, economists like to compare current economic growth with a measure of "potential" economic growth in order to test whether an economy is functioning at its peak capacity or not.

    They noticed an anomaly in the data that was particularly dramatic in a comparison of Italy and Australia. Australia, famously, has not had a recession since 1991 and escaped the great financial crisis relatively unscathed. Cumulatively it has added 30 percentage points of GDP growth since 2008. Italy, however, took a big hit in 2008 and has been mired in a debt crisis ever since. Its economy contracted by 4% since 2008. Yet according to the IMF data, both countries only had output gaps of just under zero, suggesting that both countries are functioning at near-full capacity. Brooks and Basile's research says.

    Read more: Europe is faltering

    On its face, that's weird: Australia's economy ought to be busting at the seams. And stagnant Italy ought to have plenty of unused economic "slack" sitting on the sidelines. But statistically, they are the same (in terms of how far they are from fulfilling their potential).

    "It's just a completely counterintutive result, where the definition of the output gap runs counter to any economic common sense, basically," Brooks says. It's a similar picture for Spain and Greece. It's "devoid of economic intuition."

    If the IIF is right, then the ECB might be about to make an historic mistake

    The poor performance of Europe vs America is further disguised by Europe's current account surplus. The surplus is the excess of exports Europe produces compared to imports. A surplus suggests Europe is selling more things to foreigners than it is buying from them. Economists usually regard this as a sign of health. Germany's historic manufacturing strength is the usual explanation for Europe's rosy export surplus.

    But Brooks and Basile say Europe's glass is actually only half full. There's a trade surplus because domestic demand outside Germany is so weak, lowering imports. If you factor in a more realistic output gap, then Europe's current account would be in deficit, they say.

    The trade stuff is highly technical, to be sure. But if the IIF is right, then the ECB might be about to make an historic mistake. It is currently in the process of "normalizing" its monetary policy, by bringing QE to an end and raising interest rates. Brooks and Basile argue that the trade data and the mismeasured output gap show that eurozone economic activity is much weaker than the bank presumes, and deflationary pressure is much stronger. Conditions suggest the ECB needs to continue to help the economy with loose monetary policy, not end it; and the euro is overvalued vs the dollar, and thus ought not to be strengthened via tighter monetary policy.

    Read more: Britain enters the 'Greek fallacy' phase of Brexit

    Solid data show that austerity in response to a recession makes both countries and people poorer

    For ordinary people, the bottom line is that there is now solid data to show that austerity in response to a recession makes both countries and people poorer than they need to be.

    This also helps explain why many European countries continue to have persistently high unemployment rates — Italy's is more than double the US or the UK — even though the stats say the output gap is small, the IIF's data suggests.

    Persistent unemployment also generates a phenomenon called "hysteresis." It means that when people are out of work for a long time, they lose the skills they need to rejoin the workforce. The economy is then prevented from growing faster when conditions improve because employers cannot find the workers they need, even though there are plenty of people out of work. Austerity inflicts damage on the total economy, in other words.

    "I think the main message as I see it is, ECB normalisation is a mistake," Brooks says. "Fiscal austerity is a mistake."

    SEE ALSO: The 'zombie' problem: Low interest rates and 'leveraged loans' sustain a vast number of lousy companies which should have gone to the wall years ago

    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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    Putin crude oil

    • Oil prices tumble yet again ahead of an OPEC meeting on December 6. Vladimir Putin said current prices are “absolutely fine.” WTI traded below $50 for the first time in over a year.
    • Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said on Wednesday that rates are "just below" a neutral level, taken by investors as a sign that the rate hike agenda was nearing its end. That helped lift European shares on Thursday.
    • US treasury yields and the dollar fell ahead of a crucial G20 summit in Argentina Friday. 

    Brent Crude dropped back below $60 a barrel and is currently trading at $58.14, down 1.6%, after data showed US inventories continued to grow, while Russia indicated it has limited interest in cutting supply. Russian President Vladimir Putin said current prices are “absolutely fine” ahead of an important OPEC meeting December 6. WTI, down 1.1%, traded below $50 for the first time in over a year.

    Falling oil prices could prompt world leaders to agree on production policy at G-20 summit, analysts told CNBC. The plunge in prices has added pressure on the OPEC alliance to execute another round of supply cuts.

    Elsewhere in markets, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's comments on interest rates gave a lift to US stocks on Wednesday and to European equity indexes on Thursday. He said rates are "just below" a neutral level, taken by investors as a sign that the rate hike agenda was nearing its end.

    Asian stocks broadly rose on the news despite investor jitters ahead of an important G20 summit Friday. Japan's Nikkei finished up 0.4%, following US gains on Wednesday, though the Shanghai Composite Index was an outlier closing down 1%. MCSI's broad Asian index, excluding Japan, rose 0.6% and is currently up 0.2%

    The Euro Stoxx 600 was up 0.6% as of 10.00 a.m in London (5 a.m EST). France's CAC is up 0.7% and Germany's Dax is is trading 0.5% higher.

    Powell's speech Wednesday also noted that there is "a great deal to like" about the US economy, and added that the outlook remains solid. His remarks sent the S&P 500 up 2.3% while the Nasdaq rose 3% at the close Wednesday. US index futures are all trading at least 0.3% lower on Thursday.

    November's losses were erased on the Dow Jones Industrial Average - which climbed 600 points Wednesday - with investors expectant that Powell's comments suggested a slowing or stopping of the Fed's interest rate hikes. 

    A Federal Reserve report out earlier Wednesday showed some American businesses have the most debt in two decades. Still, officials "see no major asset class where valuations appear far in excess of standard benchmarks," Powell said in his speech.

    US two-year treasury yields slipped to 2.813%. 

    SEE ALSO: Powell says rates are 'just below' a neutral level, flags rising corporate debt as a risk

    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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    James Harden

    • James Harden scored 54 points in an overtime loss to the Washington Wizards.
    • During one two-minute stretch, Harden scored every point in a 10-0 run by the Houston Rockets.
    • The game showed that Harden is still in MVP form at a time when some believe he has taken a small step back.


    James Harden is so good, no really, even this season.

    During an overtime loss to the Washington Wizards on Monday, last year's MVP dominated all game, like when during one stretch when he scored every point in a 10-0 run by the Houston Rockets.

    Here's the buildup: 3:40 left in the third quarter, Harden throws the ball at rookie Gary Clark and looks away. In coach Mike D'Antoni's system, everyone but Harden and co-pilot Chris Paul tends to play in rigid sequences: pass, shoot, switch, immediately acting on whatever they've learned, which is how Harden knows that Clark will shoot the three.

    The rookie misses, no matter: on defense Harden, the league-leader in steals chases the ball up court and helps his teammates smother the Wizards in the paint.

    Next play Harden lazily dribbles the ball between his legs, almost loses it, and then seems to decide he's had enough. Dribble, step back, swish: Harden for three.

    When the Rockets get another stop, Harden takes it and drives straight to the basket and draws a foul: he makes both free throws.

    When the Rockets win it back again, Harden gets the ball at three-point range, shimmies, and shoots past a frantically stretching Bradley Beal, and draws another foul: he makes two of three at the line.

    Next play, Harden nearly picks off the ball and helps force the Wizards into an airball late in the shot clock: then right away, he's at the three-point line again: shimmy, step back, swish.


    In this quietly brilliant two-minute stretch, the score is Harden 10, Wizards 0.

    Read more: NBA POWER RANKINGS: Where all 30 teams stand after a wild first month

    Some NBA fans, it seems, like to claim that James Harden sucks at basketball, that he cheats the system with three-pointers and free throws and goes to sleep on defense. But have you seen him lately? The 6'5" point guard ranges around the court like a lion, slow, sudden, lethal. That merciless scoring, those league-leading 2.3 steals per game, only his lightning-fast mind (paired with NASA-level strategists in D'Antoni, defense chief Jeff Bzdelik, and Paul) and his ripped body seem capable of pulling it off.

    Bearded, in a big red headband, Harden looked like Santa Clause on Monday night. He delivered 54 points on 17 of 32 field goals, 13 of 15 at the line, with 8 rebounds, 3 steals, and 13 assists. Last year's MVP looked like he hasn't missed a beat.

    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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    china marathon cheat

    • Over 230 runners in the Shenzhen Half Marathon in China have beencaught cheating after traffic cameras captured them taking shortcuts across bushes, The Independent reports.
    • Three impostors were also uncovered, while 18 participants were found to be wearing fake bib, bringing the total number of "violations" to 258. Some face lifetime bans from the event, while those caught taking shortcuts could be banned for two years.
    • "We deeply regret the violations that occurred during the event," Chinese news outlet Xinhua quoted organizers as saying.

    A total of 237 runners were caught on camera cutting through bushes to an adjacent carriageway, instead of continuing along the road and making a U-turn during the Shenzhen half marathon, Chinese state media reported.

    Network traffic police surveillance video showed that during the Shenzhen Nanshan Half Marathon on Sunday, while heading down Shenzhen's Shennan Avenue, runners began crossing the green belt to cross from one side of the road to another, Chinese state media Xinhua News Agency reports.

    In addition, the state news wire suggests runners' friends then took over the race, with "many people suspected" of forging and replacing their racing bibs.

    Chinese state media Xinhua News Agency reported organizers as saying. the cheaters are likely to have run two or three kilometers less than the full 21-kilometer (13.1-mile) distance.

    "We deeply regret the violations that occurred during the event. Marathon running is not simply exercise, it is a metaphor for life, and every runner is responsible for him or herself," the organizers said, Xinhua News Agency reported in English.

    The marathon, held every year in one of China's southern metropolises attracts around 16,000 runners from around China and the world.

    Xinhua called the violations "deeply shameful," according to The Guardian.

    "Don’t run and forget why you run," the state news agency added. "Don’t let the marathon turn sour."

    Last week at a marathon in Jiangsu, it was the crowd that got in the way, when a volunteer tried to hand runner He Yinli a national flag during the final sprint to the line. 

    He dropped the flag, lost the race, and came under fierce attack on social media for both.

    The People's Daily reports that the Chinese Athletics Association (CAA) held an emergency meeting on Thursday morning to discuss the recent turmoil in Chinese marathons, a sport that has literally exploded out of the blocks in recent years.

    China has held 1,072 marathons and road races this year, up from 22 in 2011, according to CAA figures provided to Xinhua.

    Wang Nan, secretary of the Party Committee of the Athletics Management Center of the State Sports General Administration and vice chairman of the China Athletics Association, told People's Daily the recent violations have attracted "widespread concern from all walks of life." 

    Nan said the CAA reiterated their intention to get on top of the movable feast that Chinese marathon is becoming.

    "The CAA once again reiterated that organizing committees should solemnly track the race, and strictly enforce the rules and competition rules of the marathon. No ceremony or activity shall affect the normal conduct of the competition and shall not affect the fair competition of the competitors," Nan said.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The science of why human breasts are so big


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    Robert Mueller

    • After Michael Cohen struck a new plea deal with the special counsel Robert Mueller, President Donald Trump and his lawyers slammed his former fixer as a "liar" and said "we can't trust him."
    • At the same time, they said Trump's version of events about a defunct effort to build a Trump Tower in Moscow during the election lines up with what Cohen told prosecutors.
    • A source close to Trump's legal team told INSIDER the president's lawyers were furious that Mueller waited to announce Cohen's plea deal until after he had secured Trump's written answers to questions about collusion.
    • The source said Trump's lawyers believe the timing of the event indicates Mueller is trying to trap Trump into perjuring himself, by getting his answers first and then presenting him with evidence that contradicts what he said.

    President Donald Trump and his lawyers can't seem to get their story straight on whether his former lawyer and longtime fixer, Michael Cohen, is a liar.

    On the one hand, they have repeatedly said Cohen cannot be trusted to tell the truth. On the other, they said Trump's story lines up with Cohen's as it relates to the Trump Organization's effort to build a Trump Tower in Moscow at the height of the 2016 election.

    On Thursday, Cohen pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements to Congress about his involvement in the project.

    Read more:Michael Cohen's latest plea deal shows Mueller's 'starting to finally get to the truth' behind Trump and Russia

    Prosecutors said Cohen knowingly misled congressional investigators when he said negotiations for the deal ended in January 2016 and that he did not discuss it extensively with Trump Organization executives, including Trump and his family members.

    Trump unleashed a tirade against Cohen after his plea deal was announced, saying, "So very simply, Michael Cohen is lying."

    Trump's lead defense lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, struck a similar tone.

    "He has so many different versions of the same stories, so by definition he is a liar and we can't trust him," Giuliani said of Cohen. "He has lied, so how can we believe him?"

    But at the same time, Giuliani told The New York Times that Trump's story is the same as Cohen's when it comes to the Trump Tower Moscow deal.

    The president knew about the deal and discussed it with Cohen before it fell apart, Trump's lawyers told The Times. "The president said there was a proposal, it was discussed with Cohen, there was a nonbinding letter of intent, and it didn't go beyond that," Giuliani said.

    Prosecutors are said to have asked Trump about the defunct project in a series of questions that Mueller's office sent over to the president. Trump's lawyers sent back Trump's written answers to the questions last week.

    A source close to Trump's legal team told INSIDER the president's lawyers were furious that Mueller waited to announce Cohen's plea deal until after he had secured Trump's written answers.

    The source said Trump's lawyers believe the timing of the event indicates Mueller is trying to trap Trump into perjuring himself, by getting his answers first and then presenting him with evidence that contradicts what he said.

    WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 29: U.S. President Donald Trump walks toward a group of reporters to answer questions while departing the White House November 29, 2018 in Washington, DC. Trump answered numerous questions regarding his former attorney Michael Cohen's recent court appearance and testimony before departing for the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

    Jeffrey Cramer, a former longtime federal prosecutor who spent 12 years at the Department of Justice, weighed in on that argument.

    "It's only a perjury trap if you lie," Cramer told INSIDER. "If you tell the truth, there's no question of a perjury trap. It's telling that everyone in Trump's orbit just seems to automatically assume he's going to lie if given the opportunity."

    Prosecutors said in Cohen's charging document that he "discussed the status and progress of the Moscow Project" with Trump "on more than the three occasions Cohen claimed" to the Senate Intelligence Committee and that "he briefed family members" of Trump within the Trump Organization about it.

    He was also discussing it with the Russian-born businessman Felix Sater as late as June 2016.

    Trump does not face significant criminal liability based on the Trump Tower Moscow deal itself, because it isn't illegal for Americans to do business in Russia.

    But Cohen's guilty plea is a confirmation that the president was not being truthful when he denied having any financial interests in Russia during the campaign. Later Thursday, BuzzFeed News dropped a bombshell report that said the Trump Organization wanted to give Russian President Vladimir Putin the $50 million penthouse in Trump Tower Moscow.

    The development will likely be of keen interest to prosecutors as they examine Trump's long history of praising Russia and Putin and of siding with Russia against US intelligence agencies.

    In other words, the problem for the president arises not from actions but from motive, said Jens David Ohlin, a vice dean at Cornell Law School who is an expert on criminal law.

    "Not Cohen's motive, but Trump's motive for deferring to Russia over and over again," Ohlin told INSIDER. "The motive is money and business deals. This gives Mueller the last piece of the puzzle."

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Fox News' Harris Faulkner is the only black woman in cable news with a daily show: 'It's a tremendous amount of responsibility'


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    Putin throwing major shade

    • The Kremlin on Thursday said it was surprised to learn that a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Donald Trump had been cancelled via a tweet.
    • Trump and Putin were supposed to meet in Argentina on the sidelines of the G20 summit, which gathers leaders from the world's 20 largest economies.
    • But on Thursday, Trump tweeted that the meeting was off because of escalating clashes between Ukraine and Russia near Crimea.
    • The Kremlin said Trump's tweet was how it learned about the abrupt cancellation. 
    • Kiev and Moscow continue to trade barbs, amid accusations of a large-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine

    The Kremlin on Thursday said it was surprised to learn that a meeting between its leader Vladimir Putin and President Donald Trump had been cancelled via a tweet. 

    Trump and Putin were supposed to meet in Argentina on the sidelines of the G20 summit, which gathers leaders from the world's 20 largest economies.

    It would've been the first meeting between the two heads of state since they met face-to-face in Finland with only their translators present in July.

    But on Thursday, Trump tweeted that the meeting had been cancelled in response to news that Russia had fired at several Ukrainian ships on Sunday and were still holding three Ukrainian sailors.

    "Based on the fact that the ships and sailors have not been returned to Ukraine from Russia, I have decided it would be best for all parties concerned to cancel my previously scheduled meeting in Argentina with President Vladimir Putin," Trump wrote.

    "I look forward to a meaningful Summit again as soon as this situation is resolved!" he added.

    The Kremlin said Thursday's tweet was the first time it was given notice about the abrupt cancellation. 

    "So far, we have only seen the tweet and media reports," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the state-owned Tass News Agency. "We have no official information." 

    Peskov said if the meeting was indeed cancelled, Putin would have "a couple of additional hours" freed up "for useful meetings."

    Trump's tweet appeared shortly after he boarded Air Force One to depart for the summit. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that Trump made the decision after consulting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, chief of staff John Kelly and national security adviser John Bolton. 

    Trump said earlier on Thursday that the meeting would "probably" still go ahead despite the major escalation of tensions near Crimea. 

    "They would like to have it. I think it’s a very good time to have the meeting," Trump told reporters before leaving Washington to fly to Buenos Aires.

    Tensions remain high in the Sea of Azov which both Ukraine and Russia share access to following Sunday's clashes. Ukraine on Monday imposed martial law in parts of the country and accused Russia of planning a full-scale invasion of the country. On Thursday, Kiev called on NATO to deploy ships in order to "provide security" in the tense region.

    Ukraine has also accused Russia of enforcing a de facto blockade on two key Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov, which Russia denied, saying shipping delays were due to "bad weather."  

    SEE ALSO: Ukraine says Russia is preparing to launch a large-scale ground invasion

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The true story behind Boston gangster Whitey Bulger


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    miss germany

    • In honor of Miss Universe 2018 (December 17), we're taking a look back at all the best costumes from the National Costume Show.
    • The National Costume Show is a separate part of the pageant, and doesn't count towards contestants' overall scores. It's a chance for them to honor and celebrate their countries.
    • In the last decade, the costumes have become more elaborate, ornate, and, in some cases, a bit confusing.


    Miss Universe 2018 is quickly approaching, and some contestants have already revealed what they'll be wearing to represent their countries.

    In honor of (perhaps) the best part of the entire pageant, we've rounded up the most elaborate national costumes for your viewing pleasure. Whether you loved Miss Canada's hockey ensemble with a working scoreboard or Miss Japan's samurai costume with an actual sword, there was probably something for you.

    Keep scrolling for some of the best national costumes in Miss Universe history.

    Miss USA 2013 Erin Brady's Transformers-inspired costume made a statement.

    The costume is a patriotic Optimus Prime.



    Miss Brazil 2013 Jakelyne Oliveira wore a cape that depicted indigenous peoples of Brazil.

    There are indigenous tribes living in the wilds of Brazil's Amazon even today.



    Miss Thailand 2015 Aniporn Chalermburanawong rocked a dress inspired by a tuk tuk.

    A tuk tuk is the most famous symbol of transportation in Thailand. It's a three-wheeled motorized scooter/taxi hybrid with no windows or doors.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    sheryl sandberg

    • Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg reportedly requested opposition research on billionaire George Soros.
    • Sandberg reportedly wanted to know if Soros, who publicly criticized Facebook, was shorting the company's stock. That news comes after it was revealed that Facebook had a relationship with the opposition-research firm, Definers Public Affairs.
    • Definers has had ties to Republican campaigns and it previously released a report that suggested Soros, a popular target for anti-Semitic and right-wing groups, was secretly funding anti-Facebook organizations.
    • Sandberg has suggested she was unaware of Facebook's relationship with the firm.

    Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, reportedly requested research on billionaire George Soros, and wanted to see if the investor was shorting Facebook's stock, the company said to multiple news organizations on Thursday.

    That news comes after it was revealed that Facebook had a relationship with the opposition-research firm, Definers Public Affairs. Definers has had ties to Republican campaigns and it previously released a report that suggested Soros, a popular target for anti-Semitic and right-wing groups, was secretly funding anti-Facebook organizations.

    Sandberg, who has been at the crux of recent controversies involving the company, previously suggested she was unaware of Facebook's relationship with Definers.

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

    Following news of the firm's relationship with Facebook, the tech giant immediately cut ties with the company.

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

    A Facebook spokesperson said Sandberg did not direct Definers Public Affairs, adding that she did request information about Soros' "potential motivations,"BuzzFeed News reported. Her request followed Soros' appearance at the World Economic Forum in January, where he described tech companies like Facebook and Google as a "menace" and "internet monopolies."

    "Mr. Soros is a prominent investor and we looked into his investments and trading activity related to Facebook," a Facebook spokesperson said to BuzzFeed News. "That research was already underway when Sheryl sent an email asking if Mr. Soros had shorted Facebook's stock."

    "Sheryl never directed research on Freedom from Facebook," the spokesperson added, referring to an anti-Facebook campaign. "But as she said before she takes full responsibility for any activity that happened on her watch."

    Following the public backlash, Facebook's outgoing boss of policy and communications, Elliot Schrage, took the blame.

    "Responsibility for these decisions rests with leadership of the Communications team," Schrage said in a memo. "That's me. Mark [Zuckerberg] and Sheryl [Sandberg] relied on me to manage this without controversy."

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

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    NOW WATCH: Amazon wants to open 3,000 cashier-less grocery stores — and they'll have a major advantage over their competitors


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    Screen Shot 2018 11 29 at 6.20.29 PM

    • At least three people are dead and multiple people are injured in a rollover crash that involved a chase with Border Patrol.
    • A truck was reportedly carrying passengers in the cargo bed when it crashed.
    • 3 people had major injuries and 5 other had minor injuries, Cal Fire San Diego said.
    • One of the vehicles was reportedly traveling over 100 miles per hour, and it mounted the center divide and right shoulder.

    At least three people are dead after a truck carrying passengers in the truckbed crashed and rolled over during a vehicle pursuit with the Border Patrol, near San Diego.

    At least 8 people were injured, Cal Fire San Diego said. Victims were being transported with ground ambulances due to inclement weather.

    A vehicle traveling over 100 miles per hour that mounted the center divide and right shoulder was reported at around 4:30 p.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.

    It was unclear how many people were in the truckbed and what prompted the vehicle chase, according to NBC 7 San Diego.

    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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    australia fire queensland heat wave

    • Australia's northeastern region of Queensland is experiencing unprecedented heat waves and record-breaking wildfires. 
    • For the first time in history, fire danger in Queensland has been rated "catastrophic,"the highest possible level on the Queensland government's warning scale.
    • "We have never, ever, in this state, been in this situation before," Queensland Fire and Emergency Services commissioner Katarina Carroll told the Associated Press.
    • Extreme weather brings the devastating impact of human-caused climate change into focus.

    Australia's northeastern Queensland region is experiencing unprecedented heat waves and record-breaking wildfires. 

    For the first time in history, the fire danger in Queensland has been rated "catastrophic," the highest possible level on the Queensland government's warning scale

    According to Axios, the threat level remains dire, as nearly 140 wildfires ripped through the area on Thursday.

    Queensland Fire and Emergency Services commissioner Katarina Carroll told AP Wednesday that extreme weather was "uncharted waters" for the region. 

    "We have never, ever, in this state, been in this situation before," she said.

    Northern areas of Queensland, like popular tourist spot Cairns, hit record temperatures upwards of 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) on Friday, for the third day in a row. A weather station at Cairns Racecourse hit 43.6 Celsius on both Monday and Tuesday, according to Nine News, and record-high temperatures were also recorded in Townsville, Innisfail, and Cooktown.

    Warnings ranging from catastrophic to severe were issued along Australia's northern coast. High winds combined with hot and dry air have resulted in heightened fire warnings, though the conditions are unusual for the region which experiences its wet season in late November.

    Queensland's Bureau of Meteorology said Friday afternoon that the heatwave would extend further west and south across the country over the weekend. 

    Authorities and scientists are warning that much of the Great Barrier Reef, the largest living ecosystem on earth, could be significantly damaged due to the region's extreme weather. 

    Thousands of people have been forced to leave their homes over the last few days, as fires continue to spread. Residents of Gracemere were told to evacuate on Wednesday, the Guardian reported, while communities near Mackay were alerted of the fire dangers on Thursday. Many people have sought shelter in nearby Rockhampton.

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison has pledged federal assistance to deal with the devastation.

    "The entire country is coming to your aid. The entire country is there to help in this time of great need," Morrison told reporters Wednesday evening.

    The neighboring state of New South Wales also experienced several bushfires last week.

    Extreme heat has become more frequent across the globe, shattering records and causing devastating fires across major cities. In July, Greece declared a state of emergency as massive fires devastated entire towns. California experienced its deadliest fire in history this month.

    Extreme weather brings the devastating impact of human-led climate change into focus. According to the World Meteorological Organization, the 20 warmest years ever recorded were in the past 22 years. The four warmest have been the past four years.

    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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    trump xi g20 2017

    Hello! Here's everything you need to know on Friday.

    1. Trump is either about to sort out the whole trade war thing at the G20 summit ...Or we are all going back to a deep dark economic cold war sometime over the weekend.

    2. Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg wondered whether George Soros was shorting the company stock.In fact, the chief operating officer reportedly wanted opposition research to go hard on the billionaire.

    3. In other not-such-a-good-look news, the Trump Organization wanted to gift Russian President Vladimir Putin the top-floor penthouse of a Moscow Trump Tower.Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former longtime lawyer oversaw the project. He pleaded guilty on November 29 to lying to the US Congress.

    4. Google's Dragonfly execs sought to hide the giant's China search plans from their colleagues. They didn't take written notes and isolated internal teams to keep the plan secret, just in case Google employees got angry.

    5. Tesla boss Elon Musk says owners will be able to call on their cars from a long, long way away."You can summon your Tesla from your phone only short distances today, but in a few years summon will work from across the continent,"Musk said.

    6. Uber calls itself out as CEO Dara Khosrowshahi says pedestrian should not have died in self-driving test.Khosrowshahi said on Tuesday at an all-hands meeting: "we have screwed up."

    7. Those Millennials are killing a whole bunch of once-strong industries. According to the Fed, it's mostly just because they're poor.

    8. Three people have died in an incident involving US border patrol.At least three people are dead and multiple people are injured in a rollover crash that involved a chase with Border Patrol near San Diego

    9. The Kremlin discovered a new and unpleasant way to find out the US president is not coming to a meeting.It is called a tweet. And not invading Crimea is how to avoid them.

    10.And there is a reason Microsoft is about to do a number on Apple. Yes, Microsoft is less exciting, but it has a game plan that it is sticking to.

    And finally ...

    One ticket, two days, more than 50 insightful speakers, and over 600 executives: Business Insider's flagship IGNITION conference headliners include Mark Cuban, Janice Min, Sir Martin Sorrell, and Barbara Corcoran. Join us for IGNITION, December 3 and 4 in New York City.

    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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    Tesla China

    • A new report from the Associated Press indicates that electric-car makers, including Tesla, transmit data from its owner-operated vehicles to the Chinese government.
    • Volkswagen, BMW, Ford, Mitsubishi, and many others are telling the Chinese government where drivers are alongside a whole batch of other data points, the AP has found.
    • The newswire service reports that the data is sent to "government-backed monitoring centers," and the data-collection largely happens without drivers being aware.
    • While the stream of information from electric cars adds another layer to China's arsen of digital tracking tools, President Xi Jinping retains many other sources of data in his militarization of social surveillance in China.

    A new report from the Associated Press indicates that electric-car makers, including Tesla, transmit data from its owner-operated vehicles to the Chinese government.

    More than 200 manufacturers like Volkswagen, BMW, Daimler, Ford, General Motors, Nissan, Mitsubishi and US-listed electric vehicle startup Nio, tell the Chinese government where you are with positioning data alongside a whole batch of other data point, the Associated Press has found.

    AP reports, that the data is sent to "government-backed monitoring centers," and largely happens without drivers being aware that their movements and other information in being tracked.

    While the tracking of electric cars adds another layer to China's growing arsenal of social surveillance tools, the information is publicly available, according to the AP.

    "Electric vehicles in China transmit data from the car’s sensors back to the manufacturer. From there, automakers send at least 61 data points, including location and details about battery and engine function to local centers," The AP reports.

    Thye decision by the Chinese government to obligate electric vehicle makers to provide such data points for centralized and undefined uses stands in contrast to other major car markets like the United States, Japan, and Europe which are generally not in the business of harvesting real-time location data from privately-owned vehicles.

    Modern cars also generally gather data on the car’s internal systems and track information to better understand driving habits and transmit that information back to the car manufacturer. But the notion of sending data to the government would generally invite significant privacy concerns.

    Not so in the China of today under President Xi Jinping, who heads up a special all-powerful cyber unit that sits above every other committee and government department overseeing anything cyber-side, from propaganda, surveillance to internet censorship.

    In February 2014, Xi created for himself a new title and position as head of the newly created Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission (中央网络安全和信息化委员会 or CCAF), sitting above even the central propaganda department or the State Internet Information Office (国家互联网信息办公室) assuming personal control of all aspects of China's cyber-future.

    Read more:Elon Musk said Tesla owners will be able to use their phones to summon their vehicles from 'across the continent' in a few years

    In April, Xi made a surprise and somewhat historic visit to a Cyberspace conference in Beijing, detailing his vision of what cyberspace governance with Chinese characteristics looks like.

    "China has achieved historic progress in the development of cybersecurity and informatization, formed a model of cyberspace governance with Chinese characteristics, and developed a strategic thought to advance the country's strength in this regard,"the Xinhua News Agency reported Xi as saying.

    Xi has been very big on enhancing military-civilian integration across "cybersecurity and informatization," calling it a "key and cutting-edge frontier field with the greatest vitality and potential in the drive for integration,"China Daily reported in April.

    Whatever that means, it is clear that Xi intends for the Chinese Communist Party to form the center of a military approach to public governance from where his CCAF can literally direct the traffic.

    China is building and applying facial-recognition technology; tech giants monitoring their own customers; forcing citizens to download apps that monitor their content; requiring Chinese tech companies, like Alibaba, to share data; having law enforcement officers wear special glasses to identify people in crowded places, like streets and train stations, and the list goes on.

    Analysts have suggested Xi is building the world's first digital autocracy beginning with a digitally-enhanced social-credit system that scrutinizes every action and decision, good or bad, and collates a potentially limitless variety of data to provide each citizen with a color-coded social rank that describes who you are in the eyes of the CCP.

    “You’re learning a lot about people’s day-to-day activities and that becomes part of what I call ubiquitous surveillance, where pretty much everything that you do is being recorded and saved and potentially can be used in order to affect your life and your freedom,” Michael Chertoff, who was Homeland Security secretary under President George W. Bush told AP.

    Chinese officials say the electric-car data is only used to improve public safety, facilitate industrial development and infrastructure planning, and to prevent fraud in subsidy programs, the AP reports.

    However, while sales of alternatively fueled cars made up 2.6% of China's total car sales last year, China has made it very clear the creation and distribution of new energy vehicles is national priority.

    According to Bloomberg China is leading the shift to electric vehicles.

    Every second electric car sold today goes to China and Bloomberg expects this to continue through 2025, when 19% of all passenger vehicle sales will be in China. That will coincide nicely with the vision of local policymakers that AP says are targeting 20% of all car sales by the same year.

    EV sales in China hit 95,000 in May 2018, up 128% on May 2017.

    From next year, AP says that all automakers in China must meet production minimums for new energy vehicles, part of Beijing’s aggressive effort to reduce dependence on foreign energy sources and place itself at the forefront of the alternative energies industries.

    These government regulations on sharing data from next-generation connected cars sets a worrying precedent, AP observes, and if China can hit its new car targets in 2025, then the government will be gleaning a whole new and rich stream of data without even leaving the government-backed monitoring center.

    SEE ALSO: Elon Musk said Tesla owners will be able to use their phones to summon their vehicles from 'across the continent' in a few years

    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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    donald trump robert mueller reg wide

    • On Thursday, November 29, news broke that Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's longtime fixer and lawyer, pleaded guilty to lying to Congress.
    • BuzzFeed news claims that Russian-born businessman Felix Sater's plan for Trump Tower Moscow included giving Russian President Vladimir Putin a $50 million penthouse to entice other Russian oligarchs to purchase apartments in the building.
    • "He was convicted of various things unrelated to us,"Trump said of his former fixer, adding that Cohen was "a weak person and what he’s trying to do is get a reduced sentence."
    • If all the new information seems disorienting, don't worry, we have you covered. 

    On Thursday, November 29, news broke that Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's longtime fixer and lawyer, pleaded guilty to lying to Congress. Specifically the charges revolved around how long he and the Trump Organization had been in conversations about building a Trump Tower in Moscow and the extent that Trump was involved vs. what he told congressional investigators.

    And then a flurry of reports emerged — each in some way related to the revelations and special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible collusion between Russia and Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

    If all the all the new information seems dizzying, don't worry, we have you covered. Here are five details you need to know:

    1. "Individual 1"

    Cohen appeared in Federal District Court in Manhattan, and the charges were made public, on Thursday. "In exchange for pleading guilty and continuing to cooperate with Mr. Mueller, he may hope to receive a lighter sentence,"The New York Times explained. This is the first charge levied against him by Mueller. Earlier this year, Cohen pleaded guilty to charges, including campaign finance violations, brought by federal prosecutors.

    The latest court document charges Cohen with lying to both Senate and House investigations into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign. In the document Trump is referred to as "the owner of [Trump Organization] ('Individual 1')."

    Cohen was the point person for trying to secure a deal to place a Trump Tower in Moscow. In 2017, Cohen told investigators that he worked on the deal from September 2015 to January 2016 — but stopped before the Iowa Caucus.

    In reality, he didn't abandon the discussions until June of 2016, the court document reveals.

    The court document also details other misleading statements from Cohen — he claimed he never planned to travel to Russia or arrange for Trump to travel to Russia, he said that the tower plans were "not discussed extensively with others in the Company," and he told congressional investigators that he had no response from Russian government officials.

    All of these claims, the document states, were false. Cohen worked with "Individual 2" (we'll get to him) to try to travel to Russia (plans which were abandoned in June), and to try to get "Individual 1" to go; Cohen talked about the plan at least three times with "Individual 1," and he also discussed it with a personal assistant to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov for 20 minutes.

    2. G20 meeting canceled — and Russia learned about it from a tweet?

    Trump canceled a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin that was scheduled to take place in Argentina during the G20 Summit — via Twitter. The cancellation was allegedly due to the Russian military's clash with the Ukrainian navy in the Kerch Strait, on Sunday, and the capture of 24 Ukrainian sailors.

    "Based on the fact that the ships and sailors have not been returned to Ukraine from Russia, I have decided it would be best for all parties concerned to cancel my previously scheduled meeting in Argentina with President Vladimir Putin," Trump wrote. "I look forward to a meaningful Summit again as soon as this situation is resolved!"

    And according to what spokesman Peskov told a state-owned news agency, Trump's tweet was the first the Kremlin heard of the cancellation.

    3. A penthouse for Putin?

    Following the news of the plea deal, both the New York Times and BuzzFeed News released stories with information on Felix Sater, who reportedly worked with Cohen on the Trump Tower Moscow discussions and referred to as "Individual 2" in the aforementioned charges. Sater, a businessman who was born in Russia and moved to the US as a child, was an associate of Cohen and is a convicted felon, who also assisted US intelligence agencies. Sater worked to connect Cohen to contacts in Russia.

    In its report, BuzzFeed news claims that Sater's plan for Trump Tower Moscow included giving Russian President Vladimir Putin a $50 million penthouse to entice other Russian oligarchs to purchase apartments in the building.

    4. The Trump team's response — getting their story straight.

    While leaving Washington to head to Argentina for the G20 Summit, Trump was asked by reporters about Cohen pleading guilty that morning in Manhattan.

    "He was convicted of various things unrelated to us,"Trump said. He also stated that Cohen was "a weak person and what he’s trying to do is get a reduced sentence."

    Regarding the Moscow deal that never went through, Trump said, "There was a good chance that I wouldn’t have won, in which case I would have gotten back into the business, and why should I lose lots of opportunities?"

    Trump's lawyers have repeatedly painted Cohen as a liar, but as INSIDER's Sonam Sheth wrote, "At the same time, they said Trump's version of events about a defunct effort to build a Trump Tower in Moscow during the election lines up with what Cohen told prosecutors."

    5. The implications

    The guilty plea shows that the Trump Organization was indeed trying to secure a business deal in Russia, and it also reveals that lying to Congress about this investigation falls under the purview of the special counsel's office.

    "There are certainly others at the Trump Organization that knew about this Russian overture,"Jeffrey Cramer, a longtime former federal prosecutor told Sheth. "If they knew about it and lied, either to Mueller or to Congress, there's no reason to think they'd be treated differently than Cohen. You don't get a pass because your last name is Trump."

    SEE ALSO: Michael Cohen's latest plea deal shows Mueller's 'starting to finally get to the truth' behind Trump and Russia Michael Cohen's latest plea deal with the special counsel Robert Mueller has far-reaching implications for President Donald Trump, as well as other witnesses in the Russia investigation.

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


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    Floyd Mayweather

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

    1. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in an all-hands meeting that the company deserves some fault after its self-driving car killed a pedestrian. During an all-hands meeting at Uber on Tuesday, Khosrowshahi and the head of the self-driving car unit, Eric Meyhofer, were questioned by employees about the culture at the autonomous-car unit.
    2. Google's Dragonfly execs didn't take written notes and isolated internal teams to hide China search plans from other employees. The Intercept published a report on Thursday describing the efforts at Google to push aside internal security and privacy concerns over its controversial project, Dragonfly.
    3. Sheryl Sandberg reportedly wanted to know if George Soros, who publicly criticized Facebook, was shorting the company's stock. This comes after it was revealed that Facebook had a relationship with the opposition-research firm, Definers Public Affairs.
    4. Floyd Mayweather Jr. and DJ Khaled will each pay more than $100,000 in fines to settle charges that they illegally touted ICOs. Mayweather received $100,000 from cryptocurrency comany Centra Tech to promote its ICO, while Khaled was paid $50,000.
    5. Nintendo had a record-setting Black Friday weekend, but Switch sales are still lower than expected after a slow year. Nintendo also revealed that 8 million Switch consoles have been purchased in the US since its launch in March 2017. The company expects to sell 38 million Switch units worldwide by March 2019.
    6. The software for Sennheiser's high-end headphones has a bizarre and potentially dangerous bug that makes users vulnerable to hackers. Sennheiser has issued an update which every HeadSetup user, past or present, should download and install now.
    7. The CEOs of Microsoft and Google are heading to the White House next week. Tech executives including Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Google CEO Sundar Pichai are expected to attend a meeting with the Trump administration next week.
    8. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is putting up $6.1 million to turn a hotel into transitional housing for San Francisco’s homeless population. The housing-renovation project is a partnership between Benioff, San Francisco mayor London Breed, and the local homeless advocacy group Tenderloin Housing Clinic.
    9. Amazon CTO Werner Vogels says the best day of his year was when Amazon turned off its largest Oracle data warehouse. On November 1, Amazon switched off its largest Oracle database and moved over to its own data warehouse, Redshift.
    10. E-scooters are sending dozens of people to emergency rooms, and the companies appear to have a double standards when it comes to safety. In Austin alone, one emergency room is seeing 10 injuries a day from scooters, the hospital's ER director told CNET.

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

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


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    Good morning! Here's what you need to know in markets on Friday.

    trump xi jinping

    1. Trump is either about to sort out the whole trade war thing at the G20 summit ... Or we are all going back to a deep dark economic cold war sometime over the weekend. Goldman Sachs says a continued escalation of the trade war would be the “most likely” outcome.

    2. A police raid of Deutsche Bank is continuing on Friday for a second day over money laundering allegations linked to the "Panama Papers", a spokeswoman for the Frankfurt prosecutor's office said.

    3. SoftBank has set an indicative price of 1,500 yen ($13.23) per share for its initial public offering (IPO), a regulatory filing showed on Friday, making the deal worth 2.4 trillion yen ($21.16 billion) in one of the world's biggest-ever listings.

    4. Growth in China's vast manufacturing sector stalled for the first time in over two years in November as new orders slowed,piling pressure on Beijing ahead of crucial trade talks between Presidents Xi Jinping and Donald Trump this weekend.

    5. In an unusual move on Thursday, a federal judge raised the prospect of not approving CVS Health's deal to buy insurer Aetna, which closed earlier this week, during a routine portion of the legal process.

    6. Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg wondered whether George Soros was shorting the company stock. In fact, the chief operating officer reportedly wanted opposition research to go hard on the billionaire.

    7. Google's Dragonfly execs sought to hide the giant's China search plans from their colleagues. They didn't take written notes and isolated internal teams to keep the plan secret, just in case Google employees got angry.

    8. Tesla owners will be able to summon their vehicles with their phones"from across the continent" in a few years, CEO Elon Musk said on Wednesday via Twitter.

    9.Those Millennials are killing a whole bunch of once-strong industries. According to the Fed, it's mostly just because they're poor.

    10.And there is a reason Microsoft is about to do a number on Apple. Yes, Microsoft is less exciting, but it has a game plan that it is sticking to.

     

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Hilary Benn

    • Labour and Conservative MPs table amendment which gives Parliament control over Brexit if Theresa May's deal fails to win support. 
    • The amendment, tabled by leading Labour MP Hilary Benn, would give MPs the authority to say what steps the UK government should take if May's deal cannot get through Parliament.
    • Possible next steps include extending negotiations, a softer Brexit, or holding another referendum.
    • The prime minister is refusing to budge on her deal despite the prospect of a landslide defeat next week.
    • 100 Conservative MPs have said they will vote against the deal.

    LONDON — A cross-party group of MPs have launched a bid to give the House of Commons the power to decide what action the UK government should take if Theresa May's Brexit deal cannot get through Parliament.

    Labour MP Hilary Benn is the lead signatory on an amendment to the meaningful vote which if passed would give MPs control over the next steps in the Brexit process should May's Brexit deal with the EU fail to win support.

    In practice, it means that should Parliament refuse to accept the prime minister's deal, MPs could instruct her to extend negotiations, hold another referendum, or pursue a different sort of Brexit like a softer, Norway-style exit.

    The amendment — backed by MPs like Labour's Yvette Cooper and Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston — could determine the outcome of Brexit with MPs almost certain to vote down May's deal on December 11.

    As of Friday morning, 100 Conservative MPs have said they will not support the prime minister's deal. Neither will the DUP which props up May's government or a vast majority of MPs in Labour and the other opposition parties.

    Despite the prospect of a landslide defeat, May is currently refusing to budge on her Brexit deal with the EU.

    Travelling to Argentina on Friday, she told journalists that she would not switch to Labour's policy of a permanent customs union with the EU, claiming: "I’ve been very clear about my position, we won’t be in the customs union."

    She also refused to discuss the possible options if her deal is unable to get through Parliament.

    "It has always been said we wouldn’t get to this position of having a deal. Now we’ve got to the position of having a deal, all you seem to want to be asking about is the next stage," the prime minister said.

    May also refused to discuss what will happen if her Brexit deal is voted down during a forensic question and answer session with senior MPs on Thursday, repeatedly insisting: "I am focused on the meaningful vote."

    Labour's Shadow Brexit Secretary, Sir Keir Starmer, has tabled an amendment of his own which seeks to guarantee that Britain won't leave the EU without a deal no matter what happens in the upcoming vote on May's deal.

    Liam Fox

    The prime minister has been boosted by pro-Brexit members of the Cabinet like Liam Fox who have agreed to stay in government and support her deal despite concerns about the details of the agreement.

    Trade Secretary Fox will today use a speech in Bristol, southwest England to encourage Conservative MPs to get behind May and her controversial deal. He is set to say: "In politics, we cannot always have the luxury of doing what we want for ourselves — but we have an abiding duty to do what is right for our country."

    He is set to add: "The deal we’ve reached will give us a firm and stable base on which to leave the EU and build this country’s global future... Now is the time to set aside our differences."

    Andrea Leadsom, another leading government Brexiteer, still has significant reservations with the deal — specifically the backstop for avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland — allies of the MP have told Business Insider.

    However, she is set to vote for the deal next week, as Environment Secretary Michael Gove and International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt, who have both been tipped to quit a government over May's deal.

    SEE ALSO: The UK government admits Brexit will inevitably leave Britain poorer

    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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    In the last few years, there’s been a major shift as to how consumers interact with social media.

    Rather than posting content that lives on the platform in perpetuity, users are now posting and viewing more “Stories,” video or images that live for only 24 hours.The Stories Slide Deck

    Many platforms have introduced some form of Stories format — whether it be Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or WhatsApp. Snapchat was the company to introduce it to the world, but Instagram has surpassed it in terms of volume and perhaps usability.

    Business Insider Intelligence has compiled a slide deck that looks into how Stories work on Instagram and Snapchat, and how brands and publishers should be using the Stories feature to reach their audiences.

    This exclusive deck can be yours for FREE today. As an added bonus, you will gain immediate access to our exclusive BI Intelligence Daily newsletter.

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