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The latest news from Business Insider

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    2017

    • The US Capitol began regularly lighting a Christmas tree in 1964. 
    • Since then, the tree has grown more than 40 feet. 
    • The lights and decorations have changed too.

    The US Capitol Christmas tree lighting has been a thing for more than 50 years. Since then, the tree has been through a lot of changes. We looked back at how this tradition — and the tree — has grown. 

    In 1913, the first Christmas tree was erected on Capitol grounds.

    Though the tradition of a tree lighting ceremony started much later, a Christmas tree was placed on the Capitol lawn before that, a tradition that started in 1913 with a "community Christmas" in Washington. The 40-foot Norway spruce was accompanied by a nativity scene and a choir. 

    It happened again in 1914, but was then suspended for budget cuts. 



    In 1964, the first official Christmas tree was decorated.

    House Speaker John W. McCormack apparently suggested to J. George Stewart, architect of the Capitol, that there should be a Christmas tree on the Capitol lawn. Thus, one was planted and a tradition was started. It began with a relatively modest 24-foot tree.



    The same tree continued to be decorated for a few years.

    That same tree — a 24-foot Douglas Fir from Buddies Nurseries in Pennsylvania — was meant to stay on the lawn and be re-decorated each year. 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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

    thinkgeek gifts 4

    Many of us grew up on and continue to be enraptured by fantasy worlds. Inhabited by memorable characters and rife with action around every corner, they may have been born on the screen, but they certainly haven't stayed there — just look at all the apparel, games, and even full-fledged conventions and theme parks that they've inspired. 

    ThinkGeek believes there's no shame in embracing your chosen geekdom, whether you prefer to escape to faraway galaxies or imagine the unexplored possibilities of Earth.

    It's the perfect place to find a gift for anyone who appreciates cult favorites across TV, movies, books, video games, and other geeky interests. The cool and unique gifts from ThinkGeek are inspired by popular franchises like "Game of Thrones,""Harry Potter,""Star Wars,""Star Trek,", Marvel, Pokemon, Super Mario, and many, many more. 

    If you know your recipient loves a specific series or world, you can shop the category directly. The following are our favorite gift picks across a variety of our favorite shows, films, and video games, from ThinkGeek. 

    Shop all gifts from ThinkGeek here

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

    A cute BB-8 car charger that also moves and makes sounds

    Star Wars BB-8 USB Car Charger, $29.99, available at ThinkGeek



    A "Twin Peaks"-inspired pie plate that you should fill with a handmade cherry pie

    Twin Peaks Ceramic Pie Plate, $24.99, available at ThinkGeek



    Embroidered patches to remind them of their inner kid



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Roger Stone

    • Roger Stone, a key figure in the Russia probe, is invoking his Fifth Amendment right and declining to provide documents requested of him by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
    • In a letter to ranking Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Stone's attorney, Grant Smith, called the requests "far too over-broad, far too overreaching," and "far too wide-ranging" for him to comply with. 
    • Feinstein originally requested documents of Stone's communications with WikiLeaks and Trump campaign officials back in November 2017.

    Roger Stone, the former adviser to President Donald Trump, is invoking his Fifth Amendment right and declining to provide documents requested of him by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    In a letter to the committee publicly released by ranking Democratic member Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Stone's lawyer, Grant Smith, said Stone "respectfully declines to produce any documents and declines the invitation for an interview." The letter cited the Fifth Amendment's protection against self-incrimination. 

    Smith called Feinstein's requests "far too over-broad, far too overreaching," and "far too wide-ranging in their all-embracing list of persons to whom the request could relate with whom Mr. Stone has spoken over the past three years." 

    Stone has become a central figure in the special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign collaborated with Moscow to tilt the race in Trump's favor. The special counsel has called at least seven of his associates to testify before the grand jury convened to hear testimony in the probe.

    Stone's involvement in the Russia probe revolves around whether he had foreknowledge of the radical transparency group WikiLeaks releasing emails from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's campaign allegedly hacked by Russian security officers to sow discord in the 2016 election. 

    Read more: Top Trump campaign officials and right-wing media allies were convinced Roger Stone was much closer to WikiLeaks than he's let on

    In the letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Smith also called for the transcript of Stone's September 2017 closed-door testimony before the House Select Committee on Intelligence to be made public.  

    Feinstein originally requested documents of Stone's communications with WikiLeaks and Trump campaign officials in November 2017

    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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    troy carter

     

    The legendary Los Angeles music manager and venture capitalist Troy Carter spoke at Business Insider's IGNITION Conference Tuesday afternoon in New York City.

    Carter, the founder and CEO of Atom Factory, an entertainment and artist management company, and founding partner of venture capital firm Cross Culture VC, talked about how he decides which companies to invest in. 

    Carter said when he confers with his son and one of his partners, Suzy Ryoo, on this subject, they don't look for any specific characteristics. Instead, they ask themselves one question: "What does the future look like?"

    Carter said his team spends time within many different types of industries. Carter maintains investments in more than 80 startups, including Uber, Lyft, Spotify, Warby Parker, and Dropbox. His team also travels the world.

    "We just got back from China, and just seeing how far ahead China is on AI and some other technologies right now, and then seeing — I did Africa maybe about two months ago and seeing how we're going to see this big leapfrog ... basically, I think they have the ability to surpass America eventually as well," Carter said. 

    In deciding which companies to support, Carter looks for entrepreneurs who look at the potential problems of the future and are "uniquely qualified to solve them," he said.

    Carter, who recently left an executive position at Spotify, helped launch the careers of musicians that include Lady Gaga and Meghan Trainor. He's also the entertainment advisor for the estate of the late musician Prince.

    SEE ALSO: Barbara Corcoran asks a simple question on 'Shark Tank' to quickly understand if a business partnership will succeed

    DON'T MISS: Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian says we need to move past 'hustle porn' and have a more realistic understanding of what it takes to be successful

    Join the conversation about this story »

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


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    Priyanka Chopra

    It seems every part of Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra’s wedding (or, more accurately, weddings) have been thoughtfully planned and beautifully executed, right down to the bride and grooms’ wardrobes.

    The pair officially tied the knot this weekend in two ceremonies — one Christian and one Hindu— and in the former, Jonas paid a sweet and subtle tribute to his bride. In the inner lapel of his tuxedo, he wore a small piece of Chopra’s lace wedding dress embroidered with the Urdu words "My Jaan," which translate to "My Life,"reported People magazine. 

    And forever starts now... ❤️ @nickjonas

    A post shared by Priyanka Chopra (@priyankachopra) on Dec 4, 2018 at 4:36am PST on

    The sentimental gesture is one of many in the couple's Saturday nuptials at Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India.

    Chopra and Jonas both wore Ralph Lauren designs down the aisle, the same designer they wore to the Met Gala.

    Chopra also wore a special wedding gown. Not only was it embroidered with over 2 million mother of pearl sequins, and accessorized with a 75-foot veil, but she also had hidden messages embroidered inside of it. These messages included her parents’ names, her wedding date, Jonas' full name (Nicholas Jerry Jonas), and the words "Hope,""Compassion,""Family,""Love," and the Hindu mantra "Om Nivah Shivay," which means "admiration to Lord Shiva."

    Also, in a similar move to Jonas' decision to wear a piece of Chopra's dress, the actress chose to wear a piece of the wedding dress that Jonas' mother, Denise, once wore down the aisle.

    "The emotions were running high during the ceremonies, I think especially during the Western wedding for me,"Jonas told People magazine. "You think your whole life about that moment. Honestly, I could not have imagined it would be as perfect as it was. It was highly emotional."

    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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    • Bjorn Harms is a Dutch computer technician who turned his Corvette into a remote-controlled car.
    • Even with the adjustments, the car still functions as his daily driver.
    • He also converted a DeLorean and Knight Rider Replica.

    Narrator: Today, we take a look at a full-size remote-controlled Chevy Corvette. Bjorn Harms is a Dutch computer technician and creator of the R/C Corvette.

    Bjorn Harms: My inspiration for building the R/C Corvette came from watching the movie "Back to the Future" when I was a kid.

    Narrator: The entire building process took Bjorn around one year to complete and cost him just over $4,000.

    Bjorn: Some of the challenges I ran across were definitely hiding all the controls under the dashboard in such a way that the car was still a daily driver.

    Narrator: He did the same exact transformation to an original DeLorean DMC-12. Bjorn even converted a customer's Pontiac Trans Am that he was modifying to resemble the vehicle featured in the 1980's TV series "Knight Rider." And he has some large aspirations for the future.

    Bjorn: It would also be cool to do something for, I don't know, movies!

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    thanos infinity war avengers

    • A lot of Marvel movies made the most profits in 2018. 
    • In terms of movies, "Avengers: Infinity War" made the most money in 2018.
    • "Black Panther" and "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" also made over a billion dollars. 

    We often hear people bemoaning the death of cinema, that the only movies being made lately are sequels, reboots, and superhero movies. Well, if the 2018 worldwide box office is any indication,  these are some of the most profitable movies that people keep on watching. 

    The following 21 films made the most money this year. Some of the titles on this list might surprise you and that's because this isn't a list of the highest grossing films of the year, it's the most profitable list.

    The numbers listed below are worldwide box office stats minus the production budget. Meaning, a movie could dominate the box office, but not actually turn out to be that profitable because of how much it cost to make (i.e. "Solo: A Star Wars Story"). This adjustment for production costs explains how a movie like "Bohemian Rhapsody" could land higher on this list than "Ready Player One," even though the musical biopic made just $487 million at the global box office and the Steven Spielberg juggernaut made $582 million.

    Here are the movies that made the most money this year, based on their total profits as of December 3.

    "Peter Rabbit": $301,266,433

    Source: Box Office Mojo



    "Rampage": $306,345,950

    Source: Box Office Mojo



    "Fifty Shades Freed": $316,382,353

    Source: Box Office Mojo



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Growth Regtech Firms

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

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

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

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

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

    Here are some of the key takeaways:

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

    In full, the report:

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

       

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    scale weight loss losing weight

    • Watching what you eat is important, but you may still be not losing weight.
    • There are some other health reasons that could be preventing you from losing weight.
    • It is important to consult with your doctor.

    There are a number of reasons you could be struggling to lose weight or are gaining weight, even if you're eating right.

    Holly Lofton, MD, director of the Weight Management Program at NYU Langone Health told INSIDER this is a common problem for her patients, but there are solutions.

    "I see this very commonly," Dr. Lofton said. "The average person comes in, they know how to lose weight ... They're doing what they expect they should, they're tracking their calories, they're doing 10,000 steps and they're not getting weight loss, or, god forbid, [they are gaining weight]."

    Here are some reasons why you may be gaining weight even if you have a healthy diet. Dr. Lofton advises talking to your doctor in order to identify why if you have specific issues with any of them.

    Side effects of your medications could be causing you to gain weight.

    Certain medications, particularly antidepressants, cancause you to gain weight as a side effect of the drug.

    "[SSRI antidepressants] have weight-gain potential when taken for more than a couple of months," Dr. Lofton said. "That's a really common [reason for weight gain]."

    "You could just do an online search and see if weight gain is one of the side effects of your medication. That's readily available information online," she added. "Also, talk to your doctor. If the medication you are on does have weight-gain potential, there are likely some alternatives in similar classes that might be better for you."



    Contraception can also make you gain a few extra pounds.

    Some forms of contraception can also have weight gain as a common side-effect. According toWebMD, birth control pills have lower amounts of hormones, making it less likely for oral contraception to cause weight gain. However, Dr. Lofton said other kinds of contraception can cause weight gain.

    "I see it commonly with thesedepo shots ... the three-month depo injections [can add] about 13 pounds a year," Dr. Lofton said.



    You might have a hormone imbalance that makes you gain weight.

    Yourhormones are chemicals that control most of your bodily functions. So, if you're gaining weight without any obvious explanation, it could be a sign you have a hormone imbalance.

    According toStyleCraze, the hormones that are most likely to cause weight gain include: thyroid, insulin, leptin, ghrelin, estrogen, cortisol, testosterone, progesterone, melatonin, and glucocorticoids.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    qualcomm keynote 2019 snap 855

    • On Tuesday, chipmaker Qualcomm announced the first mobile chip that supports the 5G mobile network.
    • 5G is the evolution of 4G LTE, and promises faster and more reliable speeds. 
    • Verizon, AT&T, and Samsung also announced that a 5G-capable smartphone will be available in early 2019. 
    • 5G will be the biggest differentiating feature of smartphones in 2019, but only a few cities will have access to 5G carrier networks when they begin launching. 

    Chipmaker Qualcomm announced its new mobile processor, the Snapdragon 855, which will enable mobile devices to connect to the latest mobile networking standard, 5G. 

    5G is the evolution of the 4G LTE networks that most smartphones connect to for data and internet. The main benefits of 5G include significantly faster data speeds, as well as significantly less latency. If you have any issues streaming a video over the current 4G LTE network, for example, 5G should supposedly fix that.

    Qualcomm's announcement means that some Android smartphones in 2019 are likely to have 5G connectivity, provided manufacturers take advantage of the chip.

    There are two variants of the Snapdragon 855 processor: One with 5G support, and one without. While each new generation of Snapdragon usually finds its way into flagship Android phones, it's unclear which models will run the Snapdragon 855 with 5G connectivity. 

    galaxy s9 

    So far, Verizon and AT&T have confirmed that Samsung will release a 5G-capable smartphone in the first half of 2019. Which device, exactly, wasn't specified, but almost every finger is pointing towards Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S10 smartphone

    With that said, Verizon and AT&T's 5G networks will only be available in a small number of markets when smartphones running Qualcomm's 5G-enabled chips roll out. 

    So far, AT&T's 5G rollout will only include 12 cities in the USA by the end of 2018: Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Waco, Jacksonville, Louisville, New Orleans, Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh, Indianapolis, and Oklahoma City.

    As for Verizon, the company has only just begun rolling out its 5G home internet service this year to four cities, including Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, and Sacramento. Verizon's 5G service for smartphones will only begin rolling out in "early 2019."

    T-Mobile is also developing its 5G network with an estimated roll-out of 2020. The carrier is promising that its own 5G network will be available nationwide rather than in a few cities.

    cell tower

    5G poses an exciting prospect, as it promises faster and more reliable connectivity to common data-intensive tasks, like streaming video, video calls, streaming music, and general smartphone use. 5G will, indeed, be the killer feature for smartphones of 2019, and it'll be a big differentiator. 

    However, 5G won't burst onto the smartphone scene. At first, 5G's rollout is likely to be slow and gradual, with only a few devices having 5G connectivity at first, and it'll only be available in a few markets initially.

    We also have yet to see how well 5G will work on mobile devices, as 5G primarily transmits on the "millimeter wave" spectrum that has trouble penetrating walls and other obstacles. It's even been said that a tree's leaves could interfere with the strength of a 5G signal. The potential limitation of 5G could be a reason why it's unlikely we'll see 5G-capable iPhones next year.

    Either way, early 2019 will give us a better idea of what to expect with 5G. 

    Apart from 5G connectivity, Qualcomm also announced its "3D Sonic Sensor," a fingerprint scanner for smartphones that will lay underneath the screen completely hidden from sight. The 3D Sonic Sensor will use ultrasonic waves to register fingerprints, which is said to be more accurate and reliable than similar in-display fingerprint sensors you'd find on phones like the OnePlus 6T.

    SEE ALSO: I've been using Samsung's new $1,000 Galaxy Note 9, and it's the only smartphone actually worthy of its high price tag

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Here Comes 5G — The Technology That Will Make Your Smartphone Nearly 50 Times Faster


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    woman pregnant

    • People who become pregnant over the age of 35 are sometimes referred to as having a "geriatric pregnancy." 
    • People over 35 are more likely to have certain complications, including miscarriage and having babies with birth defects.
    • It's entirely possible, however, for people over 35 to have successful pregnancies.

    A pregnancy that occurs when a person is 35 years or older is known as an advanced maternal age pregnancy. In the medical world, it’s also sometimes known as a "geriatric pregnancy."

    Though it's perfectly possible to have a healthy pregnancy and baby after your 35th birthday, there are some risks associated with giving birth at a later age.

    INSIDER consulted with Dr. Kecia Gaither, MPH, FACOG, double board-certified physician in OB/GYN in maternal fetal medicine and director of perinatal services at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln, about the potential risks of having a baby after your mid-thirties.

    A person in their thirties is more likely to have pre-existing health conditions that might affect a pregnancy.

    Dr. Gaither advised that there are a number of risk factors associated with older age people which can compromise their health while pregnant. One of these is the fact that older people are more likely to have pre-existing medical issues at the time they become pregnant.

    "Older women may have associated comorbid health conditions which can impact their pregnancies," Dr. Gaither told INSIDER.

    Having pre-existing health problems such as diabetes, obesity, or high blood pressure might make carrying a baby to term more complicated.



    Advanced maternal age can lead to low birth weight.

    Being pregnant in your mid-thirties and beyond may make your baby more likely to have a low weight at birth or be born prematurely.

    "Low birth weight babies tend to be born to mothers at extremes of age… very young mothers or older mothers," said Dr. Gaither.

    Premature birth can make infantsmore vulnerable to health problems after they are born and may mean a longer stay in the hospital for both the parent and child.



    Older people are more likely to have babies with Downs syndrome.

    Research has shown that advanced maternal age is tied toan increased chance of having a child with a chromosomal condition, such as Down syndrome.

    "As women age, there is a concordant increase in the risk of having babies with genetic abnormalities. Trisomy 21, or Down Syndrome, is a perfect example," explained Dr. Gaither.

    Turner syndrome isanother common chromosomal condition that affects females. Unlike Downs syndrome – where an individual is born with an extra chromosome – people with Turner syndrome are partly or completely missing an X chromosome. This can lead to reduced height and health problems.

    Thoughsome research suggests that advanced maternal age does increase the risk of Turner syndrome, other studiesdo not support a positive relationship between maternal age and the likelihood of the condition.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Markelle Fultz

    • Markelle Fultz has been diagnosed with Neurogenic Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, a shoulder injury, and is out indefinitely.
    • It's the closest thing we've gotten to an explanation for Fultz's subpar shot.
    • Fultz's role with the Sixers has continuously been changed due to his perplexing condition.

    After months of questions, we might finally be closer to having an answer for what happened to Markelle Fultz's shot.

    On Tuesday, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Fultz "has been diagnosed with Neurogenic Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, (TOS), a physical injury. TOS affects nerves between the neck and shoulder resulting in abnormal functional movement and range of motion" according to his agent, Raymond Brothers.

    Shortly after, the Sixers released a statement confirming the diagnosis had been made after a series of consultations, adding that Fultz was out indefinitely as he went through physical therapy.

    It's been quite a journey for Markelle Fultz since coming into the league.

    Entering the NBA as the first overall draft pick by the Philadelphia 76ers in 2017, expectations were high.

    Then, suddenly, Fultz lost his shot. Rumors of injury or a bad case of the yips circled Fultz as Philadelphia fans dissected tapes of him taking shots in the gym. But the free-flowing game that made Fultz the consensus top player in the draft had mostly disappeared.

    At the start of the 2018-19 season, Fultz was entered into the starting lineup for the 76ers, showing some progress, but still a shadow of the player that dominated at Washington University. Then he began to regress again, sporting an awkward free throw release that was so memorable it was mocked in NFL touchdown celebrations.

    Read more:One year after a strange saga where he was unable to shoot, Markelle Fultz looks like he's regressing again

    When the Sixers traded for Jimmy Butler, the team seemed to shift into "win now" mode, and Fultz saw himself ousted from the starting lineup and gradually losing rotation minutes. Shortly after, Brothers informed the team that Fultz would be taking time to see a shoulder specialist, and rumors quickly swirled regarding how long left he had in Philadelphia.

    Now, it appears the specialists have made their diagnosis, and Fultz will begin physical therapy with hopes of returning to form. There are still questions surrounding Fultz, but this feels like the closest thing we've had to an answer.

    His next shot on an NBA court should be an interesting one.

    Check out more NBA coverage here:

    SEE ALSO: 

    Join the conversation about this story »

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


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    50 cent

    • Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson spoke with Business Insider's media editor, Nathan McAlone, at Business Insider's IGNITION Conference Tuesday afternoon in New York City.
    • Jackson said he didn't have to think too hard to come up with the chorus to "In Da Club": "Go shorty. It's your birthday."
    • To date, "In Da Club" is the rapper's most popular song.
    • "It's not rocket science," Jackson said. "Every day is someone's birthday."

    "Go shorty. It's your birthday."

    If those words weren't stuck in your head 15 years ago, you were probably living under a rock.

    The lyrics made up the refrain to "In Da Club," rapper Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson's most popular song to date, according to Billboard.

    But they weren't very hard to come up with, Jackson said Tuesday afternoon at Business Insider's IGNITION conference in New York.

    "Simplicity is the key to a lot of success in entertainment," he said. "It's not rocket science," he said of "Go shorty. It's your birthday.""Every day is someone's birthday."

    Jackson added, "I didn't have to study" in order to write those lyrics. "It just came out when the music was playing."

    Read more: A neuroscientist explains why your first idea is hardly ever the best one

    "In Da Club,"cowritten with Dr. Dre and Mike Elizondo, was released to tremendous success: It was nominated for Best Male Rap Solo Performance and Best Rap Song at the 46th annual Grammy Awards. Artists like Beyonce have since produced their own remixes of the song.

    Jackson has spoken before about getting into a state of creative flow when he records songs. In 2018, he told The New York Times that, in his studio, "there are no windows so it's very easy to lose track of time. I could be there six hours and not even feel it." 

    At IGNITION, Jackson said that even a seeming stroke of genius like "In Da Club" may need some edits. "There are always notes on a project," he said, because everyone "needs a reason why they're getting a check."

    SEE ALSO: The 50 best-selling music artists of all time, ranked by platinum albums

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Why most people refuse to sell their lottery tickets for twice what they paid


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    Fender American Performer

    • Fender has substantially updated its American Performer lineup, formerly known as American Special.
    • The new line is the entry point to Fender made-in-USA instruments and now includes basses in addition to guitars.
    • The American Performer line was developed with significant input from performing artists.


    A Fender guitar can be obtained for a very reasonable price, but for many players, it's the American-made instruments that are the beginning of their serious journey into the 72-year-old brand. 

    That journey used to commence with the American Special lineup, but now Fender has updated that offering for the first time in a decade and rechristened it "American Performer" to highlight a combination of value and excellence intended to appeal to gigging musicians. 

    Fender American Performer

    "The American Performer Series blends traditional Fender design with new elements for modern tone and performance," Fender said in a statement. "Together, the updates deliver sonic versatility, tonal flexibility and ease of use for performers, helping them create the perfect sound for every musical genre."

    Fender upped its game for the new instruments.

    "We put a lot more into these than in prior iterations," Justin Norvell, executive vice-president of product, said.

    As with any update to Fender's iconic designs, there were challenges. "A Stratocaster from ten paces looks like a Stratocaster," Norvell said.

    Input from performing artists was imperative, and Fender spent two years both refining stalwarts such as the Stratocaster and Telecaster while refining the Jazzmaster and the Mustang and introducing a Jazz, Precision, and Mustang bass. What Norvell described as "quirks" were addressed, such as the Mustang's notorious tremolo arm.

    Plenty of input from performers

    The range of advice that Fender received was thanks to location: with an office in Hollywood, near numerous recording studios, the company could rely on a steady stream of musicians providing opinions. According to Norvell, their preferences in Fender instruments ranged from "super modern to super vintage."

    Pickups were of particular interest. New "Yosemite" units are intended to combine muscle and finesse in a single instrument. A double-tap humbucking pickup enables a player to switch between the single-coil cut that Fenders are known for, yet also access humbucking beef, without have to compromise volume.

    Tuners also got an update, with a modest, vintage look, but more precise and stable tuning.

    Fender American Performer

    Overall, the revamped American Performer range seeks to continue Fender's process of improving its classics for musicians who aren't as indebted to styles of the past and might want to treat the six-string (as well as the bass) as a sort of synthesizer, creating sonic textures through the use of effects pedals and a wide variety of amplifiers (both of which Fender also makes).

    When it came to personal favorites from the new range, Norvell highlighted the Stratocaster HSS, which replaces the traditional single-coil bridge pickup with a humbucking unit, solving the problem of Stratocaster players avoiding the bridge and favoring the guitars legendary neck pickup. The new Performer Strat HSS is about $1,000.

    He also enthused over the Jazzmaster, a  guitar that was a failure for Fender when introduced decades ago, but a massive success much later when cheap axes were taken up by punk-rock musicians in the 1980s. A new trem system borrowed from the Strat provides a simpler way to whammy. The new Jazzmaster is priced at about $1,200.

    SEE ALSO: Fender has discovered that guitars aren't just for rock stars anymore — and they could help your mind stay young as you age

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    fendi vulva scarf

    • In 2018, multiple retailers became embroiled in controversies.
    • Both H&M and Revolve were widely criticized for selling what were deemed to be offensive T-shirts, while Victoria's Secret was criticized for not making its lingerie sizes more inclusive.
    • In the beauty industry, skin-care brand Sunday Riley admitted to asking employees to write positive reviews of its products, and Ulta Beauty was accused of reselling used makeup.
    • Fendi sold a $990 scarf that customers said resembled a vulva, prompting the brand to remove it from the market.

    No retailer is free from criticism, but some brands faced more backlash than others in 2018.

    Specifically in the fashion and beauty industries, consumers were quick to speak out against products they felt were misleading or offensive. Brands were also criticized for alleged murky business practices.

    Because there were tons of examples this year, we've rounded up some of the worst retail fails and controversies that happened in 2018.

    Backlash began after H&M released an advertisement that consumers felt was racist

    monkey hoodieOne of the biggest retail controversies happened only one week into 2018. In January, fast-fashion retailer H&M was accused of racism when it cast a black boy to advertise a sweatshirt that read "coolest monkey in the jungle."

    Though H&M removed the sweatshirt from its website and apologized in a statement, which was sent to INSIDER, many Twitter users felt the brand's comment wasn't enough.

    "We sincerely apologize for offending people with this image of a printed hooded top," a representative for H&M said in a statement to INSIDER. "We believe in diversity and inclusion in all that we do and will be reviewing all our internal policies accordingly to avoid any future issues."

    H&M

    Celebrities also spoke out against the advertisement. The Weeknd, who was in the process of releasing a collaboration with the brand, said on Twitter that he was "shocked and embarrassed" by the advertisement and would no longer work with H&M.

    Read more:A size 20 woman says she couldn't fit into size 24 H&M shorts — and she's not the only one accusing the store of inaccurate sizing

    The controversy didn't end there. One week after the advertisement was released, protests broke out at H&M stores in South Africa. Protesters reportedly knocked down clothing racks, ripped clothing apart, and destroyed stores, forcing H&M to temporarily shut down its South African branches.

    Ulta Beauty also faced criticism when it was accused of allegedly reselling used makeup early this year 

    ulta_makeup_thumb skitch

    In January, Twitter user fatinamxo, who claimed to be a former Ulta Beauty employee, said in a series of now-deleted tweets that the retailer resold used products when she worked there. The tweets quickly went viral, and other employees began sharing their stories.

    While some employees said that they'd never been asked to resell returned products at other Ulta Beauty stores, one customer alleged that they'd found fingerprints in a highlighter palette that was meant to be new. Another alleged that they'd purchased foundation from the retailer which appeared to be new, but was covered in product once they'd opened the bottle.

    Ulta

    At the time, a representative for Ulta Beauty provided a statement to INSIDER and said that it was looking into the matter, as selling used products does not align with its company policy. One month later in February, the retailer was sued by two women as a result of the allegations.

    In September, consumers expressed outrage towards Revolve and LPA for selling fat-shaming sweatshirts

    revolve

    Revolve began selling a sweatshirt in September that read "Being Fat Is Not Beautiful, It's An Excuse." The shirt, which was was designed by clothing brand LPA, retailed for $168 and was sold up to size XL. As consumers pointed out and criticized, the sweatshirt was also advertised exclusively on a thin model. 

    "Revolve thinks its okay to market this sweatshirt — which only comes up to an XL, by the way — by putting it on a thin model?"Fashionista.com deputy editor Tyler McCall wrote on Twitter. "Considering Revolve doesn't even have diverse influencers this is....A Choice."

    Twitter users immediately spoke out against the shirt, and asked for its removal. In a statement sent to INSIDER, a representative for Revolve said that the LPA collection was created to take ownership of derogatory statements made towards various celebrities, including Lena Dunham, Emily Ratajkowski, Cara Delevingne, Suki Waterhouse, and Paloma Essler.

    as told to

    The sweatshirt was eventually removed from the website, the two brands issued apologies for the apparel, and the rest of the collection was never released. Dunham also apologized for her connection to the sweatshirts on Instagram.

    "Without consulting me or any of the women involved, Revolve presented the sweatshirts on thin white women," Dunham wrote on Instagram. "Never thinking about the fact that difference and individuality is what gets you punished on the Internet, or that lack of diversity in representation is a huge part of the problem (in fact, the problem itself.) As a result, I cannot support this collaboration or lend my name to it in any way."

    In October, Fendi became the center of a retail fail when it sold a scarf that customers said resembled a vulva 

    fendi vulva scarf

    Soon after Fendi released a $990 pink circle scarf printed with the brand's signature logo and lined with brown fur on its website, Twitter users began to mock the "Touch of Fur" design, saying that the scarf resembled a vulva.

    However, some said they would consider wearing it, while others took issue with the fact that the stole was made with real fur. Seemingly as a result of the discussion online, Fendi removed the scarf from its website.

    That same month, skin-care brand Sunday Riley got caught up in a controversy after someone claiming to be a former employee leaked a company email 

    Sunday Riley 1

    On October 18, Redditor throwawayacctSRiley wrote a post entitled "Sunday Riley Employee: We Write Fake Sephora Reviews." In the thread, the Reddit user said that employees were "forced to write fake reviews for [the brand's] products" over email. Attached to the post was a screenshot of one of those emails.

    In the leaked email, employees were encouraged to write positive reviews on Sephora's website. In a statement provided to INSIDER, a representative for Sephora said the company "has very strict brand rules regarding [its] Ratings and Reviews," and had "been in touch with Sunday Riley on this matter, and they have committed to adhering to [Sephora's] review policy."

    Sunday Riley's official Reddit account, created on that same day, acknowledged that the email was real, and said that "at one point, we did encourage people to post positive reviews at the launch of this product, consistent with their experiences." 

    Sunday Riley 6

    In a later report, INSIDER revealed that though the brand's eponymous founder Sunday Riley markets herself as a "product formulator," her credentials are murky at best. Contrary to various news reports, the Sunday Riley CEO did not study science or graduate from the University of Texas. It's also unclear as to who formulates each of her products.

    Deciem also encountered trouble when founder Brandon Truaxe announced the company was shutting down 

    deciem the ordinary

    Deciem, a company that offers affordable skin-care products through lines such as The Ordinary, faced a series of controversies in 2018. In February, the brand was accused of being racist when its founder Brandon Truaxe seemed to suggest in an Instagram comment that a woman of color should use a skin-lightening product.

    At other points throughout the year, Truaxe took to Instagram multiple times to share erratic-seeming posts. In February, he attacked competitor skin-care brand Drunk Elephant in a post, later apologizing, and in April, the founder asked customers to call the police about his lost luggage

    Brandon Truaxe Deciem

    However, everything came to a halt when Truaxe attempted to shut down the company in October. Despite his efforts, Estée Lauder, a minor investor in the company, went to court to request the removal of Truaxe from his position at Deciem. The request was approved, and Truaxe was replaced by Deciem's co-CEO Nicola Kilner.

    More recently, comments about size inclusion and transgender models made by a Victoria's Secret executive infuriated consumers 

    victorias secret fashion show 2018

    During an interview with Vogue, Ed Razek, chief marketing officer at Victoria's Secret parent company, L Brands, said that the retailer has no plans to add larger sizes to its lingerie range. 

    "We market to who we sell to, and we don't market to the whole world," Razek told Vogue.

    2018 victorias secret fashion show models

    He also made controversial comments about model casting.

    "If you're asking if we've considered putting a transgender model in the show or looked at putting a plus-size model in the show, we have," Razek said. "We invented the plus-size model show in what was our sister division, Lane Bryant." 

    "Shouldn’t you have transsexuals in the show? No. No, I don’t think we should," Razek continued. "Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special.”

    gigi hadid victorias secret fashion show 2018 new york

    Twitter users immediately called Razek out for his comments, as did celebrities and competitor lingerie companies. While Rihanna never spoke out directly against the brand,BuzzFeed and The Daily Mail reported that the Savage X Fenty creator appeared to like a tweet that criticized Razek's comments.

    Rihanna liked @nathalieg4l post #rihanna #rihannanavy #riri #badgalriri #badgalririlikes #rihannalikes #rihannaliked #fentyxpuma #fentybeauty #savagexfenty

    A post shared by Rihanna's Likes (@rihannas.likes) on Nov 11, 2018 at 12:14pm PST on

    In a bolder statement, ThirdLove, a lingerie brand that Razek mocked in his interview, ran a full-page New York Times ad to defend itself.

    Eventually, Razek released an apology statement on Twitter, where he said his previous comments "came across as insensitive," and that Victoria's Secret "absolutely would cast a transgender model for the show." 

    Similarly, Jan Singer, the Victoria's Secret CEO, stepped down from the company, seemingly as a result of the controversy.

    Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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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.

    lede

    A great pair of boots is an absolute must for the fall and winter, and Nordstrom has a wonderful selection for men and women.

    While you could shop their new arrivals, Nordstrom's sale section is full of hidden gems. There, you can find deeply discounted styles, ranging from classic Chelsea boots to chukkas to snow boots, from top brands like UGG, Timberland, Hunter, Cole Haan, FRYE, and more.

    To help you sort through all the options, we rounded up 30 boots for men and women that you can buy on sale right now at Nordstrom. If you're also looking for great deals on clothes, accessories, and even home goods, check out the rest of Nordstrom's sale section.

    Shop men's boots at Nordstrom here >>

    Shop women's boots at Nordstrom here >>

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

    Men's J&M 1850 Karnes Brogue Cap Toe Boot

    J&M 1850 Karnes Brogue Cap Toe Boot, $136.90 (Originally $229) [You save $92.10]



    Men's UGG Dalvin Zip Boot with Genuine Shearling

    UGG Dalvin Zip Boot with Genuine Shearling, $129.90 (Originally $260) [You save $130.10]



    Men's Cole Haan Tyler Chukka Boot

    Cole Haan Tyler Chukka Boot, available in two colors, $149.90 (Originally $250) [You save $100.10]



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    nick and priyanka pre-wedding

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

    The pair dazzled in custom ensembles not only at both of their wedding ceremonies, but also at the celebrations leading up to their nuptials. They even impressed in the more casual clothes they wore to leave Jodhpur as newylweds.

    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 intricate silk detailing, 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 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, the ensembles reflected the joy of the celebration.

    "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 Jonas' brother Joe Jonas and his fiancée, "Game of Thrones" actress Sophie Turner, also attended. Turner wore a green lehenga.

    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 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

    The photo below, from Thursday, shows Jonas and Chopra sitting on the back of a convertible 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.

    Ralph Lauren designed custom outfits for the bride and groom's Western wedding ceremony on Saturday

    Mr. and Mrs. Jonas. | 📷: (c) Purple Pebble America, LLC and NJJ Entertainment, LLC 2018. Photographs by @JoseVilla/Getty Images

    A post shared by People Magazine (@people) on Dec 4, 2018 at 4:01am PST on

    Chopra wore a high-neck, long-sleeved lace white dress with floral and scroll motifs, and finished the look with a 75-foot-long tulle veil and a pair of embellished Jimmy Choos.

    People, which released the photos of Chopra's wedding dress on Tuesday, reports that Chopra wore a strapless dress comprised of 2,380,000 mother of pearl sequins underneath her gown for a semi-sheer effect.

    The detailing on Chopra's lace dress was just as elaborate. A representative for Ralph Lauren told INSIDER that the embroidery alone took 1,826 hours to complete by hand, and included pearl paillettes, crystal seed beads, and Swarovski crystals.

    According to People, the embroidery also had eight messages woven into it, including the groom's full name, "Nicholas Jerry Jonas," their wedding date of "1st December 2018," and the names of Chopra's mom Madhu and her late father Ashok, who died of cancer in 2013. The Hindi mantra "Om Namah Shivay" (in praise of Lord Shiva), as well as the words "Family,""Hope,""Compassion," and "Love" were embedded into the fabric as well.

    The bride's gown had a piece of her mother-in-law Denise Jonas' wedding dress, which she wore in 1985, sewn into it, too.

    Read  more:Priyanka Chopra wore an incredible Ralph Lauren bridal gown for her and Nick Jonas' Christian wedding ceremony

    Jonas also had a small piece of lace from Chopra's wedding gown embedded into the inside lapel of his tuxedo, a custom double-breasted design from Ralph Lauren's Purple Label. People reports that it was embroidered with the words "My Jaan," which translates to "My Life."

    Ralph Lauren was an obvious choice of designer for Chopra and Jonas

    priyanka chopra nick jonas

    In May 2017, Chopra and Jonas made their first appearance at the Met Gala wearing Ralph Lauren.

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

    "For the Western wedding, we had been talking to a bunch of incredible designers, but ultimately when Ralph Lauren approached us, I learned that Ralph has only designed three wedding dresses in 50 years — one for his daughter, his daughter in law, and his niece," Chopra told People. "I was blown away."

    Ralph Lauren not only created custom outfits for the bride and groom, but for their parents, and their full wedding party of 12 bridesmaids, 12 groomsmen, four flower girls, and a ring bearer, according to People.

    For their Hindu ceremony on Sunday, Chopra and Jonas wore custom designs by Sabyasachi

    Chopra turned heads in a hand-embroidered red lehenga adorned with hand-cut organza flowers, French silk knots, and crystals, according to Sabyaschi's Instagram post of the bridal look. The Indian designer said that it took 110 embroiders a total of 3,720 hours to create the lehenga.

    The bride's jewelry was just as intricate, with uncut diamonds, emeralds, and Japanese pearls set in 22-karat gold. She wore Sabyasachi shoes with her outfit. 

    Jonas wore a gold, hand-quilted sherwani made out of silk with an embroidered chikan dupatta and a chanderi tissue safa, accessorizing with a diamond necklace from the designer's heritage jewelry collection. He finished the look with a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes.

    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

    On Tuesday, the newlyweds had a lavish reception in New Delhi. Chopra wore a silver lehenga dripping in sequins for the occasion.

    Priyanka Chopra

    For their wedding reception in New Delhi, Chopra and Jonas wore a Champagne-colored lehenga with intricate beading, and draped a dupatta shawl over her arms.

    Read more: Priyanka Chopra wore a silver lehenga covered in sequins for her wedding reception with Nick Jonas

    She accessorized with a three-tier necklace, drop earrings, and red and silver bracelets, wearing white flowers in her hair.

    Priyanka nick

    Jonas wore another suit, opting for a midnight blue suit jacket and bow tie.

    Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.

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    Sarah Harden

    • Sarah Harden, president of Reese Witherspoon's media brand Hello Sunshine, is more interested in building smaller, loyal audiences than building a massive media company.
    • The company has projects in the works for Apple, Hulu and Amazon.
    • A number of women-focused media brands have tried to serve women but "there are too few stories where you've had women driving action," she said.

    Digital media companies relentlessly chase scale to win over advertisers. Two years into launching, Reese Witherspoon's media brand Hello Sunshine isn't interested in following its peers.

    According to Sarah Harden, president of Hello Sunshine, the company is more interested in building smaller, but more engaged, audiences than building an impression-based media brand. Hello Sunshine's mission is to create cross-platform content that tells stories for and about women. The company has a handful of projects in the works including shows for Apple, Hulu and Amazon and a podcast network.

    Read more:Reese Witherspoon launching audiobook project

    "We're not at the publishing CPM end of the spectrum, we are trying to build that direct audience," she said while speaking at Business Insider's Ignition conference in New York.

    For the upcoming "Little Fires Everywhere" series based on Celeste Ng's bestselling book, Hello Sunshine is working with Hulu on an eight-episode show. By the time the show is finished with Hulu, the project will have been in the works for two and a half years, Harden said. By then, she hopes that Hello Sunshine will have an audience to show.

    "Part of our promise to Hulu is that we're going to bring our audience and help drive them to TV," Harden said. "Whether you're trying to get people to sit in a movie theater or show up for a show on a streaming platform or find you on social, that's how we define our company."

    Asked if getting the rights to a project and promising to bring an audience is appealing for partners, Harden said that's the vision.

    "We're going to do everything in our power to make that show incredible, but we have work to do yet — that's a 10-year journey we're on [and] we're building this company for the long term. I'd rather have 1 million women who follow us who love everything we launch than 50 million 'likes' across a more ephemeral relationship."

    Hello Sunshine has its own platform for women

    A few years ago, companies like Verizon's Go90 and Warner Bros.-owned DramaFever rushed to create their own direct-to-consumer streaming services for content. Now both of those services have disappeared while other companies like Disney and WarnerMedia are planning to launch their own services in the coming months that feature their own content.

    That environment has led many in the media industry to wonder if the direct-to-consumer model is viable for content creators beyond giants like Netflix, Hulu and YouTube.

    Hello Sunshine, for one, seems bullish on building a platform that consumers will come back to. The company has its own video-on-demand channel with AT&T that's available on DirectTV, DirectTV Now and U-Verse. The first series for the channel, dubbed "Shine On With Reese" launched this summer.

    Of course, building a media brand catered to women is nothing new and is an area that magazines and TV networks have served for decades.

    The difference with Hello Sunshine is the way that all the parts fit together, Harden said.

    "Our goal is to bring to life different perspectives, different stories, different narratives," she said. "There are too few stories where you've had women driving action. There's room for excellent storytelling [and] finding the combination of IP, talent and the right partners."

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    David Levy, Turner president.JPG

    • Turner president David Levy said television needs to be rethought as people increasingly view shows on all kinds of devices.
    • The AT&T-Time Warner deal will help Turner better serve viewers with better ads, he said.
    • Despite the growth of streaming rivals, Levy said Turner is still well positioned to compete with its own content. 

    The TV industry is changing dramatically, with people watching shows on all kinds of devices.

    David Levy, president of media giant Turner, said he’s confident he knows what the company’s founder and his longtime boss Ted Turner would say about the current state of the business.

    “Ted was a visionary,” Levy said Tuesday at Business Insider’s IGNITION Conference in New York in a conversation with Geoff Ramsey, chairman and cofounder of eMarketer. “He launched Cartoon Network. Everyone advised him not to launch a 24-hour news channel. He understood content was king."

    "He would be very bullish on the TV industry," he added. "He would say, television is everything. We don’t think about it as this thing on the wall. We think about it as generating fans, where fans are.”

    Part of the industry’s response to the rise of Google and Facebook has been to get bigger. Levy discussed the benefits of AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner, now WarnerMedia, which Turner belongs to. Levy said he’s confident the merger will work because it serves both sides.

    “Turner needed data,” he said. “We needed to understand the consumer much better than we did. Having that understanding of first-party data would allow us to have better advertising products, understand consumers better. Being able to download B/R Live or having the CNN logo on your phone is extremely valuable. AT&T needed quality premium programming. There was a need for both, so I think it’s a good marriage.”

    To adapt, Turner is developing more of a consumer-oriented mindset. The concept of “TV Everywhere” in its early form “was a little clunky. That catapulted Netflix into where it is today,” Levy said.

    Turner has focused on making content available wherever people want to see it. One recent experiment showed the effort is still a work in progress, when there were technical snafus that made it hard for people to watch Bleacher Report’’s Tiger vs. Phil match.

    “We had a little technical difficulty there,” Levy acknowledged.

    “You made it free, right?” said Ramsey.

    “Thank you for reminding me,” winced Levy.

    The rise of Amazon, Netflix and other digital streaming companies funding original content means a plethora of premium content choices for viewers. Despite that, Levy said the competition is good, but Turner has plenty of its own premium programming.

    “We have great brand with our own IP,” he said. “Every SVOD product would love to have ‘Rick and Morty.’ We just had 33 Emmy nominations for our content.”

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Rapper Meek Mill.

    • Rapper Meek Mill and billionaire entrepreneur Michael Rubin explained how their friendship has transformed into a partnership to fight for criminal justice reform at Business Insider's annual IGNITION conference on Tuesday. 
    • Mill was incarcerated again last year, against the recommendation of the prosecutor and his probation office, last year — prompting a movement to free him and a plan to launch a group that will push for systemic reform. 
    • The new organization hopes to move one million people out of prison and probation, and advocate for better prison rehabilitation programs and more just probation policies, bail systems, and sentencing laws.

    Rapper Meek Mill and billionaire entrepreneur Michael Rubin explained how their friendship has transformed into a partnership to fight for criminal justice reform, during a discussion at Business Insider's annual IGNITION conference on Tuesday. 

    After Mill was imprisoned again last year, the two men, who've been friends for years, decided to launch a new organization, the details of which will be rolled out in the coming weeks, that will push to reform the laws that govern sentencing, probation, bail, and other aspects of the criminal justice system.

    "In my neighborhood, people die seven days a week," Mill told INSIDER Global Editor-in-Chief Nich Carlson of the North Philadelphia community he was raised in, adding that his father was murdered when he was a kid, as were many of the friends he grew up with. "Just stepping out of the house, you're stepping into a drug-infested environment."

    Mill was arrested in 2007 and served eight months in county prison beginning in 2009, after which he was put on probation for five years. Last year, Mill was sentenced to two to four years in prison after being involved in a fight in an airport (Mill says he was breaking up the altercation) and popping wheelies on a dirt bike in New York City, both of which violated the strict terms of his probation. While the two charges were dropped and the prosecutor and probation officer recommended no prison time, Mill ultimately served five more months in prison.  

    The judge, who has handled Mill's cases since 2007, even denied the rapper bail, calling him a danger to public safety and a flight risk. 

    Mill and Rubin, who co-owns the Philadelphia NBA team the 76ers, said the two used to argue over whether they were raised and live in "two Americas."

    "I used to say, 'you live in a great country, don't give me that BS,'" Rubin said, but explained that his eyes were opened to racial bias in the justice system when his friend was sent to prison again, even after the charges against him were dropped. 

    "Up until I saw this, I would have believed that 99.9% of arrests were accurate, I would have believed that the legal system worked the right way 99.9% of the scenarios," Rubin added. "I saw a guy who I knew was a great human being ... and now I'm watching this guy go to prison for two to four years because he popped a wheelie and he broke up a fight?" 

    Mill's imprisonment prompted a movement to help free him led by fellow rappers and a host of racial justice and reform advocates. He was released last April. 

    The multi-platinum hip-hop artist recently wrote an op-ed for The New York Times in which he argued that the criminal justice system was designed to subjugate people of color, particularly black men, who are incarcerated much higher rates and with more severe punishments than their white counterparts. 

    "The plantation and the prison are actually no different. The past is the present,"Mill says in a video shot for Times piece. "It ain't no coincidence, this was the plan since abolition, to keep us subjugated by creating this system." 

    The reform organization, which has six other co-founders, will seek to move one million people out of prison and probation, and advocate for better prison rehabilitation programs and more just probation policies, bail systems, and sentencing laws.

    "It's fundamentally broken laws that don't make sense that are very old and antiquated," Rubin said.

    Mill hopes the taxpayer dollars saved through the reduction of the prison population will be used for services and counseling to help formerly incarcerated people become employed, reintegrate into society, and receive mental healthcare. 

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