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The latest news from Business Insider

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    weed grinder

    • The marijuana producer Aphria is crashing after short seller Quintessential Capital Management's Hindenburg Research said its business was full of overvalued buyouts and fraudulent financial reporting.
    • The firm alleges that Aphria insiders used funds from dilutive share issuance to complete unfair acquisitions and diverted millions of dollars through the transactions.
    • Aphria moved to the New York Stock Exchange from Canada in November, and shares have been under pressure in the aftermath of Canada becoming the second country to legalize the marijuana. 
    • Watch Aphria trade live.

    The marijuana producer Aphria slumped as much as 30% — to a low of $5.60 a share — after a firm alleged the company's business was full of overvalued buyouts and fraudulent financial reporting.

    "Aphria is part of a scheme orchestrated by a network of insiders to divert funds away from shareholders into their own pockets," short seller Quintessential Capital Management’s Hindenburg Research said Monday morning in a report titled "Aphria: a shell game with a cannabis business on the side."

    Aphria responded Monday afternoon in a press release, referring Hindenburg Research's report as "a malicious and self-serving attempt to profit by manipulating Aphria's stock price at the expense of Aphria's shareholders."

    According to Quintessential, Latin American acquisitions announced by the company in July appear to be "largely worthless." For example, Aphria announced plans to buy Marigold Acquisitions for $145 million from its sister company, Scythian Biosciences, where CEO Vic Neufeld also served as chairman. Hindenburg says Marigold Acquisitions isn't worth the valuation as its official registered office is an abandoned building that was sold off by its mortgage lender in January. 

    Quintessential alleges that Scythian served as the bridge in the shell game — agreeing to buy the shell Latin American companies and then sell its stake in the entity to Aphria at a large markup. The acquisitions were financed by copious and dilutive share issuance, and Aphria insiders have diverted as much as $700 million, or nearly half of its total net asset, through these transactions, according to Quintessential.

    Aphria's fundamentals cannot support its floating market cap, Quintessential added.

    "Aphria consistently generates negative cash, and its cannabis seems to be of low quality," the firm said. "Interviews with sources describe facilities infested with bugs, stricken with mold, and having failed audit inspections."

    Aphria, one of Canada's largest marijuana producers, listed on the New York Stock Exchange in November, transferring from Canadian markets. Shares exploded by as much as 155% in August and September after as tobacco makers such as Imperial Brands and beverage companies such as Constellation Brands triggered a "green rush" by entering cannabis space.

    But cannabis stocks including Aphria have been under pressure recently as traders sold the news of Canada becoming the second country to legalize the drug

    Read more:

    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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    uber ceo dara khosrowshahi

    • Uber recently changed its pay structure in some cities to prioritize trip time over distance driven. 
    • The company says the new structure will help drivers to better estimate their earnings from a given trip and help keep their cut consistent.
    • Still, some drivers posting on social media said that the structure has hurt their earnings and that the changes have made it more difficult to make money on long-distance trips. 

    A new Uber pay structure that prioritizes time over distance as they pertain to driver earnings has some drivers frustrated with the company.

    Last week, the ride-hailing giant shifted the payout rates for drivers in about 14 cities, USA Today reported. The changes are designed to provide a more consistent payout, regardless of trip variations, it said, adding that overall earnings shouldn't change.

    "We're putting more value on time to help create more consistent and dependable earnings, no matter where your next trip takes you," Uber said on its blog when it announced the changes in October.A spokesperson clarified that the rollout would be gradual, with a handful of cities getting the update last week.

    Some drivers weren't so convinced about the payout remaining the same. They took to social media to voice their concerns. 

    One driver said that he was making about $20 less per night after the changes took effect in Phoenix.

    "This is pretty crippling to a full time driver," he said in a Reddit forum for drivers. "I don't know if I can support myself anymore."

    Another said the move is effectively "subsidizing lower mile city trips by taking earnings from people that do a lot of long trips."

    And while the change is relatively small — Uber has long paid drivers based on actual trip length while charging customers a pre-determined fee that it estimates for the trip — the changes are part of a longer trend that has left some drivers unhappy with the company.

    "A lot of these services are getting cheaper and cheaper for the consumers," Harry Campbell, a driver who runs the wildly popular The Rideshare Guy blog, told The Ringer last week. "But I think for the driver's side things have actually probably gotten a lot worse."

    Other drivers said they planned to find slower routes to make up for the slashed distance rates. Even if the payouts end up about the same, one said he will likely cancel any ride of more than 50 miles.

    To see how the changes might work, Campbell used 144 historical rides from a driver's account over the summer and compared the payouts with what they would be now. Not surprisingly, the payout for trips of more than 10 miles starts to decrease, while many of the shorter trips see an increase. 

    Uber payout rates new versus old

    "We are constantly working to make earnings more consistent and dependable for drivers, while making our service more reliable anytime you need a ride," an Uber spokesperson said in response to questions from Business Insider. 

    Read more: Uber follows Lyft in announcing a rewards program — here's how it works

    Uber has repeatedly been criticized for not paying drivers— which it classifies as contractors rather than employees — a livable wage. According to a study commissioned by New York City, the median Uber driver takes home $14.17 per hour, the second-lowest among four major ride-hailing companies in the city.

    The company has taken some steps to combat this, including a beta driver rewards programthat provides things like cash back on gas purchases and tuition assistance for an online college program.

    "We know how frustrating it can still be when you don't know whether accepting a trip will be worthwhile," Uber said on its blog. "The goals of this update are to give you more confidence that every trip is worth your time, even when you encounter heavy traffic or unexpected delays, and to help create more dependable earnings from trip to trip."

    Do you work at Uber? Have a tip? Contact this reporter via Signal or WhatsApp at +1 (646) 376-6102 using a non-work phone, email at, or Twitter DM at @g_rapier.You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

    SEE ALSO: Uber is doubling down on food delivery, apparently starting with groceries in Canada

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    quarterly global fintech fundingThis is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here. Current subscribers can read the report here.

    Fintech hubs — cities where startups, talent, and funding congregate — are proliferating globally in tandem with ongoing disruption in financial services. 

    These hubs are all vying to become established fintech centers in their own right, and want to contribute to the broader financial services ecosystem of the future. Their success depends on a variety of factors, including access to funding and talent, as well as the approach of relevant regulators.

    This report compiles various fintech snapshots, which together highlight the global spread of fintech, and show where governments and regulatory bodies are shaping the development of national fintech industries. Each provides an overview of the fintech industry in a particular country or state in Asia or Europe, and details what is contributing to, or hindering its further development. We also include notable fintechs in each geography, and discuss what the opportunities or challenges are for that particular domestic industry.

    Here are some of the key takeaways:

    • Most countries in Europe have made some formal attempt to foster the development of domestic fintech industries, with Germany and Ireland seeing the best results so far. France, meanwhile, got off to a slow start, but that's starting to change. 
    • The Asian fintech scene took off later than in the US or Europe, but it's seen rapid growth lately, particularly in India, China, and Singapore.
    • The increasing importance of technology-enabled products and services within the financial services ecosystem means the global fintech industry isn't going anywhere. 
    • Fintech hubs will continue to proliferate, with leaders emerging in each region.
    • The future fintech landscape will be molded by regulatory bodies — national and international — as they seek to mitigate the risks, and leverage the opportunities, presented by fintech. 

     In full, the report:

    • Explores the fintech industry in six countries or states, and identifies individual fintech hubs.
    • Highlights successful fintechs in each region.
    • Outlines the challenges and opportunities each country or state faces. 
    • Gives insight into the future of the global fintech industry. 

    Subscribe to an All-Access pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to:

    This report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports
    Access to all future reports and daily newsletters
    Forecasts of new and emerging technologies in your industry
    And more!
    Learn More

    Purchase & download the full report from our research store


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    aerial dubai india, Palm Jumeirah

    • Dubai has the world's largest artificial island, Palm Jumeirah, which is shaped like a palm tree and adds close to 50 miles to the city's coastline.
    • The island is packed with luxury hotels, beachfront villas, and apartment buildings. I stayed at one such hotel on a recent visit to Dubai.
    • While I had seen many aerial photos of the island prior to visiting, they don't do justice to just how impressive and absurd a development Palm Jumeirah is. 
    • The island is core to Dubai's strategy to become the top tourist destination in the world, but critics say construction has done severe environmental damage.

    Dubai is jam-packed with things that designed to be the biggest and most extravagant of the world  — the tallest building, the second-biggest mall, the most luxurious hotel, and so on.

    Perhaps no other project in the budding city more epitomizes this quest for absurd grandeur than the Palm Islands, an archipelago of artificial islands that extend off the Dubai coastline like the lair of a movie super-villain who just happens to really like the tropics.

    When reading about Dubai over the years, the Palm Islands were inevitably one of the first things I learned about. They are so ridiculous an endeavor, so stereotypically what one might expect people with limitless money to do, that it defies comprehension. But they are there, and they are real, as I discovered on a recent trip to Dubai.

    Due to an oversupply of hotels in Dubai right now, rooms at five-star hotels can be had for very cheap. So, on a recent trip, I booked a room for $180 at Dukes Dubai, a swanky beachfront hotel on Palm Jumeirah, the first completed palm island of three planned and the largest artificial island in the world. Construction began on the the other two, Palm Jebel Ali and Palm Deira, over a decade ago but is now on hold.

    Read More:If you've ever wanted to visit Dubai, there's likely never been a better time than right now. Here's why.

    I'll be honest: I'm not usually impressed by things made big and extravagant for the sake of it. But, there's something impossible to deny about the hubris behind the Palm Jumeirah and, when you see it in person, it sticks with you, for better or for worse.

    Most of the images of I've seen of the island are taken aerially or from space, so as show off the incredible detail of the palm-like structure. Those views don't do justice to the scale of the enterprise.

    It hit me when I looked out of the window from my room at Dukes Dubai, which sits on the trunk of the island. Here's what it looked like:


    In person and up close, you can still see the palm tree-structure. It is jarring how unnatural it looks. The first time I saw it,  I did a double take. 

    Construction on the Palm Jumeirah began in 2001. It was constructed through a process of dredging up 3,257,212,970.389 cubic feet of sand from the Persian Gulf and then spraying it into place, adding nearly 50 miles to Dubai's coastline. GPS satellites were used to ensure the accuracy of the where the sand was sprayed to create the palm tree shape.

    It is undeniably a monumental feat of engineering and modern technology.

    Hotels line the trunk of the palm tree, while villas and homes sit on the sixteen fronds of the island. The first homes were handed over in 2006 and, at this point, the island is packed with hotels, apartment buildings, and construction. Nakheel, the government-owned developer behind the project, expects 120,000 residents and workers and 20,000 tourists on the island when it's all said and done.

    All of that comes at an environmental price. Despite Nakheel's attempts to mitigate environmental damage, some researchers believe the construction of the islands has had drastic changes on local marine flora and fauna, coastal erosion, and wave patterns. Greenpeace called the islands a “visual scar,” clouding the once clear Arabian gulf with silt and burying coral reefs. In 2006, the World Wildlife Fund declared that the U.A.E. 's ecological footprint was the “highest in the world.”

    DubaiPalmIslandIn 2009, the New York Times reported that NASA satellites had found that the Palm Jumeirah island was sinking at a rate of 0.20 inches per year, a claim that Nakheel denies is true. The Environment Agency Abu Dhabi found that under its most severe climate change scenario, nearly all of Dubai, including the Palm Islands, would be underwater due to rising sea levels.

    But all of that is in the future. For now, Dubai is focused on its aim to be the most popular tourist destination in the world by 2025.

    Already, it is the fourth-most visited city in the world, with a projected 16.7 million visitors this year, according to Mastercard's Global Destination Cities Index.

    The Palm Jumeirah is a big part of the strategy to get there. One look at the structure, which is loaded with beachfront hotels from major brands like Atlantis, St. Regis, Sofitel, Langham, W, and Waldorf-Astoria makes clear why.

    SEE ALSO: If you've ever wanted to visit Dubai, there's likely never been a better time than right now. Here's why.

    DON'T MISS: Dubai has more than 65 malls in a city of 3 million people, and it's not because they're obsessed with shopping

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: These smart palm trees in Dubai can charge your phone and provide free Wi-Fi

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    phone call work freelance


    Desperate employers in a tight job market are trying out a new kind of job interview: Automated phone calls in which a candidate answers a series of pre-recorded questions. What that means is that on these interviews, candidates effectively talk to themselves.

    More and more companies, from healthcare and insurance companies to retailers, restaurants, and law firms, are implementing this type of automated interview, the Wall Street Journal reported. But it may not be ideal for candidates.

    Jeremy Maffei told the Journal that his first automated interview for a digital marketing job in Florida caught him off guard.

    "I blanked out," he told the Journal. When asked to answer a common job interview question about his greatest success and biggest failure, he couldn't figure out whether his answers "resonated," adding that it was "highly impersonal."

    Recruiters told the Journal that this tactic is meant to lock in prospective employees as quickly as possible amid a nationwide labor shortage. The US unemployment rate is at 3.7% and there are more job openings than unemployed people.

    Read more: Starbucks' former HR exec says a job candidate's answer to a simple interview question predicts success better than their entire resume

    It's not the first unusual strategy employers have started using to attract talent in a tight job market.

    Some companies are offering people jobs after a single phone interview, Business Insider previously reported, a practice that's mainly being seen with seasonal jobs at retail companies such as Macy's and Bath & Body Works. But employees have also reported it happening for roles including teachersengineers, and IT professionals.

    And as Business Insider's Rachel Premack previously reported, companies across the country are swapping out job title keywords like "associate" with ones like "evangelist,""rock star," and "ninja" in order to appeal to younger employees.

    Have you ever had an experience with an automated phone interview? Email the reporter at

    SEE ALSO: Forget teenagers: Fast food joints across the US are hiring senior citizens, and it's thanks to 2 major demographic trends

    DON'T MISS: 'It kind of feels like a scam': Employers are so desperate for workers they're making job offers after a single phone call

    Join the conversation about this story »

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

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    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

    sfl amazon prime free two hour delivery miami baltimore 20150319

    Amazon is huge. So huge, in fact, that approximately 64% of American households had a Prime membership in 2017. 

    And yet for how pervasive Amazon is, few of that 64% percent would likely say they actively work to get the most out of their membership — or know how.

    We come for the low prices, easy layout, and ultra-convenient deliveries, and we leave money and benefits on the table by being blissfully ignorant of the untapped channels. But whether you're paying for Prime already or you shop infrequently, there are plenty of hacks that can help you get the most out of something pretty much ubiquitous for most American households — and if you can save yourself more money, why wouldn't you?

    Below are 20 ways to become an Amazon power user:

    SEE ALSO: 26 things under $20 we can't live without

    Shop between November 1 and December 31 to double or triple your return window.

    Check out Amazon's holiday return policies

    You usually have 30 days to return most Amazon-fulfilled products, but during the holidays, items shipped by Amazon between November 1 and December 31 can be returned until January 31— so you can shop for holiday gifts as early as you want, or return or exchange those you don't want to keep. 

    Sign up for Prime Student if you have access to an ".edu" email.

    Sign up for the six-month Amazon Prime Student trial

    If you have access to an ".edu" email address you can sign up for Amazon Prime Student. You get a six-month trial of Prime Student and then pay 50% less than other Prime users ($6.49/month) for nearly all of the same perks after the trial ends. It lasts for four years — or until your listed graduation date, whichever comes first.

    You'll also get access to special offers, which are deals and discounts Amazon partners offer student members specifically.

    Prime members earn 2% rewards every time they reload their Gift Card Balance.

    Set up 2% rewards

    Prime members earn 2% rewards every time they reload their gift card balance with the debit card they designated as their Prime Reload card (something you'll be prompted to do when signing up). Just set up 2% rewards and then reload your gift card balance using your rewards payment method. Your 2% rewards will be added to your gift card balance at the same time you reload.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Eric Murdock

    • Former NBA player Eric Murdock has filed a lawsuit against United Airlines and a flight attendant, alleging "racial discrimination and wrongful profiling" after an in-flight altercation over the summer.
    • Murdock, 50, a former first-round pick who played in the NBA from 1991 until 2000, has accused United Airlines of "race-baiting" him when he tried to switch seats on United Flight 1537 from Las Vegas to Newark on July 13, 2018. 
    • According to court documents obtained by Business Insider, the incident stems from a disagreement over an empty exit-row seat, where Murdock and Brenda Williams, a fellow passenger and the second plaintiff named in the complaint, allege they "were discriminated against, harassed, and humiliated" by one of United's flight attendants. 

    Former NBA player Eric Murdock has filed a lawsuit against United Airlines and a flight attendant, alleging "racial discrimination and wrongful profiling" after an in-flight altercation over the summer.

    Murdock, 50, has accused United Airlines of "race-baiting" him following an altercation with a flight attendant over an exit-row seat on United Flight 1537 from Las Vegas to Newark on July 13, 2018. 

    According to court documents obtained by Business Insider, the incident stems from an empty exit-row seat, where Murdock and Brenda Williams, a fellow passenger on Flight 1537 and the second plaintiff named in the complaint, allege they "were discriminated against, harassed, and humiliated" by one of United's flight attendants. 

    Murdock, a former first-round pick who played in the NBA from 1991 until 2000, and Williams are seeking $10 million in damages. 

    Read more:United accidentally sent an unfinished draft of an email scolding flight attendants for not dressing properly

    According to the lawsuit filed last month in the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Murdock, who is black, asked a flight attendant — a white woman who was not named a defendant in the suit — prior to takeoff if he and his son could move into an exit-row seat. At the time, Murdock and his son were seated 21 rows apart.

    The flight attendant told Murdock he could sit there as long as no other passenger was in the seat, the suit says. The flight attendant is also said to have informed Murdock that "there was a premium price for the seats," which he offered to pay. 

    united airlines

    Court documents state that just before taking off, the exit row seat became occupied, and Murdock spoke with the passenger then sitting in the exit row seat about possibly moving. The passenger voluntarily agreed to switch seats with Murdock.

    When Murdock and his son switched with the gentleman into the exit row, a second flight attendant referred to in the lawsuit as "Jane Doe" allegedly told him to return to his seat and that the exit row must remain empty. Doe is named as a co-defendant in the suit. 

    Murdock and his son complied with Doe's order and returned to their seats, the complaint noted. According to the lawsuit, about 30 minutes into the flight a white female passenger moved into the empty exit row seat. Doe not only allowed her to remain seated, but also served her drinks, the filing says. 

    Murdock then sat in the other empty exit row seat next to the white female passenger. However, Doe ordered Murdock to return to his seat, the court documents say. When the plaintiff asked why the female passenger was allowed to stay, Doe allegedly said that "it was none of his business," according to the complaint.

    Upon observing this altercation, Williams, a black female passenger on the flight, allegedly asked Doe "why she was being rude" to Murdock. Court documents claim that the flight attendant screamed at Williams, accused her of recording her with a cell phone, and attempted to physically take the phone from Williams. 

    Williams and Murdock did not know one another prior to the flight. 

    Shortly thereafter, the complaint states, as Doe came down the aisle with the beverage cart, she asked Murdock "in a snide and condescending tone" if he wanted a beverage, or if he "was going to boycott?" but Murdock did not reply. 

    "That one really stuck in his craw. It's just such an off and wrong comment," Gary Port, the attorney representing Murdock and Williams, told Business Insider. 

    The court filings say that when the flight landed at Newark Liberty International Airport, the pilot told passengers to remain seated due to "an emergency situation," before Murdock and Williams were led off the plane by armed Transportation Security Agents. They were not detained. 

    In a statement provided to Business Insider through Port, Murdock said he feared the country's current divisive climate "encourages people to be the worst versions of themselves." 

    United Airlines did not respond to Business Insider's request for comment, but a United spokeswoman did tell the New York Post that the company has "zero tolerance" for discrimination and would look into the allegations.

    Here's Murdock's and Williams' complaint in its entirety:


    SEE ALSO: An American Airlines flight attendant is suing the airline for $1 million, accusing another crew member of assaulting her with a scarf and dragging her down the aisle

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    josh silverman etsy

    • 18 months since becoming Etsy's CEO, Josh Silverman has turned Etsy's stock around by restructuring the company and cutting departments like Etsy Studio, a 150-person team that focused on craft supplies.
    • Silverman outlined search technology, shipping cost and delivery times as priorities for 2019.
    • But the brand still has work to do to catch up with Amazon, including creating a solid brand identity.

    Etsy was in rough shape when Josh Silverman took over the reigns as CEO in 2017. At the time, the company was going through leadership changes and layoffs and reportedly exploring a sale while Amazon's clout loomed.

    Eighteen months later, Silverman is getting the company back on track (the company has reported growth for five quarters) by restructuring teams and cutting resources like its wholesale market. For example, Silverman knocked out 50% of projects on Etsy's product and market roadmap and shut down Etsy Studio, a marketplace for craft supplies that was staffed by 150 people.

    Read more:We went to Etsy's luxurious office and saw why it's one of the most celebrated in the world

    "We made a lot of very painful decisions," Silverman said while speaking with Jessi Hempel, LinkedIn's senior editor at large, at Business Insider's Ignition conference on Tuesday. "We decided that there were just four things we needed to do very well."

    Those four things were:

    • Better search and discovery tools
    • Improve consumer trust with payments
    • New marketing capabilities for sellers
    • New tools for sellers.

    Silverman said search and discovery will be a focus of 2019.

    "We still need to make search and discovery much better, the visual merchandising of our search results," Silverman said. "I still think there's a lot of opportunity to do better."

    Etsy also needs to clarify its shipping costs and delivery times to customers, he said.

    Etsy plans to pump up its marketing

    Silverman acknowledged that Etsy needs to do a better job of explaining its brand to consumers.

    "You've got to do something unique and different, and that has to be important enough for people to actually prioritize it," Silverman said. "When people want something special, something that expresses their sense of identity, something that shows they care about someone else ... those are not things that Amazon can or ever will be able to do. That's Etsy."

    He said that Etsy is focused on selling unique goods — a feature he believes that Amazon cannot fulfill, even though Amazon has slowly but steadily inched into handmade goods with its Handmade site since 2015.

    To help with that, the brand is currently running a holiday TV campaign to raise brand awareness.

    "When you roll the clock forward 10 years from now, I don't think we're going to have two million places you can buy online," Silverman said. "I think there's going to be a couple of the big ones, and then there's a few places that have really earned the right to stand as a company. I think Etsy is going to be one of those."

    Join the conversation about this story »

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

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    ariana grande thank u next vid

    • A critique of Ariana Grande's "Thank U, Next" video published on Into went viral for its "reaching" analysis that said the video is "anti-queer."
    • In the wake of the controversy, Into removed the author from the post claiming that they were receiving death threats.
    • Changing or removing names from articles is a controversial act in journalism.

    Ariana Grande's "Thank U, Next" broke the internet twice, with smash releases of the song itself and its '90s nostalgia-laden music video— and now, a hot take critiquing the video is creating its own online buzz.

    On Monday, LGBT-focused publication Into posted an opinion piece calling out the video for numerous "anti-queer" moments. The piece alleged that a man in drag was meant to mock trans women, called a reference made in a cameo by singer Troye Sivan (who is gay) homophobic, accused Grande of blackface, and suggested that Kris Jenner mocked her ex Caitlyn Jenner for being trans in her cameo appearance in the video:

    She simply shouts "Thank you, next, bitch!" while holding a camera — the final line of the music video. As "bitch" is generally directed at women and "thank you, next" is in reference to relationships, this is likely aimed at Caitlyn Jenner... Perhaps this is in reference to Caitlyn’s far-right politics. Perhaps it’s a jab at her trans identity. We can’t be sure unless Kris Jenner speaks out about the line.

    The article quickly spread online, attracting massive amounts of criticism for what many called "reaching," or drawing unsupported conclusions. In less than 24 hours, Into's tweet had over 3,200 replies.

    Hours after the piece was posted, Sivan, who has 8.71 million Twitter followers, replied to the article, writing on the social media platform, "This literally can't be real I'm scream."

    Tatianna, of Ru Paul's Drag Race, echoed the sentiments of most of those replying, writing, "I'm sorry but this is the farthest reaching article I've read in my whole entire life."

    The pile-on quickly turned dark, according to the post's author and Into.

    "I've received dozens of death threats [on Twitter and Tumblr] in the past 24 hours," wrote the author in an email to INSIDER. The threats, which the author says are coming from "almost exclusively Ari fans" have allegedly called for the author's "shooting, hanging, and burying alive." Several of the threats have been verified by INSIDER.

    The author, who identifies as a fan of Grande's music, called the response "massively overblown," saying, "this was supposed to be a lighthearted thinkpiece/op-ed questioning the artistic choices of the production, not Ariana herself."

    As a result of the alleged threats, Into removed the name of the author, writing: "INTO has historically been a place for varying opinions from LGBTQ people around the world, and will remain such a place — but these opinions never warrant violence. And when a writer's own life could potentially be at stake, we must take necessary steps to ensure their safety."

    Read more: Ariana Grande revealed why Mac Miller isn't in the 'Burn Book' scene of her new music video

    Despite the step, Twitter users proceeded to identify the author with posts and screenshots, expressing outrage at allegations of sexual assault previously made against the author.

    Changing or removing names has been a controversial step in journalism. Many journalists believe that changing a byline is a form of deception, as senior vice president of journalist group Poynter said in 2014. The Washington Post has had a longstanding rule not to publish anonymous op-eds, as has been repeatedly confirmed by editor Fred Hiatt.

    But some digital outlets have become more flexible on the standard under the pressure of massive shaming and threats that sometimes occur on the internet.

    Other users targeted the editors of the site, asking why the piece was published at all. Into editor Zach Stafford did not immediately respond for comment. On Twitter, writer Sydney Urbanek wrote, "Any editor that'd run something like this as is doesn't care about the writer."

    The author of the piece seemed to agree, saying, "The piece could have been edited more heavily."

    "I assumed mostly queer and trans people would be the ones to read it." wrote the writer. "I could certainly have done a better job explaining concepts like transmisogyny, anti-queer sentiment, and blackface had I known this would blow up."

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This mind-melting thought experiment of Einstein's reveals how to manipulate time

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    madonna and lady gaga

    • On Tuesday, Madonna posted a clip of an old interview in her Instagram story — and her words bear a strikingly resemblance to a popular Lady Gaga quote.
    • Fans believe this is another example in a long history of shade and insults traded between the two starlets.
    • Their feud began in 2011, when Gaga's song "Born This Way" drew comparisons to Madonna's "Express Yourself"— which Madonna later called a "blatant rip-off."
    • "I've basically been hoping that I would become so good that one day I would piss off Madonna," Gaga told Attitude in 2013.
    • Here's everything you need to know about this drama.

    Fans believe that Madonna has reignited her longstanding feud with Lady Gaga using a short interview clip. 

    On Tuesday, the 60-year-old starlet posted a clip of an old interview in her Instagram story: "100 people in the room and 99 people say they liked it, I only remember the one person who didn't," she says in the video, which she re-posted from Giovanni Bianco, the Creative Director of Vogue Italia.

    "My girl does and says everything always first of all," Bianco captioned the clip.

    Fans immediately drew comparisons between the quote and a phrase that Gaga has repeatedly used during the "A Star Is Born" press tour. 

    "There can be 100 people in a room and 99 don't believe in you, but all it takes is one," Gaga has said in reference to director and co-star Bradley Cooper, who advocated for Gaga's casting in the lead role. (In fact, she has repeated variations of this phrase so often that fans have made memes and compilation videos.)

    Madonna deleted her re-post of the clip shortly after receiving ire from Gaga fans. She did, however, share two posts with potentially interesting captions — the first of which reads, "Don't f--- with me Monday."

    "I heard it all is cheap. If you can't improve the silence...say nothing," she captioned the second post, adding the hashtag #sorrynotsorry.

    I heard it all is cheap. If you cant improve the silence.........say nothing. #sorrynotsorry 💜

    A post shared by Madonna (@madonna) on Dec 3, 2018 at 8:39pm PST on

    Here's a complete rundown of everything you need to know about this feud.

    The two pop stars began trading barbs when Gaga released "Born This Way" in 2011.

    The popular single immediately drew comparisons to Madonna's "Express Yourself."

    It was not the first time Gaga had been accused of borrowing heavily from Madonna's style and sound: her embrace of Catholic imagery, LGBTQ shout-outs, and cone bras all bear similarities to Madonna's past works. But it was the first time either starlet had addressed the comparisons directly.

    lady gaga

    "I thought, this is a wonderful way to redo my song. I mean, I recognized the chord changes. I thought it was... interesting,"Madonna told ABC News, calling Gaga's song "reductive."

    "I certainly think she references me a lot in her work," she continued. "And sometimes I think it's amusing and flattering and well done."

    Shortly after, Gaga called the comparison "moronic."

    "If you put the songs next to each other, side by side, the only similarities are the chord progression,"she told NME. "It's the same one that's been in disco music for the last 50 years. Just because I'm the first f---ing artist in 25 years to think of putting it on Top 40 radio, it doesn't mean I'm a plagiarist, it means that I'm f---ing smart. Sorry."

    Months later, Gaga admitted that "Madonna is a wonderful influence" on her career: "It's all down to her that I'm able to do what I do," she told the Daily Mirror.

    Madonna began to perform a mashup of "Born This Way" and "Express Yourself" on tour in 2012.

    Madonna rehashed the controversy in 2015.

    "The only time I ever criticized Lady Gaga was when I felt like she blatantly ripped off one of my songs,"she told Rolling Stone. "It's got nothing to do with ‘she's taking my crown' or ‘she's in some space of mine.' She has her thing."

    "I do think she's a very talented singer and songwriter," she continued. "It was just that one issue. And everybody's obviously running with it and turned it into a huge feud, which I think is really boring, quite frankly. And you know what? I don't care anymore."

    lady gaga madonna feud netflix

    Gaga responded in 2016, telling Beats 1 radio host Zane Lowe that she and Madonna are "very different."

    "I wouldn't make that comparison at all and I don't mean to disrespect Madonna, she's a nice lady, and she's had a fantastic huge career, biggest pop star of all time," she said, as reported by Page Six. "But I play a lot of instruments. I write all my own music. I spend hours a day in the studio. I'm a producer. I'm a writer. What I do is different."

    "I just will not be compared to anyone anymore, I am who the f--- I am and this is me. My life story is my life story, just like yours is."

    "I've basically been hoping that I would become so good that one day I would piss off Madonna."

    Gaga ignited fan fury when she addressed the feud head-on in a 2016 interview with Attitude magazine.

    "I have to be really honest, I was completely kind of floored that Madonna was singing my song on her stage every night," Gaga said, as reported by HuffPost

    "The fact that I was on her mind at all. I mean, Madonna's... she's Madonna. I looked up to her for a long time. I'm not quite sure what her intention was — to do that in the show, but I don't really care,"Gaga continued. "I think playing into the gossip of the tabloids and, I guess the fodder of the competition, that's just not what I'm about."

    "All it meant to me was that Madonna Ciccone was singing my song on her stage and I'm 27! And as a punk-rocker from New York, I've basically been hoping that I would become so good that one day I would piss off Madonna."

    This quote is still a sore spot for Madonna fans, who believe that Gaga was exposing herself as having bad intentions.

    "I just want Madonna to f---ing push me up against a wall and kiss me and tell me I'm a piece of s---."

    Gaga expressed some conflicting viewpoints on the Madonna controversy in her 2017 Netflix documentary "Gaga: Five Foot Two."

    The "Joanne" singer vacillated between admiration for Madonna and frustration with her apparently shady actions.

    Read more: Lady Gaga gets real about her feud with Madonna in her documentary

    "Telling me that you think I'm a piece of s--- through the media is like, it's like a guy passing me a note through his friend. My buddy thinks your hot," Gaga says. "Where's your buddy f---ing throwing me up against the wall and kissing me? I just want Madonna to f---ing push me up against a wall and kiss me and tell me I'm a piece of s---."

    Later in the documentary, you can see the singer briefly joke about her feud with Madonna again while visiting her grandma.

    A younger photo of Lady Gaga is shown from high school when she was known as Stefani Germanotta before she had braces and a visible gap is seen in the singer's front two teeth.

    lady gaga teeth gap

    "Hey, if I had kept that gap then I would have had even more problems with Madonna," says Gaga.

    Madonna, of course, famously has a gap between her two front teeth.

    madonna women's march

    Gaga has not yet responded publicly to Madonna's most recent shade. Reps for neither Gaga nor Madonna immediately returned INSIDER's request for comments. 

    Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    california fires

    • The death toll from two recent California wildfires dropped to 88 people on Monday, after the Butte County sheriff announced that remains thought to be separate cases were "proven by DNA" to be the same person. 
    • The Camp Fire in Northern California destroyed an entire town in less than a day and killed at least 85 people, making it by far the deadliest fire in the state's history. 
    • Both the Camp Fire and the Woolsey Fire on the outskirts of Los Angeles are now 100% contained. 
    • California wildfires are becoming so frequent and pervasive that local officials say there's almost no need for the term "wildfire season" anymore.

    The death toll from California's deadliest wildfire on record dropped back to 85 people on Monday, after authorities discovered that separate bags of remains recovered from the Camp Fire were "proven by DNA" to be the same case.

    That shred of good news came as workers continue to clear debris and sift for remains in the area of Northern California hit by the Camp Fire. Eleven people are still missing, according to the Butte County Sheriff's Office, so it's possible the number of victims could still rise. 

    Authorities announced on November 25 that the fire, which had raged for over two weeks in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, was 100% contained. The blaze scorched 153,336 acres — an area larger than the city of Chicago.

    Widespread rains over the last couple of weeks brought relief to firefighters, but the wet, muddy conditions complicate efforts to locate human remains. Only 43 of the 85 remains have been positively identified to date. 

    The other deadly wildfire in California, the Woolsey Fire on the outskirts of LA, is also 100% contained, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. The Woolsey flames burned 96,949 acres and killed three people, bringing the combined death toll from both the Woolsey and Camp fires to 88 (not 91, as previously reported).

    This year to date, 7,989 fires have burned across California, fueled by hot, dry conditions and aggressive winds. The causes of the Woolsey and Camp Fires are still under investigation, but sparking power lines may have played a role in the Camp Fire.

    paradise repair power lines camp fire

    The Camp Fire was the deadliest and most destructive in California's history

    The Camp Fire moved at a deadly pace— about 80 football fields per minute — after breaking out on the morning of November 8. The 27,000-resident town of Paradise was in flames within hours.

    When President Donald Trump visited the wreckage in Paradise, California on November 17, he described the area as "total devastation."

    camp fire san francisco sacramento 1

    The fire's quick spread made successful evacuations nearly impossible.

    "I was sitting in my car just screaming, waiting to die," Paradise resident Jackie Rabbit told INSIDER. She ditched her car and started running. She didn't even notice her bloody knee or injured ankle as she raced to safety. 

    At least six people burned to death in their cars as they tried to escape, the Butte County Sheriff's Office said.

    "The fire was so close I could feel it in my car through rolled-up windows," Rita Miller, who fled Paradise with her mother, told The Associated Press.

    Before this, California's deadliest blaze was a 1933 fire that broke out in LA's Griffith Park. It killed 29 laborers who were caught unprepared to battle the flames. The Camp Fire's death toll is almost triple that.  

    More than 13,900 homes and 500 businesses were destroyed, along with over 4,200 other buildings, making the Camp Fire the most destructive wildfire in California's history in terms of structures lost. 

    You can learn more about damage from the Camp Fire on Cal Fire's Structure Status Map and see evacuations on the Camp Fire Evacuation Map.

    Searching for human remains among the ash and rain is tricky 

    search for bodies camp fire

    Coroner search teams are still looking for victims in Paradise. After the fire receded from the Paradise area, more than 450 people were dispatched to look for human remains in the debris, according to the Associated Press. Abandoned cars in driveways were taken as a potential sign that residents might not have escaped.

    More than 800 volunteers spent their Thanksgiving holiday helping to look for victims, the AP reported

    Sifting through the ashes, the teams sometimes recover only the partial remains of a victim to place in a body bag.

    "The long bag looks almost empty as it's carefully carried out of the ruins and placed in a black hearse,"the AP's Gillian Flaccus reported from Paradise.

    searching in paradise camp fire rain

    The Butte County Sheriff's office is working with anthropologists from California State University at Chico to help identify bone fragments among ash in the area. Some residents have given cheek swabs to help officials identify their relatives' remains.

    You can register yourself as safe or search for loved ones who are missing using the Red Cross' "Safe and Well" list online.

    Federal money is arriving, but Trump incorrectly blamed a lack of raking for the fires

    Paradise Thanksgiving camp fire wildfire

    Governor-elect Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in Butte County the day the fire broke out and sent a letter to President Donald Trump and the Federal Emergency Management Agency asking for federal assistance.

    Trump approved some federal assistance for the California fires on November 9 and said on November 12 that he approved an "expedited request for a Major Disaster Declaration," which allows people whose homes or workplaces were hit by the Woolsey or Camp Fires to apply for federal assistance.

    But on Twitter, Trump blamed the fires on poor forest management and threatened that there may be "no more Fed payments." (The federal government oversees more than 40% of California's land.) When visiting, Trump also criticized Californians for not doing more raking

    "I was watching the firemen the other day, and they were raking areas — they were raking areas where the fire was," Trump said on Fox News Sunday. "That should have been all raked out and cleaned out," he added. "You wouldn't have the fire." 

    Trump suggested that's how Finland prevents forest fires, but the president of Finland said it's not true.

    camp fire walmart parking lot evacuees

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency said in a release that federal disaster assistance for the fire victims "can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster."

    Over $20 million in federal aid has been distributed so far, according to the agency, mostly in the form of hotel vouchers and other housing assistance.

    The aid is much needed among fire victims who lost everything. Troy Miller, a Butte County resident, was camping in a truck next to the remains of his house in Concow. 

    "I'm alive and I'm still up here," Miller told the Associated Press on November 19. "There are plenty of other people worse off than I. I've got a lot of faith in God. I think things will be OK."

    Smoke from the fires traveled hundreds of miles and made San Francisco air unhealthy to breathe for weeks

    Smoke from the Camp Fire made it difficult for people in many parts of Northern California to breathe for nearly two weeks. Soot and chemicals released from the flames blanketed wide swaths of the state in a gray haze. 

    camp fire san francisco city smoke 2

    In the days after the fires broke out, the Environmental Protection Agency described the air throughout much of the Bay Area as "unhealthy" or "very unhealthy" to breathe.

    Federal air monitors suggested that residents limit time outside and avoid outdoor exercise. San Francisco public schools shuttered their doors on November 16, and many museums opened their doors admission-free to help people find indoor activities.

    The San Francisco Air Quality Index, which measures the number of dangerously small pollutants in the air, is now back to normally healthy numbers. The US Department of the Interior estimates that the Camp and Woolsey Fires together "produced emissions equivalent to roughly 5.5 million tons of carbon dioxide."

    The Woolsey fire burned nearly 97,000 acres near LA and killed three people

    woolsey fire los angeles

    The Woolsey Fire, fueled by fierce Santa Ana winds, destroyed 1,500 structures, mostly homes. The fire was marked as 100% contained on November 21. 

    Three people died in the Woolsey Fire. Two burned bodies were found in a car in Malibu near Mulholland Highway, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said, while a third victim was discovered in the wreckage of a home in Agoura Hills.

    woolsey fire in malibu

    At its peak, the fire forced over 275,000 people from their homes. Carol Napoli, who lives at the Vallecito mobile-home park for seniors in Newbury Park, told the AP that the flames approached the park so fast that her mother didn't have time to grab her oxygen tank before they bolted in a car.

    "We drove through flames to get out," Napoli said, adding: "My girlfriend was driving. She said, 'I don't know if I can do this.' ... Her son said, 'Mom you have to — you have to drive through the flames.'" 

    The fire threatened mobile homes and mansions alike. Celebrities including Gerard Butler, Miley Cyrus, and Neil Young lost their houses.

    malibu firefighter woolsey nov 9

    More than 80% of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, the country's largest urban national park, burned, according to the Los Angeles Times. Flames and smoke sent bobcats and mountain lions in the area scampering.

    The blaze also destroyed the storied filming location of Paramount Ranch, where the shows "Westworld" and "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" were shot.

    You can view find more information and resources on the Ventura County Emergency Information site, the Ventura County Recovers site, and LA County's Woolsey Fire site.

    woolsey fire flames from above

    Both the Woolsey Fire and another small fire, the Hill Fire, threatened the town of Thousand Oaks, where residents were already reeling from a mass shooting that left 12 people dead

    A resident named Cynthia Ball told the AP it was "like 'welcome to hell.'"

    The LA County website says: "If you are affected by the Woolsey or Hill fires, the Thousand Oaks mass shooting, or both, you can call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text 'TalkWithUs' to 66746 for emotional support and resources."

    woolsey fire home lost

    Wildfires are no longer limited to one season

    The flames in Southern California have been fueled by hot, dry conditions and spread by Santa Ana winds, which tend to blow in from the desert in the fall months.

    Read more: Why wildfire season is getting longer and stronger

    As the LA Fire Department's Erik Scott pointed out on Twitter, some houses are better protected from fires than others, since green vegetation can help keep back flames.

    camp fire paradise bodies recovered

    Wildfire season in California technically runs from late summer through the fall. But as the planet heats up, higher-than-average temperatures and drought conditions are becoming more common. Meanwhile, developers continue to build homes in places that are naturally prone to wildfires.

    "Whether it is to allow a rock star to build on a ridgeline in Malibu or a manufactured-home community that nestles into the foothills, the decision is the same and the consequences are the same," Char Miller, the director of environmental analysis at Pomona College, told the Times.

    Fire officials in the state are now acknowledging that wildfires may not be limited to any specific season.

    Michelle Mark, Bryan Logan, and David Choi contributed reporting.

    SEE ALSO: A California wildfire just demolished an entire town and forced the Kardashians to evacuate. Here’s why wildfire season is getting longer and stronger.

    DON'T MISS: Here's what the wildfires look like on the ground

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    jake paul logan paul

    • Forbes recently released its list of the highest paid YouTube stars of 2018, based on data and interviews with industry insiders.
    • The list is exclusively male, and half of the top-earning YouTubers share a focus on video games.
    • Collectively, the 10 top-earning YouTubers take home more than $180 million a year.

    YouTube's impact on the realm of pop culture can't be ignored — the platform's top stars become the world's premiere influencers, coveted for their ability to reach tens of millions of followers on a daily basis.

    As influencers become more valuable, many popular YouTubers have been able to turn their personal brands into million-dollar businesses. While the formula for YouTube success varies between channels, the most successful YouTubers have been able to find new sources of income beyond the ad revenue on their videos. For some, that means personal clothing lines and TV appearances, while others have capitalized on their success with sold-out live tours and custom toy brands.

    Forbes recently released its list of the highest-paid YouTubers, based on their earnings from June 1, 2017 to June 1, 2018.

    Here's how they rank:

    SEE ALSO: A 7-year-old boy is making $22 million a year on YouTube reviewing toys

    NOW READ: PewDiePie will lose his crown as YouTube's biggest star, thanks to India's obsession with Bollywood

    10. Logan Paul — $14.5 million

    Vlogger Logan Paul was YouTube's fourth-highest earner last year. But his personal brand took a tumble after he uploaded a video of a dead body he found in Japan's Aokigahara forest, a location that is notorious for suicides.

    As a result, YouTube removed Paul from the Google Preferred program, impacting his ad revenue. However, his channel continued to rack up subscribers, and he continues to earn income from his personal merchandise and celebrity appearances. Despite the scandal in Japan, Paul was able to increase his earnings by $2 million in the course of a year.

    One of Paul's most-watched stunts this year was a pay-per-view boxing match against British YouTuber KSI held in London. The fight ended in a draw and the pair are planning a rematch for next year.

    9. PewDiePie — $15.5 million

    In past years, Felix "PewDiePie" Kjellberg was, without question, the world's most successful YouTuber.

    But recent scandals accusing the video game commenter of racism and anti-Semitism have led to a slight decline in sponsorships. Still, like Logan Paul, PewDiePie managed to increase his overall earnings by about $3.5 million between June 2017 and June 2018.

    PewDiePie still has the most subscribers of any single account on YouTube with more than 73 million, but will likely be overtaken by Bollywood YouTube channel T-Series in early 2019.

    8. JackSepticEye — $16 million

    Irish video game streamer Sean "JackSepticEye" McLoughlin was one of the first YouTubers to be a part of PewDiePie's Disney-sponsored Revelmode network, earning him a giant following.

    While Disney eventually dumped Revelmode, McLoughlin was eventually signed to create original programming for Disney XD, a TV channel targeted at children and teens. McLoughlin also serves as a host and stage personality for a number of live events and tours in Europe and North America.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Steve Stivers

    • The National Republican Congressional Committee says it was hit with a "cyber intrusion" during the 2018 midterm campaign, Politico first reported Tuesday.
    • A Committee spokesman confirmed the NRCC was the victim of a cyberattack and had both launched an internal probe into the hack as well as notifying the FBI.
    • Officials added that while sensitive emails and internal information was compromised, the hackers did not access donor information.

     The National Republican Congressional Committee says it was hit with a "cyber intrusion" during the 2018 midterm campaign and the breach has been reported to the FBI, Politico first reported Tuesday.

    "The NRCC can confirm that it was the victim of a cyber intrusion by an unknown entity," Committee spokesman Ian Prior said Tuesday.

    "The cybersecurity of the Committee's data is paramount, and upon learning of the intrusion, the NRCC immediately launched an internal investigation and notified the FBI, which is now investigating the matter," he added.

    CNN reported that emails and communications of 4 high-level NRCC officials had been "surveilled for months." While the hack was reportedly discovered by a private cybersecurity firm in April, the most senior House Republican officials including Speaker Paul Ryan and majority leader Kevin McCarthy were not aware until Politico inquired 

    Some NRCC staffers told Politico they believed the culprit of the hack was a foreign agent. Officials added that while sensitive emails and internal information was compromised, the hackers did not access donor information.

    The FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Read more: Facebook announced it got hacked and 50 million accounts were compromised. Here's how to tell if you were affected.

    In March, NRCC Chairman Steve Stivers said the committee has hired multiple cybersecurity staffers to work with its candidates and promised to do more. Rep. Tom Emmers of Minnesota has been elected to chair the NRCC for the upcoming election cycle. 

    Cybersecurity has become a pressing issue for political campaigns and organizations in recent years. In July, the special counsel Robert Mueller's office indicted 12 Russian security officers for spring and summer 2016 hacks of the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. 

    While the NRCC and DCCC have spent much of the past two years negotiating an agreement not to cite material obtained via malicious hacking in campaign ads in the 2018 midterms, those talks fell apart months before the November elections, CNN reported. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Bob Dole

    • Former US Sen. Bob Dole, who's 95 years old, on Tuesday stood up from his wheelchair in the US Capitol Rotunda to salute the casket of former President George H.W. Bush.
    • Like Bush, the former Republican senator is a war hero and served with distinction in World War II. 
    • The two men were also political rivals at various points during their long careers. 
    • Bush, the 41st president of the US, died at the age of 94 on November 30.

    Former US Sen. Bob Dole, who's 95-years-old, on Tuesday stood up from his wheelchair in the US Capitol Rotunda to salute the casket of former President George H.W. Bush.

    It was an emotional, powerful moment, particularly given the history the two men share.  

    Like Bush, the former Republican senator is a war hero and served with distinction in World War II. Dole salutes with his left hand because of injuries he sustained during the war that have impacted his mobility. 

    Dole also challenged Bush for the Republican nomination for president in 1980 and again in 1988. 

    Both men lost to former President Ronald Reagan in 1980, but Bush went on to be Reagan's vice president before winning the GOP nomination and ultimately the presidency in 1988. 

    Read more: The most powerful images from the nation's remembrance of President George HW Bush

    Dole ran a final campaign for president in 1996, this time winning the GOP nomination. In the end, however, he lost the election to incumbent Democratic President Bill Clinton. 

    Bush, the 41st president of the US, died at the age of 94 on November 30 and is being remembered across the nation as a lifelong public servant and dedicated family man. 

    Read more: George H.W. Bush's simple but profound life advice in 23 words

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Alaska Airlines Boeing 737

    • Alaska Airlines launched a two-day fare sale on Tuesday with one-way tickets for as little as $39.
    • Standout deals include $39 one-way flights between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Flights between LA and San Francisco can be had for $49 one way.
    • All sale tickets must be purchased by 11:59 pm PT on Wednesday, December 5 for travel between January 8 and March 6, 2019.

    Alaska Airlines launched a two-day fare sale on Tuesday with one-way tickets for as little as $39.

    The Seattle, Washington-based carrier will make discount tickets available in both its traditional Main fare economy cabin as well as in its newly launched Saver fare, which is a less restrictive form of the basic economy product offered by American, Delta, and United.

    Even though the sale is nationwide, some of the best deals to be had are out of Los Angeles. For example, Saver fare one-way flights to Las Vegas and San Jose are available for just $39, while traditional Main fare tickets are available for $69. A flight from LA to San Francisco is only slightly more expensive at $49 with the Saver fare and $79 with the Main fare.

    Alaska Airlines Saver fareThere are some conditions that go along with these discounted prices. All sale tickets must be purchased by 11:59 p.m. PT on Wednesday, December 5 for travel between January 8 and March 6, 2019. There are also blackout dates between February 14 and February 25.

    In addition, tickets must be purchased 21 days ahead of travel.

    Read more: The amazing history of the Boeing 737, the best-selling airliner of all time.

    Alaska's Saver fare and other basic economy tickets are discount fare classes within an airline's economy cabin. As a result, the in-flight service and experience will be the same for Saver fare as it will be for someone who purchased a pricier Main fare ticket. This means passengers who go the Saver route will sit in the same seats, enjoy the same in-flight perks, and amenities as everyone else in coach.

    Saver fare tickets are neither changeable nor cancelable, nor will they be eligible for upgrades. Those traveling on Saver fare tickets will also board last. And while you will be able to pre-select your seat, it will have to be at the back of the plane. 

    SEE ALSO: Take a look inside the $218 million Boeing Dreamliner private jet the new president of Mexico is selling because it's 'too lavish'

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    iPhone 6S ip6s

    • Last year, Apple instituted a program to replace out-of-warranty batteries for the iPhone 6 or later for just $29 — a $50 price drop from the usual $79 cost.
    • If you own an iPhone 6 or later and have battery issues, you have until December 31 to take advantage of the lower price to replace your battery.

    If you own an iPhone 6 or later and have issues with your phone's battery life, now's the time to visit an Apple Store and get your battery replaced.

    Last December, Apple acknowledged something that iPhone owners had suspected for some time: It had been quietly "throttling," or lowering, the performance of older iPhones.

    It said the goal was to preserve battery life on those older phones and prevent them from shutting down unexpectedly, but customers felt as if Apple communicated this message too late, as many had come to believe that iPhones purposefully got slower to compel people to upgrade to newer models.

    After a good deal of consumer outrage, Apple addressed iPhone battery and performance in an open letter to customers later that month.

    The most important part of Apple's informational letter was an offer toward the end: Apple said it would reduce the price of an out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacement to $29 from $79 "for anyone with an iPhone 6 or later whose battery needs to be replaced, available worldwide through December 2018."

    And so if you own an iPhone 6, an iPhone 6s, an iPhone 7, or any other phones made after that and are experiencing battery issues — maybe it's draining faster than it used to — head to an Apple Store before December 31.

    A small anecdote: My wife owns an iPhone 6s and had been experiencing battery issues for months. She'd constantly need to recharge her phone at work and at home, and she felt as if it hadn't always been this bad. So a couple of months ago, we visited an Apple Store, where an employee measured her phone's battery life and found the degradation to be at about 83%.

    Apple says it will offer to replace batteries when battery degradation reaches 80%, but the employee gave my wife the option to replace it right then and there for $29. So we did that and walked around the mall for a few hours while we waited.

    It was worth the wait: Since that visit, she's noticed improvement in her phone's battery life and no longer needs to charge it throughout the day.

    So if you're experiencing anything similar, go visit an Apple Store or mail your device before December 31 and pay the $30 to get your battery replaced. You'll be paying more if you choose to wait.

    SEE ALSO: If the rumors are true, Apple's next iPhone will be called 'XS' — and people are already making fun of the name, calling it 'extra small' and 'iPhone Excess'

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    veronica johnny riverdale

    • In this exclusive clip from Wednesday's episode of The CW's "Riverdale," Veronica listens to her father, Hiram, when he gives her advice on how to best Elio during her casino night.
    • Hiram warns Veronica that Elio is going to cheat her out of money, and he tells her to hire a card dealer named Johnny Goldwater to help her beat Elio at a game of blackjack.
    • Johnny Goldwater is played by Jesse Goldwater, the son of Archie Comics CEO Jon Goldwater. 
    • "Being able to step into 'Riverdale' was truly a dream come true," Jesse told INSIDER. "Seeing first hand this incredible world come to life and watching everyone in action was simply a magical experience. Thank you so much to [creator and showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa] for letting me be a part of this. Hopefully Johnny Goldwater can repay the favor and provide exactly the good luck charm Veronica needs!"
    • Read all of our "Riverdale" coverage here.

    • "Riverdale" airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW. 
    • Watch the clip below.

    Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Growth in Share of Retail Site Visits

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

    Social media is becoming increasingly influential in shoppers' purchasing decisions. In fact, the top 500 retailers earned an estimated $6.5 billion from social shopping in 2017, up 24% from 2016, according to BI Intelligence estimates.

    In addition to influencing purchase decisions, social media is a large part of the product discovery and research phase of the shopping journey. And with more and more retailers offering quick access to their sites via social media pages, and shoppable content becoming more popular, it's likely that social media will play an even larger role in e-commerce. 

    In this report, BI Intelligence examines the advantages and disadvantages of each platform, and reviews case studies of successful campaigns that helped boost conversion and increase brand awareness. Additionally, we explore how retailers can bring social aspects into their own sites and apps to capitalize on consumers' desire for social shopping experiences.

    Here are some key takeaways from the report:

    • Social media is becoming more influential in all aspects of the purchasing journey.
    • Facebook is the clear winner in social commerce, with its huge user base and wide-ranging demographics.
    • However, retailers should have a presence on every platform their target market is on. Each platform will require a different strategy for retailers to resonate with its users.
    • Retailers can also benefit from bringing social aspects in-house. They can do this by building their own in-house social networks, or by embedding social media posts into their sites.

    In full, the report: 

    • Provides an overview of the top social media platforms — Facebook, YouTube, Instagram — that retailers should be using, the demographics of each platform, as well as their individual advantages and disadvantages. 
    • Reviews tools recently developed by these platforms that help retailers create engaging content.
    • Outlines case studies and specific strategies to use on each platform.
    • Examines how retailers like Sephora, Amazon, and Poshmark are capitalizing on consumers' affinity for social shopping by creating their own in-house social networks.

    Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:

    1. Subscribe to an All-Access pass to BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and over 100 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you'll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >>Learn More Now
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    amazon air

    • Amazon's cargo planes are poised to take market share from UPS and FedEx, Morgan Stanley said.
    • The online retailer had leased 40 Boeing 767 cargo planes and invested aggressively in its first air-cargo hub.
    • Amazon's air-delivery system could lead to as much as a combined 10% drop in revenue for UPS and FedEx.
    • Watch UPS, FedEx, and Amazon trade live.

    Amazon's cargo planes are poised to take market share from the logistics giants UPS and FedEx, Morgan Stanley says.

    "The market is missing the risk Amazon Air poses to UPS/FDX growth," a group of Morgan Stanley analysts led by Ravi Shanker said Tuesday. 

    In August 2016, the online retailer revealed its first cargo plane, Amazon One, — a converted Boeing 767 operated by Amazon partner Atlas Air — highlighting its desire to take over package-delivery logistics.

    At the time, Amazon said it leased 40 fleet units through air cargo partners Atlas Air and ATSG, and had invested aggressively in its first air-cargo hub located in Hebron, Kentucky, in order to reduce its reliance on the traditional logistics companies like UPS and FedEx. The Wall Street Journal reported in February 2017 that the tech titan was planning a $1.5 billion investment in the air-cargo hub, which Morgan Stanley says could potentially handle 100 planes. 

    According to the bank, Amazon can save $2 to $4 per package when using its Amazon Air deliveries, which could add up to savings of as much as $2 billion, or 6% of its global-shipping costs in 2019. Meanwhile, Amazon's cost effectivity could cause UPS and FedEx revenues to fall by a combined 10% by 2025.

    "Though Amazon Air's rollout is in the early innings, we estimate a 200-300 bps impact on UPS and FedEx Domestic Air Volume growth already, with more erosion expected as Amazon Air is built out," said Shanker.

    "We also estimate that Amazon that Amazon Air's lanes overlap with over two thirds of the volume flown by UPS+FedEx combined."

    As a result, Morgan Stanley lowered its price target for UPS  to $87 from $92 and for FedEx to $230 from $240.

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    barbara corcoran

    • Barbara Corcoran says she loves business partnerships between people with different skill sets.
    • When she's trying to figure out if a partnership will work on "Shark Tank," Corcoran simply asks contestants, "What do you do?"
    • She said her most successful investments on "Shark Tank" support teams with opposite yet complementary talents. 


    Barbara Corcoran is known for her extroverted persona and sometimes edgy advice— but one of her most successful business partnerships was with a particularly quiet woman named Esther Kaplan.

    "She's the most conservative person you ever want to meet," Corcoran said at IGNITION, Business Insider's flagship media and technology event. "You almost couldn't even hear her talk. That’s how quiet she was in her manner and the way she demonstrated herself."

    But Corcoran quickly saw that Kaplan had just about everything Corcoran needed as she built her own business.

    "I was able to recognize she was my opposite," Corcoran continued. "She was great at file systems, personnel systems, computers, finance, legal. Everything that I sucked at. And I was great at marketing, recruiting, brainstorming, PR, the bullcrap area of business. And she hated it. So, we were perfect partners."

    Read more:'What the hell were we thinking?': Startup founders who landed a $55,000 deal on 'Shark Tank' nearly missed their big break

    Opposites attract, and in Corcoran's case, they helped make for excellent business partnerships. Corcoran has taken that lesson from her real estate mogul days as the founder of The Corcoran Group — which she sold in 2001 for $66 million — to her present role as a judge on reality TV show "Shark Tank."

    To figure out if potential investors have that ideal mix of talents, Corcoran simply asks, "What do you do?"

    When she asks that deceptively simple question, Corcoran is trying to figure out whether or not the contestants contribute different yet complementary talents to the business. 

    "You can start to size up as to whether they're compatible partners with opposite skill sets," Corcoran said at IGNITION. 

    Ultimately, as she's noted previously, Corcoran said her most successful Shark Tank investments have been partnerships — like Cousins Maine Lobster, in which Corcoran invested $15,000 in 2012. Today, the food truck business has restaurants and locales nationwide

    "It's almost like two for the price of one," Corcoran said at IGNITION. "I'm paying the same money, getting the same stock, but I'm getting two great entrepreneurs instead of one. My odds of winning are much better."

    SEE ALSO: Shark Tank star Barbara Corcoran reveals how getting dumped for her secretary and sending 1 gutsy email helped turn her into a business mogul

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