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The latest news from Business Insider

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    James Comey

    • Former FBI Director James Comey said Sunday he made a deal with Congressional Republicans on offering his testimony for the investigation of the FBI's handling of the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 elections.
    • The deal marks a backing off from a monthslong legal fight Comey has waged in order to testify publicly.
    • House Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte previously offered to publicly release Comey's testimony transcript and said Sunday he expected Comey to cooperate with Republican lawmakers.

    Former FBI Director James Comey tweeted Sunday that he had made a deal with Congressional Republicans on offering his testimony for the FBI's handling of the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

    The deal marks a backing off from a legal fight over a subpoena from Republican lawmakers that would require him to answer questions about the FBI and decisions made during the 2016 presidential election.

    "Grateful for a fair hearing from judge. Hard to protect my rights without being in contempt, which I don’t believe in," Comey wrote on Twitter, days after the hearing on his challenge of the subpoena.

    "So will sit in the dark, but Republicans agree I’m free to talk when done and transcript released in 24 hours," he added. "This is the closest I can get to public testimony."

    Comey has demanded that his testimony to the House Judiciary Committee be public. Committee chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte offered to publicly release the transcript of Comey's testimony, writing on Twitter that it would ensure "transparency and access for the American people to all the facts."

    Goodlatte said in a Sunday morning Fox News appearance that he expected Comey to back off his challenge to the Republican-issued subpoena and speak with GOP lawmakers.

    "That, of course, remains to be seen, it hasn't happened yet," Goodlatte admitted in the interview. "But the counsel for the House and the counsel for Mr. Comey have been working cooperatively and I expect that'll happen."

    After receiving the subpoena from House Republicans in late November, Comey tweeted that he would object to a closed-door testimony because of "selective leaking and distortion" by the committee members.

    The former FBI head wrote: "Happy Thanksgiving. Got a subpoena from House Republicans. I'm still happy to sit in the light and answer all questions. But I will resist a 'closed door' thing because I've seen enough of their selective leaking and distortion. Let's have a hearing and invite everyone to see."

    Comey's testimony has been highly sought by Republican lawmakers and led Goodlatte to issue a subpoena last month after Comey declined requests in October from the Republican members of the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees for testimony.

    SEE ALSO: Here's a glimpse at Trump's decades-long history of business ties to Russia

    DON'T MISS: Michael Cohen's plea deal poses a significant danger to Donald Trump Jr.

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

    Everlane $100 cashmere sweater review

    • Everlane has a great line of $100 cashmere sweaters for women and men.
    • The relatively low cost reflects Everlane's transparent pricing and declining costs in raw materials.
    • I wore the $100 Cashmere Crew as an unofficial uniform last winter, and it's a great deal.

    It's that time of year again. The cold is creeping in through drafty windowsills, Central Park once again smells like decomposing leaves and roasted peanuts, and cashmere and wool coats — the unofficial mascots of the winter season — are being unfolded from their summertime storage. 

    For me, that means Everlane's $100 Cashmere Crew, which without much conscious involvement, became my cold weather uniform last year — a reliable choice for everything from weekend apple picking outings to groggy Monday mornings. 

    It's warm and soft, but still ultimately lightweight — making it perfect on its own, layered, or tucked into a skirt. The relaxed fit works for the office, weekend plans, or lounging around the house with a cup of coffee and a book. This also makes it a good investment piece, since I can wear it alone on chilly fall nights and layered during colder winter nights — it is a closet staple for six months of the year.

    In other words, the Cashmere Crew has been a great use of $100.

    It's a foundational closet piece, and it never disappoints. It's unobtrusive, chameleon-level versatile, and both looks and feels good effortlessly. I've had more fun buying statement pieces, but rarely have I ever gotten so much wear per dollar.

    The Crew comes in six sizes (XXS - XL) and 22 colors, but I would suggest starting with a staple color that works with the bulk of your closet, like black, charcoal, or dark navy. You can always stock up on more colors, but I guarantee you will thank yourself for beginning with one that weathers repeated wears gracefully. I ordered true to size, but if you're concerned about tightness, you should be happy with the next size up. 

    Read more: I put 5 of Everlane's best-selling shoes to the test in NYC — and ranked them by comfort level

    everlane under 100 cashmere

    It's not cheap, but it is relatively affordable. Everlane uses Grade-A cashmere — the best there is — but sells it at the same price you might find Grade-C in another store. Unlike lower-quality options, Grade-A is stronger and doesn't pill as easily. 

    According to Everlane, the cost of raw cashmere fluctuates wildly, and retailers raise prices to reflect higher cashmere costs when necessary. However, they rarely lower prices when the raw cost declines. Because of their 100% transparency model, Everlane has adjusted prices to reflect the declining cashmere costs in recent years (from $125 originally to $100 for the last few years).

    Cashmere sweaters — like many items on the site — have a pricing breakdown for the interested customer. According to the company, it cost $42 to make the Cashmere Crew, but traditional retail markup would sell it for $210. Everlane has priced it at $100. 

    Though you are getting a nicer form of cashmere, $100 still isn't chump change. But, if you're looking for a good deal, then this is a great option.

    I don't have a minimalist closet with spare options, but I opt to wear this sweater at least once a week during the cold season. It's soft, comfortable, flattering, and comes in a silhouette that makes it even more versatile than the average crewneck cashmere sweater. If you need to stock up on winter closet workhorses you know you're going to inevitably live in, you may want to take a look. 

    Shop the women's Everlane Cashmere Crew for $100, available in 22 colors

    Shop the men's Everlane Cashmere Crew for $100, available in 12 colors

    Shop all Everlane Cashmere, $100 - $155

    DON'T MISS: Everlane has launched a line of $68 stretch denim that never gets baggy — here's what we thought after putting it to the test

    SEE ALSO: This unsung hero of women's footwear makes comfortable, stylish shoes under $300 — here's what we thought of its fall boots

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    buffy

    • Facebook has inked a deal with 20th Century Fox to distribute all seasons of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer,""Angel," and "Firefly" on Facebook Watch.
    • It's one of the platform's bigger licensing deals and is a departure from Watch's goal of commissioning platform-exclusive programs.
    • Facebook's strategy with Watch continues to change and is looking more like YouTube's model than other streaming services.

    Facebook is hoping that a crop of popular '90s shows can beef up Facebook Watch and the company's big bet on TV-like video programming.

    On Friday, Facebook dropped all 268 episodes of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer,""Angel," and "Firefly" on Watch as part of a licensing deal with 20th Century Fox.

    Each show has its own Page, and the programming is not exclusive to Watch. The three shows aired on TV between 1996 and 2004, and are also available on Hulu. The drop of the shows comes at the same time that Facebook is widely rolling out its Watch Party feature, which allows people to watch videos together and comment on them in real time.

    Read more: 'It is critically important for Facebook to get this right': Publishers say Facebook's rollout of Watch ads is methodical but picking up speed

    The three shows, created by Joss Whedon, "have incredibly dedicated fanbases that have persisted and even grown online," Matthew Henick, Facebook's head of content planning and strategy for media partnerships,told Variety. "What we've been focused on Watch [Sic] is building a people-centric video platform, creating a social viewing experience where you can connect with other people who love the shows, and even the creatives who worked on them."

    Facebook's strategy continues to morph with Watch

    Watch is a little over a year old but execs continue to switch gears with its big ambitions for video.

    Distributing the old 20th Century Fox shows on Watch is another example of how Watch is looking like YouTube and taking pages out of the Google-owned platform's playbook.

    After initially pitching Watch as a platform for exclusive shows, Facebook has opened up Watch to include both shows and regular video clips and has also rolled out a self-serve tool that lets creators set up their own Watch shows and get money from ad breaks that run during their clips.

    The 20th Century Fox deal also seems to support a recent report from CNBC that Facebook is increasingly focusing on programs geared for older audiences as opposed to the lucrative market of teens and millennials.

    This isn't the first time that Facebook has experimented with nostalgia programming. Viacom's MTV Studios and Bunim/Murray Productions are working with Watch to co-produce three seasons of The Real World, another franchise that millennials grew up with. Unlike Facebook's deal with 20th Century Fox, though, Viacom is creating new episodes of The Real World with voting features designed specifically for Watch that will allow users to choose who appears show before it airs. 

    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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    nick jonas priyanka chopra sangreet

    • Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra were married Saturday in one of two ceremonies planned for the weekend.
    • The two shared photos celebrating the traditional pre-wedding Mehendi ceremony on Friday.
    • Sunday morning, Chopra shared more photos from the pair's lavish Friday night Sangeet, a musical celebration, that show off the happy couple partying with friends and family.
    • The two are having a second traditional Indian wedding ceremony on Sunday.

    Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra were married on Saturday in India. Before the nuptials, the two held a lot of pre-wedding festivities, which started on November 26 with a welcome dinner in Mumbai.

    The three-day wedding consisted of two lavish pre-wedding celebrations, a traditional Mehendi and an extravagant Sangeet, a traditional musical celebration which brings together families of the bride and groom.

    Chopra shared photos from Friday's event on Instagram, which consisted of musical and dance performances by family, including Joe Jonas and Chopra herself.

    sangreet priyanka choprasangreet nick jonas priyanka

    A sangeet is typically hosted by the bride's family with members of the groom's family invited. It's a way for the two families to bond and become one. According to The Knot, the celebration offers a chance for family members to get to know each other before the big day. In the past, a traditional sangeet could have lasted for days on end.

    priyanka chopra

    Nick Jonas had his three brothers, Kevin, Joe, and Frankie, by his side at the ceremony to celebrate the big day with him. 

    joe jonas brothers pre wedding

    "It all began as a fierce song & dance competition between the families but ended, as always, as a huge celebration of love," Chopra wrote on Instagram of the night. "Nick and I were looking forward to the Sangeet (musical evening), another pre wedding ritual..and to see what each side had put together."

    priyanka nick jonas sangreet

    On Saturday, the two were married in one of two ceremonies at the Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, Rajasthan in India. Both Chopra and Nick Jonas wore custom designs by Ralph Lauren in a Christian ceremony.

    Read more: A complete timeline of Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra's relationship

    The fashion designer has never designed wedding gowns for anyone outside his family, but he made an exception in this case. Lauren brought the two together when he invited both as guests to the 2017 Met Gala. The two started dating about a year later.

    A second, traditional Hindi wedding ceremony will take place Sunday.

    Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.

    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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    bharath jayaraman new headshot.JPG

    • Before making someone a boss, allow them to have some management experience, so they know what they're getting into.
    • That's advice from Bharath Jayaraman, vice president of people at Paxos and a former HR exec at Facebook and Amazon.
    • Jayaraman recommended allowing would-be managers to mentor a new hire on their team and then decide if this is something they're interested in.

    Becoming a boss isn't easy.

    You go from being evaluated on your technical skills to being judged on your people-management skills, and possibly from working all day at your desk to spending hours on hours in meetings.

    It's a jarring transition for many new managers, said Bharath Jayaraman — but it shouldn't be.

    Jayaraman is the vice president of people at financial technology company Paxos; he's previously worked in human resources at companies including Facebook and Amazon. Jayaraman shared with me several ideas for better preparing employees to be managers.

    One option is to give that person some informal management experience.

    "Never make anyone a people manager without making them a mentor for a new hire on your team first," Jayaraman said. "Set very clear expectations that, as a mentor, [their] role is to help them navigate the company effectively and help them understand where they're blocked."

    Another option Jayaraman proposed is to organize groups of people who have expressed some desire to be managers and have them go through more formal training. Every few months, a new cohort of would-be managers might review and discuss case studies, or work with coaches and mentors.

    "When people go through that and then say, 'Hey, this is not what I thought I would do as a manager; I'm not sure that's for me,' that is a great outcome."

    Read more: For smart people to be great bosses, they have to move away from what got them promoted in the first place

    Research suggests that most American workers don't, in fact, aspire to be managers. A survey by professional staffing firm Addison Group, cited on Bloomberg, found that just one-third of American workers believe that becoming a manager can advance their careers.

    Instead, one expert told Bloomberg, many young workers today want to be "knowledge experts," as opposed to people managers.

    The problem is that, at some companies, people-management seems like a natural next step in their careers, even if they're not particularly inspired by the idea.

    "You hire adults, you treat them like adults," Jayaraman said. "You tell them what it means to be a manager and let them make a decision about whether they want to do it or not, which is probably the most effective way to sort of minimize some of the early mistakes that a lot of people make."

    SEE ALSO: A former Google HR exec says too many people make the same mistake when trying to impress their boss

    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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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider may receive a commission from The Points Guy Affiliate Network.

    Capital One Savor - is it right for you?

    • The Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card offers an insanely high rate of return for foodies — 4% back on dining and entertainment and 2% back at grocery stores. 
    • You'll also earn $500 in bonus cash after you use your card for $3,000 in purchases within three months of account opening.
    • This card comes with no foreign transaction fees and the bonus earning tiers work for overseas purchases as well as spending incurred stateside. 

    While many cash-back credit cards offer a flat rate of rewards for each dollar you spend, some cards offer bonus categories that let you rack up more rewards on everything you buy. The Chase Freedom is a good example of this since it offers 5% back on your first $1,500 spent in special bonus categories each quarter plus 1% back on all other purchases, but there are plenty of other cards that fall into this category.

    By seeking out cards that offer special bonus categories, you can find new ways to maximize your spending. This works particularly well if you spend more money in certain areas of your budget than most.

    That's why I was intrigued by the new version of the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card.

    As someone who spends a lot of money on groceries since I have a family, I loved the idea of earning a flat 2% back at grocery stores. Even more, however, I am shocked by the fact this card offers 4% back on dining out and entertainment. While my husband and I eat mostly at home when we are around, we are traveling at least three months out of the year. This means a lot of dining out for us, which could lead to phenomenal rewards with this card.

    Capital One Savor: The perfect card for foodies?

    If you're someone who dines out often or spends a lot of money on food in general, you'll probably want to take note of the Capital One Savor and all it has to offer.

    The insane value proposition starts with the $500 bonus cash you earn after signing up and spending $3,000 on your card within three months of account opening. On top of that bonus, you'll earn 4% back on dining out and entertainment and 2% back at grocery stores (as we already noted). You also earn 1% back on all other purchases, which is pretty standard for most cash-back categories with special "bonus categories."

    Another big benefit this card offers is the fact that the annual fee is waived the first year. If you decide to keep the card after the first year, you'll pay an annual fee of $95.

    The Capital One Savor doesn't charge any foreign transaction fees, and yes, the 4% and 2% bonus categories apply to dining and grocery purchases made outside the United States. The big caveat is that big-box stores like Walmart and Target are not counted as grocery stores, so you will only earn 1% back when you shop there — even if you're buying food.

    The rewards you earn with this card are unlimited, meaning there are no caps on how much cash back you can rack up. Rewards are also easy to redeem since you can turn them into statement credits at a rate of one cent per point.

    How much can a foodie earn their first year?

    If you're someone who spends a lot on dining out and groceries like me, you're probably wondering how much you can earn with this card right away. You may also be wondering whether the Capital One Savor is a better deal than comparable cards. At the end of the day, this card's value proposition depends mostly on your personal spending style and habits.

    With that in mind, let's work up a few imaginary numbers to estimate how much you might earn with this card during your first 12 months as a cardholder.

    If you're a foodie who loves high-end ingredients and hard-to-find foods or a family with a few kids, it's easy to imagine you would spend $1,000 per month at the grocery store. That's $12,000 per year you can assign to the 2% rate, leading to $240 in cash back in this category alone.

    Let's also imagine that you dine out twice per week — once at a more affordable establishment and another time at a fancy restaurant. It's easy to imagine you would spend $125 per week dining out that way, for a total of around $500 per month ($6,000 per year). Now tack on the fact that the 4% also applies to entertainment purchases, which includes things like movie theaters, tourist attractions, amusement parks, bowling alleys, live theater, concerts, and professional sporting events. It's easy to imagine you could spend another $200 per month on fun, right?

    With 4% back on dining and entertainment, you would rack up another $336 in cash rewards.

    To round things out, assume you put another $10,000 in miscellaneous spending on your card each year, leading to another $100 in rewards. Add in the $500 sign-up bonus you earn after using your card for $3,000 in purchases within three months for account opening, and your total first-year rewards work out to $1,176.

    Considering you can redeem your rewards for statement credits to cover any purchase made with your card, that's $1,176 you could use for nearly anything — more luxurious dining experiences, for example, or even travel or gifts for someone else.

    This is just an imaginary scenario, but you surely get the point. In summary, signing up for the Capital One Savor makes a whole lot of sense if you:

    • Spend a lot of money at the grocery store each month
    • Dine out extensively and wish to earn 4% back
    • Want to earn points you can redeem for statement credits
    • Don't have the desire to transfer your points to airline or hotel partners

    Why I'm not signing up

    While I've painted an attractive picture for why you might want to sign up for this card, the final bullet point above is the reason I won't be signing up. I love earning high rates of cash back for each dollar I spend, but I love having the option to transfer points to airlines and hotels even more.

    I am a Chase enthusiast to my core, mostly because I can transfer points 1:1 to my favorite transfer partners such as Air France/Flying Blue, United MileagePlus, Southwest Airlines, World of Hyatt, and British Airways. As a result, I put all my regular spending (including dining) on my Chase Sapphire Reserve. While the Chase Sapphire Reserve only offers 3x points on dining and travel (and 1x points on all other purchases), I get considerably more value when I transfer points to airline and hotel partners.

    The bottom line

    If you're trying to decide on a new card to sign up for, make sure to think over how you prefer to redeem your rewards.

    If you love being able to transfer to airlines and hotels, a flexible travel card may be ideal for you. If you're more interested in the ease and simplicity of cash back, however, check out the Capital One Savor.

    For foodies who spend a lot on amazing meals, this card is hard to beat.

    Click here to learn about the Capital One Savor from Insider Picks’ partner: The Points Guy

    DON'T MISS: 4 reasons to open the brand-new AmEx Gold card, especially if you're a foodie

    SEE ALSO: All of Insider Picks' credit cards coverage, in one place

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    carson block

    • Muddy Waters Research founder Carson Block says short-sellers must engage in what he calls the "most pure form of ESG" investing by pushing funds to "name names" of companies, executives and fellow portfolio managers that are hurting society.

    • Healthcare companies such as Acadia Healthcare, Insys Therapeutics and Health Insurance Innovations were called out by Block for hurting people.

    • "It's time to rethink the amorality of investing," Block told attendees of Kase Learning's Shorting Conference in New York. 

    Businesses that are generally bad for society have often been very good for investors, according to Carson Block, founder of Muddy Waters Research. That's because investors are told to ignore their morals.

    Block had a call to action for attendees at Kase Learning's Shorting Conference in New York: Put an end amoral investing.

    “The question I ask is should this business be running the way it is? Should it exist the way that it does, regardless of the way it generates money," Block said on Monday. 

    “If the answer is no, then get the f*** out.”

    He said "scummy businesses" are often very profitable for investors, and he acknowledged his advice goes against the managers' training. He labeled the healthcare industry as "ground zero" for this type of investing, mentioning companies such as Insys Therapeutics, Acadia Healthcare, Health Insurance Innovations and Medifast by name. Block's firm does not have positions in any of the companies, he said at the beginning of his presentation. 

    Insys, which settled with the Department of Justice in August to pay $150 million for paying doctors to push an opioid it manufactured, "f****** killed people" with its drug marketing, Block said. Analysts had buy ratings on them following the settlement announcement, he said. 

    Short-sellers in particular "should put the world on notice" when they take a stance, he says, by naming not only the names of executives at certain companies but the portfolio managers and analysts that prop them up as well.

    "Make them explain their positions to their kids," Block says. 

    The growing ESG investing business, which focuses on investing in companies with good environmental, social and governance standards, does not go far enough for Block. He said it is "checklist-driven for companies that want to be able to say they looked out for bad stuff."

    “This is the purest form of ESG investing," he said about his strategy of going after companies and their executives.

    Insys, Acadia, Health Insurance Innovations and Medifast did not immediately respond to requests for comment. 

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    woman grocery shopping buying meat chicken food

    • Stretch how far your meat goes with dishes like meatballs.
    • A local butcher may give you a bargain on meat.
    • Organ meats can be a delicious deal.

    Meat is a luxury product. It's expensive to produce (think of all the food, water and space any given animal needs as it grows into your future meal…) and, well, it should be. Super-cheap meats can be unhealthy and while factory farmed, mass-produced meats may save you a few bucks, they can be bad for you in the long run. 

    The cheapest pound of meat at the store isn't always the best, for its price and its taste. We asked meat-buying experts for their tips on buying meat while keeping a budget in mind — without sacrificing any quality for the price.

    Shop the sales.

    Instead of going to the supermarket set on purchasing a pound of chicken drumsticks, see what's on sale — and stock up.

    "When you find meat that's on sale, purchase it in bulk, take advantage of the discount and go home and either seal it in a freezer tight bag or use something like a food saver to save your meat and freeze it yourself," Chef Erica Barrett, founder and CEO of Southern Culture Artisan Foods, told INSIDER.

    You're saving on the meat itself and on future trips to the grocery store if you have a freezer full of whatever was cheapest on sale.



    Chat up the butcher.

    A neighborhood butcher may be your best friend when it comes to getting deals on meat.

    "Just ask, ‘What kind of cuts do you have? Or, ‘Do you have anything special?'" suggested Chef Bobby Hodge of Nashville's Oak Steakhouse.

    A butcher can help talk you through similarly priced meats to determine which is the best value. "Maybe it's a cut you have never tried and they help you out. Butcher know cheaper cuts that you may not know of that are just as or more flavorful than what you would've bought."

    Also, a butcher may have an abundance of something almost at its prime that needs to leave the refrigerated case, state, so they can cut you a deal. Butchers may also be able to share scraps or bones for cheap, so you can make a meaty soup or stew without paying full price.



    Eat tongue, tripe, and kidney.

    "A nutritious way to save money on meat would be to go for the organ meats instead of the more common options like steak or drumsticks," said Caleb Backe, personal trainer and health and wellness expert for Maple Holistics.

    "Organ meats are not only a cost-effective option but are more nutrient-dense than your typical muscle-meat. They contain iron, magnesium, zinc, and folate, as well as Vitamin B12, A, and K which all serve to retain muscle mass and keep you fuller for longer. Whether you feel like trying tongue, tripe or kidneys, organ cuts are an effective and healthy way to save money on meat." 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    awful tree

    • The holiday season is coming up, which means plenty of people will be relying on Pinterest for crafting inspiration.
    • Crafting isn't as easy as it looks.
    • We found six DIY or custom-made holiday sweaters that went tragically wrong in the making.

    The holiday season is coming up, which means people will be relying on Pinterest for winter crafting inspiration. But creating a DIY Christmas sweater isn't as easy as it looks — and neither is finding a flaw-free, custom-made one, evidently.

    From poorly placed ornaments to an unfortunate typo, keep reading to see six of the most cringe-worthy Christmas sweater fails we've seen.

    This Christmas-tree inspired sweater looks like it would make quite a mess.

    A post shared by Lydee (@lidee23) on

    We got some serious "Stranger Things" vibes from this outfit, but it doesn't look too practical.

    But over-zealous crafters aren't the only ones struggling with holiday sweaters. Some companies that sell custom-made garments seem to have some issues of their own.

    Without Rudolph's iconic red nose, this sweatshirt is all kinds of wrong. 

    And this Harry Potter-themed garment shows why proofreading is important.

    This shirt would normally be perfect for beauty gurus, but printed upside down it just looks confusing.

    A post shared by Michelle Hunter (@mm__hunter) on

    These sweaters just confirm that the most reliable place to get a quality ugly sweater is your local thrift store— and that's perfectly fine.

    Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This Christmas sweater can hold an entire wine bottle


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    Steve Mnuchin

    • Tax Day, the last day to file your 2018 tax return, is Monday, April 15, 2019.
    • Tax refunds typically arrive within three weeks of filing, and the IRS recommends receiving it via direct deposit.
    • The new tax law is in effect, so there are a few changes to be aware of when filing your taxes.

    The deadline to submit your tax return in 2019 — or file an extension with the IRS— is Monday, April 15. 

    The new tax law is in effect, so there are a few changes to be aware of when filing your taxes.

    Here's what to expect when you submit your tax return this year. 

    You can file your taxes for free if you know where to look

    Many online tax services allow you to file your federal taxes for free— and sometimes state taxes as well — if your income was less than $66,000 in 2018. You can check your options using the IRS Free File lookup.

    You can also download the IRS2Go app to find free tax-filing assistance, check your refund status, or make a payment.

    You can still file for free if you make more than $66,000, but to do so, you'll need to use the Free File Fillable Forms. The IRS recommends using those forms only if you have experience preparing tax returns on your own.

    You should receive all of your tax documents by early February

    Before you file your taxes, you need to collect all your 2018 tax documents. If you're an employee, that means your W-2; if you're a freelancer, you may have multiple 1099 forms. In some cases, you may have other statements, such as income earned from an interest-bearing savings account or interest paid on a loan, or even taxable bitcoin gains.

    Most tax-related documents must be filed by your employer or other institution by January 31, and the statements must be postmarked by that date as well. That means you should have received everything you need by early February. 

    In the meantime, you can estimate your tax refund for this year using an online tax calculator.

    Withholding tables changed under the new tax law and you may get a smaller refund

    Your tax situation can change over time — for example, if you get married, buy a home, or have a child — so it's always a good idea to review your W-4 tax-withholding form at the start of a new year. With the new tax law this year, it's even more important.

    President Donald Trump changed the US tax code for the first time in 30 years when he signed the Republican tax bill into law in December 2017. The changes — including new tax brackets and modified tax deductions — went into effect on January 1, 2018. Employees should have noticed a difference in their take-home pay

    Read more: Here's a look at what the new income tax brackets mean for every type of US taxpayer this year

    The IRS says it has worked with payroll providers to make the change as seamless as possible for taxpayers, but refunds may be different for some taxpayers this year and some may owe an unexpected tax bill if they didn't review and adjust their withholding, according to the IRS.

    Some tax deductions have changed under the new law as well. The standard deduction will nearly double and some itemized deductions have changed. You can see a full list of changes on the IRS website.

    The IRS recommends e-filing and choosing direct deposit

    The IRS says the fastest way to get your tax refund is the method already used by most taxpayers: filing electronically and selecting direct deposit as the method for receiving your refund.

    The IRS says direct deposit — which the government also uses for Social Security and Veterans Affairs payments — is "simple, safe, and secure."

    Popular online tax services like TurboTax and H&R Block are easy to use, even for tax novices — but they aren't the only option for e-filing your taxes for free. If you plan to visit an accountant, make an appointment early to avoid the rush.

    You should receive your tax refund within 21 days of filing

    In 2018, Americans have received tax refunds worth more than $324 billion, with an average refund of $2,899, according to the IRS.

    Your tax refund should hit your bank account within three weeks of filing online, assuming you opt to receive it via direct deposit. Often, you'll get your money even faster.

    rich people boat champagne

    You can check the status of your tax refund using the IRS's return-tracking service 24 hours after filing your tax return online or four weeks after mailing a return.

    If you owe taxes, you don't have to pay all at once

    Regardless of when you file your tax return, your 2018 tax bill is due April 15. You can file early and schedule a payment for that day (or anytime before) if you aren't quite ready to pay.

    But, if you can't afford to pay your tax bill in full, don't pull out your credit card or ignore the situation. The IRS offers reasonable payment plans at much lower interest rates than most banks. You may even be able to settle the bill for less than you owe, called an offer in compromise, or request a deferment until you can make a payment.

    Keep copies of your old tax returns for at least 3 years

    You don't have to save your tax returns forever. The IRS recommends holding onto copies for at least three years — the typical length of time the IRS would look back if you happen to get audited.

    Most audits cover returns filed over the past two years, but the IRS can go back further if the situation calls for it. But audits shouldn't be cause for worry for most taxpayers. Fewer than 1% of tax returns are audited by the IRS.

    When you dispose of old tax returns, make sure to properly shred the documents to protect against identity theft.

    What to do if you've been a victim of tax fraud

    Tax season presents plenty of opportunity for would-be identity thieves. A stolen Social Security number can be used to file a fraudulent tax return and refund request, but it's not the only tax scam out there. The IRS keeps track of the most common tax-related crimes, and the list is long and varied.

    how to file your taxes

    The best way to protect against tax scams— especially potential identity theft— is to file your tax return as soon as possible.

    If you think you are a victim of identity theft or tax fraud, you should report it to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. The IRS also has detailed instructions on what to do if you are a victim of tax fraud.

    The US Department of Justice says the IRS never discusses personal tax issues through unsolicited emails or texts, or over social media. Be wary if you are contacted by someone claiming to be from the IRS who says you owe money. When the IRS needs to get in touch with a taxpayer, standard practice is to send a letter via the US Postal Service. If you receive an unexpected and suspicious email from the IRS, forward it to phishing@irs.gov.

    SEE ALSO: Here's a look at what the new income tax brackets mean for every type of taxpayer

    DON'T MISS: You're probably making these 11 tax mistakes — and it could be costing you thousands

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    Marine Candidates participate in a fire team assault course at the Officer Candidate School, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, June 17, 2017.

    • The US military posts hundreds of photos and videos every day from missions around the world.
    • Business Insider selected some of the most compelling images taken in 2018 from across the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard. 

    The US has the world's most powerful military. It also has a small army of talented photographers who showcase the military's missions and training every day.  

    At home and around the world, the American armed forces defend US national interests, as well as global peace and security. US troops often put themselves in harm's way in service to the nation, from fighting Taliban forces in Afghanistan to waging war against ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria, and sometimes they make the ultimate sacrifice. 

    Business Insider selected 27 photos from the US military in 2018 that you won't want to miss. 

    A U.S. Army combat medic assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C., readies his equipment before embarking on his final evaluation lane while competing for the Expert Field Medical Badge on Nov. 6, 2018.

    Source: US Army



    A southern black racer snake slithers across the rifle barrel held by junior Army National Guard sniper Pfc. William Snyder as he practices woodland stalking in a camouflaged ghillie suit at Eglin Air Force Base on April 7, 2018.

    Source: Department of Defense



    Army combat engineers assigned to the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division blast through a concrete wall during demolition training at Fort Hood, Texas on July 17, 2018.

    Source: Department of Defense



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    Catholic Church

    • Syracuse Bishop Robert Cunningham released a list of 57 priests with claims of child sexual abuse against them.
    • However, District Attorney William Fitzpatrick said there were "dozens" of names on the list that he could not prosecute, due to the fact that many are deceased and the New York state statute of limitations.
    • Fitzpatrick reportedly can only conduct an investigation to ensure a priest does not pose a danger to children, not pursue the cases in a criminal court.

    The Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse released a list of 57 priests with allegations of child sexual abuse against them, but legal officials aren't able to prosecute them, according to Syracuse.com.

    Syracuse Bishop Robert Cunningham made the decision to release the names before his retirement in the first case of the diocese releasing such a list.

    The list includes names of 38 deceased priests. There are 19 listed that are still alive, all of whom were removed from ministry, the diocese said.

    Cunningham previously refused to release the list of names in accordance with the diocese's previous tradition of withholding the names from public view.

    "Upon serious reflection and prayer, I have concluded that this practice has become a roadblock to moving our local Church forward," Cunningham wrote to parishioners, according to  Syracuse.com. "Additionally, I believe it is not fair to my successor whomever he is or whenever he comes, to leave him with this decision."

    No active priests in the diocese have public, active accusations of child sexual abuse against them, and the office of Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick is reviewing the allegations against living priests.

    However, Fitzpatrick reportedly can only conduct an investigation to ensure a priest does not pose a danger to children, not pursue the cases in a criminal court.

    Thirty-two of the priests on the list were removed as part of the 2002 Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, an established policy for bishops on handling child abuse cases. Five were removed before the charter and 20 were accused after their deaths.

    However, Fitzpatrick deemed the move impotent ahead of its release, citing the several deceased priests and New York state statute of limitations as preventing prosecution for "dozens" of named priests for allegations dating back to the 1950s.

    The list is the same that the diocese released earlier this year to the New York attorney general's office.

    Despite the diocese's cooperation, there is evidence that some allegations were kept from law enforcement and signals that the diocese is in dire need of policy reform in dealing with such cases, Fitzpatrick told Syracuse.com

    "I don't think there's any question that historically the Syracuse diocese, along with perhaps every other diocese in America and maybe the world, was derelict in eradicating this and nipping it in the bud," Fitzpatrick said. 

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    party men yelling office shout fun night

    Too much booze, end-of-year stress, and coworkers can be a recipe for disaster.

    That's why office holiday parties are such a minefield of awkward situations.

    Many offices are doing away with alcohol, or the party altogether, in the wake of sexual misconduct scandals currently plaguing a range of industries.

    But if your office is having festivities this year, it's crucial to remember that you're pretty much still at work, even if it's a party.

    You need to be able to loosen up and enjoy yourself without looking like a complete fool or jeopardizing your job.

    Business Insider spoke with HR and career professionals to highlight topics you'll want to avoid at your office holiday party:

    SEE ALSO: What the biggest 'War on Christmas' controversy gets wrong about history

    DON'T MISS: 21 of the wildest office holiday party stories we've ever heard

    1. 'Could you introduce me to your daughter/son?'

    Avoid hitting on your coworkers' relatives. It's awkward and it won't end well.

    "Be careful about jokes or crude remarks... there is nothing like your colleague asking to be introduced to your daughter that really makes the night and subsequent days at work uncomfortable," Rebecca Henderson, global group president of HR firm Randstad Sourceright, told Business Insider.



    2. 'I never realized you had such an amazing body — the way you dress in the office is far too conservative'

    TriNet director of human capital services Jackie Breslin said, "Give a compliment that is appropriate and won't make a coworker uncomfortable. A fair number of workplace complaints regarding inappropriate conduct have an origin at the company holiday party."

    CEO of HR consulting firm OperationsInc. David Lewis agrees, noting that even statements as simple as "You look great" can come across as creepy. "Avoid anything that suggests anything sexual in lieu of the word 'great,'" he said.

    On a similar note, the holiday party is usually not the time to confess your office crush.

    "Don't use the holiday party as an excuse to share your intimate feelings with a colleague," said TopResume career advice expert Amanda Augustine.

    Basically, don't forget that you're still at work.



    3. 'Can I drive you home?'

    If you and your coworkers have been drinking, it's important to make sure your coworkers are safe to drive. However, if you're not sure about a colleague's level of intoxication, you don't want to sound overbearing or off putting.

    "Instead, try, 'I hate driving home after a party, don't you? Let's call it a night and call an Uber,'" said "All the Leader You Can Be" author Suzanne Bates."If alcohol is served, the one thing you don't want to say is 'Can I drive you home?'"



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    Microsoft's Darren Laybourn and NewsGuard's Gordon Crovitz talk with Henry Blodget

    • Microsoft and NewsGuard are among the companies today fighting fake news with human oversight and moderation.
    • Disinformation and hoaxes have run rampant in recent years, fueled by tech platforms like Facebook.
    • Microsoft takes a different approach, manually curating trusted news for its MSN portal and funneling revenue back to publishers.
    • NewsGuard, meanwhile, assesses and rates news outlets so readers can learn more about the news outlets they're looking at.

    To fight fake news, some companies are turning to an old-school technology: humans.

    In recent years, the spread of misinformation and hoaxes have been turbo-charged by algorithmic platforms like Facebook and Google — from politically motivated Russian agents to all-American fraudsters just trying to make a quick buck off advertising revenues.

    It's become a subject of frequent criticism of the tech giants that enabled it, who have responded by tweaking their tech to try and eliminate it while maintaining the systems that made it possible. But others are taking a different approach, eschewing algorithmic fixes in favour of deliberate human curation and moderation.

    Speaking at Business Insider's IGNITION conference in New York on Monday, Microsoft's Darren Laybourn and NewsGuard's Gordon Crovitz talked about their organizations' respective strategies for fighting fake news.

    Laybourn, a 17-year Microsoft veteran, is the corporate vice president of Microsoft News, where he oversees MSN, the Redmond, Seattle company's news portal. Microsoft doesn't write news in-house, instead leaning on a team of 800 people who can bring in content from 4,5000 publishers around the world that the company has deals with. (Business Insider is one of these partners.) 

    Readers are provided a range of perspectives, and news outlets are vetted by Microsoft's team beforehand — and paid for their content.

    "I think we're doing a really good job," Laybourn said. "Over the last four years, we've given back $700 million to publishers ... we've evolved to a model where we have no content of our own, we just distribute the news." It's a starkly different approach than Facebook's anyone-can-share free-for-all (with significant additional costs), but the curation makes it far, far harder for fraudulent publishers to sneak in.

    Meanwhile Crovitz, a former publisher of The Wall Street Journal (and a board member of Business Insider),  is cofounder of NewsGuard, a service that rates news outlets on their "trust and accountability." It measures them on a series of criteria and then provides "nutrition labels" that can brief news readers on the specific news outlet they're viewing.

    "On the internet, everything kind of looks the same, and it's really hard for regular people to know if this is a trustworthy source or not," the media exec said. "For the social media companies and the search engines, it's all one giant uncertainty." 

    NewsGuard employs 30 journalists to vet news outlets, and the outlets it covers now account for 98% of news consumption in the US, he said.

    "Part of the problem of these platforms is ... [an] engineering-focused culture, where surely every problem can get solved by a machine," he added. "But at some point human intelligence ... is more effective than artificial intelligence."

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    When you live with a family member who has Prime, it's easy to just ask for their login information and take advantage of those benefits without paying for an extra membership. The trade-off is the loss of privacy.

    Everyone in my family uses my brother's account when we need to use Prime. It's convenient and keeps the cost of membership low, but it also means we can all see what everyone is looking at and buying. Furthermore, confirmation and shipping emails are sent to my brother and have to be forwarded to the appropriate recipient. 

    It turns out we've been overlooking a key feature that would help relieve these problems and help us regain control of our shopping: Amazon Household.

    Amazon Household lets each adult keep his or her personal account while sharing Prime benefits at no additional cost. Here's how it works:

    • You'll need two adults (ages 18 and over) each with their own Amazon account. One must have a Prime membership. 
    • Both adults must agree to share credit and debit cards associated with your Amazon accounts. Both accounts will retain their current payment methods, but you'll each be able to see and use each other's credit and debit cards. 
    • You can set up content you would like to share within your Household. This includes current and future purchases. After setup, you will still be able to manage or change your shared content. Shareable content includes apps and games, audiobooks, and eBooks, so you can have a whole family library accessible to you if you'd like. Here's what that setup looks like: 

    amazon household sharing

    • If you have teens (ages 13 through 17) in your household, you can add up to four teen profiles. This will allow them to have their own Amazon login to shop or stream content while still keeping their parents informed.
    • If you have younger children (ages 12 and under), you can add up to four child profiles which can be used on Amazon experiences geared toward children, like Amazon FreeTime. Children won't be able to shop on the site. 

    As you start shopping for the holidays, this feature is especially handy to keep your gift browsing and purchases secret from the rest of your family. Now you'll always be able to experience the satisfying feeling of surprising your loved one with an unexpected present. 

    Of course, you can't share the great Prime benefits with anyone if no one in the household has a membership in the first place. From speedy shipping and delivery policies to digital content access and exclusive member pricing, a Prime membership will be an indispensable tool for the whole family. 

    Start with a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime here.

    Get started with Amazon Household here.

    SEE ALSO: All of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides, in one place

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    Bellabeat leaf chakra

    The old stereotype used to be that women wouldn't like tech unless it was dumbed down, pink, or sparkly, but now, the industry is changing. You can find tons of excellent tech for women out there that is as stylish as it is powerful.

    Instead of buying a bedazzled fitness tracker or a pair of pink headphones and calling it a day, why not get her the tech gifts she actually wants?

    As a woman in the tech world, I've looked over hundreds of tech products that are made for women to separate the good gadgets from the bad.

    Whether your leading lady wants a pair of excellent headphones that look as good as they sound, wants to track her fitness in style, or craves stylish accessories for her phone that aren't hot pink, we have a gift for her in our guide to the best tech gifts for women.

    Still shopping for more gifts? Check out all of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides for 2018 here.
 Keep scrolling to check out the best tech gifts for women.

    SEE ALSO: 20 useful Android accessories and compatible gadgets that make great gifts

    DON'T MISS: 20 innovative and cool iPhone accessories that make perfect gifts

    A phone grip and stand

    PopSocket Grip, available at PopSocket, $9.99+

    PopSocket grips make it super easy to hold even the largest of phones no matter how small a woman's hands may be. The grips stick onto almost any phone case, pop out twice to give excellent grip, and double as a stand when she wants to watch videos. PopSockets come in a multitude of colors, patterns, and styles, so you'll be sure to find one she'll love. I have PopSocket grips on all the different phone cases I use because I can't imagine using my phone without one.



    An attractive hybrid smartwatch

    Fossil Q Harper smart hybrid watch, available at Fossil, $175

    If the women in your life don't like smartwatches, but they still want to feel connected to their phones, a smart hybrid watch is a great gift to give. The Fossil Q Harper hides high-tech features inside a classic, attractive, simple, analog watch body. You'd never know that this watch is so smart by looking at it, but it can buzz with notifications, adjust to different time zones, track fitness, and wake her up peacefully with a silent alarm.



    A pair of stylish headphones

    V-MODA Crossfade 2 Wireless Over-Ear Headphones, available at Amazon, $350

    V-MODA makes some of my favorite headphones. The Crossfade 2 are wireless, so she doesn't have to deal with wires or worry whether her phone has a headphone jack or not. These are definitely statement headphones, but they are classy looking and the rose gold accents look gorgeous. Most importantly, these headphones sound great.



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    main_tiles_AudioAccessories_750x560

    • Amazon is running 12 Days of Deals on holiday gifts, starting December 2.
    • Each day has deals in a specific category (find the full list below), and they become available to shop at 12 a.m. (midnight) PT each day.
    • For furniture, Christmas trees, and ornaments, shop Wayfair's similar sale, going on during the same time frame. 

    You and the rest of America may have just bought a new Instant Pot, a pair of Bose QuietComfort headphones, and, according to the data, a small mountain of Michelle Obama's book "Becoming" on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But you're only human — you didn't wind up getting your nephew a gift yet, and the blender you wanted wasn't part of the Cyber Week discounts. 

    For you and anyone else with holiday shopping to complete, Amazon's "12 Days of Deals" is a great second wave. For 12 days, the company slashes prices on a vast selection of holiday gifts, with each day featuring discounts on a different category. Deals start at midnight PT (3 a.m. ET) each day beginning on Sunday, December 2 and running through Thursday, December 13. 

    To find out which sales are planned for each day, look below. If you'd like an easy reminder, bookmark this page.

    These are Amazon's planned sales for the 12 Days of Deals, starting at midnight PT each day:

    • Sunday, December 2: Home Improvement 
    • Monday, December 3: Gaming
    • Tuesday, December 4: Toys
    • Wednesday, December 5: PC
    • Thursday, December 6: Home
    • Friday, December 7: Fashion
    • Saturday, December 8: Baby, Pets & Camera
    • Sunday, December 9: Beauty & Personal Care
    • Monday, December 10: Electronics
    • Tuesday, December 11: Kitchen
    • Wednesday, December 12: Furniture, Lawn & Garden
    • Thursday, December 13: Sports & Outdoor

    Now is a great time to plan ahead. Stack your wish list with holiday gifts you know you want to give, and check there to see if they're discounted on their category days. It's also a good idea to visit the main deals page in case you see something you hadn't discovered before, or a big discount makes a nicer model justifiable. And if you need Christmas trees or area rugs, check out Wayfair's own 12 Days of Deals event— running December 2 through December 13, too.

    Shop Amazon's Twelve Days of Deals to save on holiday gifts

    Looking for more gift ideas? Check out all of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides for 2018 here.

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    nick and priyanka pre-wedding

    • Actress Priyanka Chopra and singer Nick Jonas married in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India, over the weekend. 
    • The couple had two lavish ceremonies: a Christian ceremony on Saturday, and a second Hindu ceremony on Sunday.
    • They wore a number of show-stopping outfits during their wedding festivities, which were held at the Umaid Bhawan Palace.

    Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas got married over the weekend in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India. They had two ceremonies held at the Umaid Bhawan Palace, with a Christian ceremony on Saturday, and a second Hindu ceremony on Sunday.

    Naturally, Chopra and Jonas, who showed their love of fashion when they made their first appearance together at the 2017 Met Gala, wore several head-turning outfits throughout their wedding festivities.

    While photos of the couple's outfits from their actual wedding ceremonies have yet to be released, the pair dazzled in a series of ensembles for celebrations leading up to their nuptials and even left in style as well.

    Celebrations began on Thursday with their Mehendi, a pre-wedding ceremony. Chopra and Jonas wore outfits by Indian design house Khosla Jani for the occasion.

    In the first photos to surface from Chopra and Jonas' festivities, captured by Harsha Bathija of Stories by Joseph Radhik Photography, guests gathered for the mehendi ceremony to see the bride have henna applied on her hands and feet ahead of the wedding.

    nick jonas and priyanka chopra pre wedding

    Chopra wore an organdy sherwani that consisted of 48 panels with an intricate silk design, according to a press release from Khosla Jani, the design house that created her coatdress.

    Two organza-layered drapes completed Chopra's look and made for a perfect photo opportunity.

    Priyanka Chopra pre-wedding gown

    While Chopra turned heads in her colorful dress, Jonas wore a long, cotton Bakhiya kurta shirt in a pale green color by the same designer. Though not as visible as the embroidery on his bride's dress, Jonas' shirt also had an elaborate embroidered design.

    nick jonas pre-wedding

    According to the designers Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla, who created Chopra and Jonas' outfits, their ensembles fit the theme of the pre-wedding tradition.

    "A Mehendi calls for joyous and exuberant celebration," Jani and Khosla said in a joint statement provided to INSIDER. "Priyanka's outfit is a burst of color. Nick's aqua is the perfect balance. They looked like a dream together."

    nick and priyanka pre-wedding

    Guests including "Game of Thrones" actress Sophie Turner, who is engaged to the groom's brother Joe, also attended. Turner wore an outfit that fit the theme of the celebration.

    priyanka chopra sophie turner pre wedding

    The couple wore outfits created by the same designer for their Sangeet, a pre-wedding celebration that marks the union of the couple's families

    Chopra and Jonas reportedly held their Sangeet on the same day as their Mehendi.

    Nick Jonas Priyanka Chopra wedding

    Chopra wore a hand-embroidered silver and gold sari covered in sequins for the occasion, while Jonas wore a men's dark-blue sherwani made with silk thread details, according to the press release from Khosla Jani.

    Priyanka Chopra

    Jonas' brothers Kevin, Joe, and Frankie also donned sherwanis for the occasion.

    Nick Jonas with Kevin Jonas, Joe Jonas, Frankie Jonas

    You can see more of the outfits in a video and photos from the sangeet that Chopra shared to Instagram. The footage was taken by photographer Joseph Radhik of Stories by Joseph Radhik, fine art wedding photographer Jose Villa, and videographer Caleb Jordan Lee.

    It all began as a fierce song & dance competition between the families but ended, as always, as a huge celebration of love. Nick and I were looking forward to the Sangeet (musical evening), another pre wedding ritual.. and to see what each side had put together. And what a performance it was. Each family telling our stories through song and dance, filled with lots of laughter and love. We were both filled with gratitude for the effort, the love and the laughter and will carry the memories of this special evening for the rest of our lives. It is an amazing start to a lifetime of togetherness for our families and friends...#grateful @nickjonas 📹/📷: @calebjordanlee @josevilla @josephradhik

    A post shared by Priyanka Chopra (@priyankachopra) on Dec 2, 2018 at 4:57am PST on

    "It all began as a fierce song & dance competition between the families but ended, as always, as a  huge celebration of love. Nick and I were looking forward to the Sangeet (musical evening), another pre-wedding ritual.. and to see what each side had put together," Chopra wrote in the caption. "And what a performance it was."

    sangeet nick jonas priyanka

    They were also pictured leaving their pre-wedding celebrations in style

    This photo from Thursday shows Jonas and Chopra sitting on the back of a convertible car as they leave a pre-wedding celebration, most likely their Mehendi which reportedly took place before their Sangeet in the evening.

    Nick Jonas Priyanka Chopra

    Jonas wore a brown jacket with sunglasses, while Chopra opted for an embellished white shirt with a shawl slung around her elbow and shoulder.

    Photos from their wedding ceremonies haven't been released yet, but Ralph Lauren reportedly designed the bride, groom, and bridal party's outfits

    Chopra wore a custom gown by Ralph Lauren for the Christian ceremony, according to a Vogue interview with the couple, which also hinted that she may have worn more than one of the designer's creations. 

    priyanka chopra nick jonas

    Read more:Here's a complete timeline of Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra's relationship, who tied the knot at an Indian palace on Saturday

    Vogue pointed out that Lauren has only designed wedding dresses for a few close family members in the past.

    Chopra and Jonas turned heads again in the outfits they wore to leave Jodhpur

    Their wedding may be over, but that hasn't stopped the newlyweds from dressing to the nines.

    On Monday, as the couple departed Jodhpur, Chopra wore a green sari with a statement bangle and sunglasses. At her side, Jonas wore a monochromatic beige jacket and pants.

    Nick Jonas Priyanka Chopra leave Jodhpur

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    • The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card offers a big sign-up bonus — 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on your card within three months of account opening and 20,000 more points after you spend $12,000 on your card within the first year.
    • If you earn 110,000 Southwest points within a calendar year, you can earn the Southwest Companion Pass. This pass lets your companion fly free for the rest of the year you earn it and the entire next year.
    • There are tons of ways to rack up Southwest points, including credit card spending, the Southwest dining program, Southwest shopping, and hotel and rental car bookings.

    If you're looking for a way to fly domestically or to the Caribbean for a price you can afford, there are few airlines that offer more value than Southwest.

    Beyond offering affordable fares and nearly constant sales on their domestic flights and flights to the Caribbean, Southwest offers a unique policy known as "transfarency" that promises no hidden fees or rules. You can change or cancel your Southwest flight at almost any time and get credit toward your next flight, and Southwest offers two free checked bags per person.

    Southwest also offers one of the best airline loyalty programs in the business. With Southwest Rapid Rewards, you can book any open seat on a plane provided space is available. And since the loyalty program is fare-based, you can often book one-way flights for as little as 4,000 points.

    Earning miles with the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card

    With all this in mind, it may be time to give the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card a second look. Not only does the Premier offer a big sign-up bonus, but you'll also earn points for each dollar you spend.

    The current offer on this card is for up to 60,000 points — 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on your card within three months of account opening and 20,000 more points after you spend $12,000 on your card within the first year. In terms of ongoing rewards, you'll earn 2 points per $1 spent with the airline (including Rapid Rewards hotel and rental car partners) and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

    In addition to these perks, you will also get no foreign transaction fees and 6,000 bonus points on your cardmember anniversary each year.

    While earning up to 60,000 points your first year is a great way to cover two round-trip flights to the Caribbean (and possibly more travel), don't forget about the Southwest Companion Pass, either. This annual pass allows a selected individual to fly free as your "companion" for the remainder of the year you earn it and the following year. The Southwest Companion Pass is also usable whether you book the original flight with points or with cash.

    To earn the Southwest Companion Pass, you only need to earn 110,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points within a calendar year. The Premier can get you more than halfway there with the sign-up bonus alone.

    Keep in mind, however, that this card does come with a $99 annual fee.

    How to earn more Southwest Rapid Rewards points

    If you're thinking long and hard about a Southwest credit card, the Premier is one of three personal credit cards you can consider.

    In addition to the Premier, Southwest also offers the similar Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card, with the same sign-up bonus, 3,000 annual bonus points on your cardmember anniversary, and a $69 annual fee. But, there's also a Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card that comes with the same sign-up bonus and additional perks such as 7,500 anniversary points, four upgraded boardings per year (based on availability), and a $75 annual Southwest travel credit in exchange for a $149 annual fee.

    In addition to these options, Southwest also offers a co-branded business credit card with Chase. The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card comes with 60,000 points after you sign up and use your card for $3,000 in purchases within three months of account opening. You also get the same 2:1 earning structure, no foreign transaction fees, and free cards for employees.

    Why are we telling you all this?

    If you can qualify for the Premier and another co-branded Southwest credit card, you can earn considerably more bonus points. If you were able to qualify for two cards and earn the sign-up bonus on both within the same year (a personal Southwest card and a business card, for example), you would have earned more than enough miles to secure the Southwest Companion pass for the rest of the year and the entire following year.

    In addition to the points you can earn with credit card spending, the Southwest dining program and Southwest Rapid Rewards shopping portal offer even more ways to earn rewards. Southwest even offers additional points if you book hotels through their website with the possibility to earn as much as 10,000 points per paid night with select stays.

    Finally, don't forget that Southwest Airlines is a partner with Chase Ultimate Rewards.

    This means that, if you have a premier Chase travel credit card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can transfer Chase points to Southwest at a 1:1 ratio. While transferred points don't count toward the Companion Pass, you can use them to book free flights and other travel through the Southwest website.

    The bottom line

    While Southwest is known as a domestic airline, they offer a multitude of international flights to Caribbean destinations such as Aruba, Montego Bay, Jamaica, Turks and Caicos, Grand Cayman, and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Points within this program can also stretch a long way thanks to their ongoing sales. While prices can vary in both points and cash, I have personally used this program to book round-trip flights to the Caribbean for less than 20,000 points plus airline taxes and fees.

    If you're aching for a trip around the US or craving a tropical vacation to the Caribbean, you would be hard-pressed to find a better deal than the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card and Southwest Airlines.

    With a sign-up bonus worth two round-trip flights or more, two free checked bags per person, a fair rebooking process, and no hidden fees, what's not to love?

    Click here to learn about the Southwest Premier from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy

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    READ MORE: Preferred vs Reserve: How the Chase Sapphire credit cards stack up

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