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The latest news from Business Insider

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    copy of piggy

    • An estimated $400 million in FSA funds was forfeited last year.
    • You can actually use the money you've contributed to your FSA to buy certain healthcare products the IRS has deemed eligible.
    • However, there are certain things like bug spray and tampons that you can't buy pre-tax. 

    For 2018 employees were allowed to put up to $2,650 in their FSA account, according to the IRS. These funds are use-it-or-lose-it. The IRS has allowed some employers to give their employees the chance to participate in a carryover option, which allows the rollover of up to $500, or a grace period option, which gives users two and a half months to finish up their dollars — but not both.  

    If you're not at a company that lets you push the deadline, there's still time to use up what's left in your account on things you actually use and will probably buy anyway. Think bandages, sunscreen, and baby wipes. You can even use it to pay for your prescriptions. The IRS decides which items are eligible and which ones aren't based on what they're each used for. 

    Rather than joining millions of Americans who forfeit an estimated $400 million collectively, use your pre-tax money to stock up on things you need for the coming year. Here are 50 things under $40 the IRS says you can buy, and five surprising things you can't. 

    Lip balm with SPF $2.99 No prescription needed



    Corn removers $3.79 Prescription required



    Sunscreen for babies $4.29 No prescription needed



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Johnny Manziel

    Every year the Heisman Trophy is awarded to the best player in college football.

    Despite the greatness of these players in college, winning the Heisman is not a guarantee of future success. While many past winners thrive in the NFL, there are also those that are out of the league just a few years after being on top of their sport.

    Below we take a look at every Heisman winner dating back to 1998, checking in to see how their careers have gone and what they are up to now.

    Ricky Williams ran away with the Heisman in 1998, rushing for 2,327 yards and 29 touchdowns for the Texas Longhorns.



    Williams went on to have a successful if disjointed NFL career. After leading the league in rushing in 2002 with the Dolphins, Williams tested positive for marijuana several times and announced his retirement in 2004. He did return to Miami just two years later. Recently, he founded a brand of cannabis products, "Real Wellness," serves as a commentator on The Longhorn Network, and is one of the founding owners in a new pro football league, Freedom Football League.



    Ron Dayne was awarded the 1999 Heisman, finishing his career as the all-time leading rusher in NCAA Division I FBS history with 7,125 yards for the Wisconsin Badgers.



    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.

    teabox $85.50, 3 months

    By now, the idea of a subscription box service is far from new. It remains, however, an excellent gift choice because there's one for pretty much every interest and hobby you can think of. It's also easy to purchase online and send — no pesky gift-wrapping necessary. 

    The best subscription services provide unique discovery opportunities, curate high-quality brands, and automate everyday routines to make life easier. We think the following subscriptions fit the bill and should be on your gifting list this year.

    With some, you can buy a gift card to apply toward a plan of their choice, while with others you can designate the subscription duration and details yourself. 

    Find a subscription service gift they'll love, below. 

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

    Harry's: the razors and accessories needed for a close and comfortable shave

    Gift a Harry's custom shave plan here

    The gift of a clean, smooth shave is more cherished than you might think. Harry's full line of shaving products work together seamlessly, and you can customize this combination of blades, creams, foaming gels, and post-shave balms to send to your recipient. 



    Hint: delicious, healthy waters that kick their soda habit

    Gift the Hint Flavor of the Month Club, $16.99/month

    Fans of this flavored water stock it in their pantries by the caseful. The calorie-, sugar-, and GMO-free water comes in refreshing flavors like mango-grapefruit and blood orange, which they can rotate through with this drink subscription. Anyone who's bored with regular water but wants to stay hydrated and healthy will look forward to each month's delivery. 



    Causebox: products for the socially and environmentally conscious

    Gift a Causebox membership, $199.80/year

    Causebox curates ethically made, vegan, and charitable products from the top socially conscious brands in beauty, fashion, wellness, home, and art. Each quarterly box has a retail value of more than $200 but only costs $49.95 and has the added benefit of doing good — for artisans, the environment, and your body. 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Casualities of Trump administration nov 7 2018

    President Donald Trump announced to reporters on Dec. 8 that his chief of staff John Kelly will leave his job the end of the year, following months of news reports describing heightened tensions and conflict between Trump and Kelly. 

    The administration has been rocked by high-profile departures — including Reince Priebus as chief of staff and James Comey as FBI director — since Trump took office in January 2017.

    Here are all the top-level people who've either been fired or resigned from the administration, and why they left.

    SEE ALSO: Trump's staff turnover is higher than any administration in modern history

    DON'T MISS: MEET THE CABINET: Here's who Trump has appointed to senior leadership positions

    John Kelly

    President Donald Trump announced to reporters on Dec. 8 that his chief of staff John Kelly will leave "at the end of the year" and he plans to name his replacement in the next day or two.

    Tensions brewed between Kelly, a former Marine Corps general, and Trump for months, with CNN reporting the day before Trump's announcement that their relationship had deteriorated to the point where they stopped speaking altogether. 

    Kelly's replacement is rumored to be Nick Ayers, Vice President Mike Pence's current chief of staff and a longtime Republican operative. 

     



    Jeff Sessions

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions submitted his resignation on November 7 after nearly two years in the position, with Trump announcing that Matthew Whitaker, Sessions' Chief of Staff, would serve as acting attorney general until he nominates a permanent replacement.

    Trump frequently criticized Sessions in harsh terms over Sessions' recusal from overseeing the special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian election interference and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow.

    "You know, the only reason I gave him the job is because I felt loyalty," Trump told Fox News' Ainsley Earhardt in an August interview. "He was an original supporter." Trump lamented that he "put in an attorney general that never took control of the Justice Department."



    Don McGahn

    White House counsel Don McGahn left the Trump administration on Wednesday after a tumultuous 21-month tenure, a source close to the administration told Business Insider on October 17.

    McGahn was said to be on his way out of the White House, which was likely to happen after the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    This is a preview of the Internet of Things (2018) research report from Business Insider Intelligence. To learn more about the IoT ecosystem, tech trends and industry forecasts, click here.

    The Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming how companies and consumers go about their days around the world. The technology that underlies this whole segment is evolving quickly, whether it’s the rapid rise of the Amazon Echo and voice assistants upending the consumer space, or growth of AI-powered analytics platforms for the enterprise market.

    Investments into Internet of Things solutions

    And Business Insider Intelligence is keeping its finger on the pulse of this ongoing revolution by conducting our second annual Global IoT Executive Survey, which provides us with critical insights on new developments within the IoT and explains how top-level perspectives are changing year-to-year. Our survey includes more than 400 responses from key executives around the world, including C-suite and director-level respondents.

    Through this exclusive study and in-depth research into the field, Business Insider Intelligence details the components that make up the IoT ecosystem. We size the IoT market and use exclusive data to identify key trends in device installations and investment. And we profile the enterprise and consumer IoT segments individually, drilling down into the drivers and characteristics that are shaping each market.

    Here are some key takeaways from the report:

    • We project that there will be more than 55 billion IoT devices by 2025, up from about 9 billion in 2017.
    • We forecast that there will be nearly $15 trillion in aggregate IoT investment between 2017 and 2025, with survey data showing that companies' plans to invest in IoT solutions are accelerating.
    • The report highlights the opinions and experiences of IoT decision-makers on topics that include: drivers for adoption; major challenges and pain points; deployment and maturity of IoT implementations; investment in and utilization of devices; the decision-making process; and forward- looking plans.

    In full, the report:

    • Provides a primer on the basics of the IoT ecosystem.
    • Offers forecasts for the IoT moving forward, and highlights areas of interest in the coming years.
    • Looks at who is and is not adopting the IoT, and why.
    • Highlights drivers and challenges facing companies that are implementing IoT solutions.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Lionel Messi steals the show against Espanyol

    • Lionel Messi scored two goals, produced one assist, and produced another La Liga record in FC Barcelona's thumping 4-0 victory over Espanyol.
    • Both of Messi's goals came from free kicks and there is an argument now that he is the greatest free kick taker of all time, on top of everything else he has going for him.
    • Watch Messi's goals right here.
    • Read all of Business Insider's coverage for the 2018-2019 European Soccer season here.

    FC Barcelona filmed yet another episode of the marvellous Lionel Messi show on Saturday as the club captain ran rampant over the team's La Liga opponent Espanyol.

    Messi alone was responsible for two gorgeous long-range goals, one telepathic assist, and ball wizardry that seemingly confounded defenders all night long.

    The soccer statistics website Whoscored.com gave Messi a perfect 10 for his two goals from five shots, one assist from five key chances provided, and seven successful dribbles.

    It is rare for a player to return a flawless performance, but Messi has now managed it four times already— and the season has yet to reach its halfway point.

    Messi mastered the game long ago. He's soccer's hero, playing with a casual majesty and an effortless strut, rendering defenders as useless as traffic cones on a training ground. He's that good, has been for well over a decade, and he shows no signs of slowing down just yet.

    His latest masterclass began in the 17th minute when he hovered over a dead ball, as Espanyol mobilized to defend a free kick.

    Really, they needn't have bothered, as Messi whipped in a shot that evaded each and every one of them, picking out the top right-hand corner from range.

    Watch the free kick goal right here:

    Eight minutes later, three Espanyol defenders attempted to crowd Messi out of the penalty box but he played like the ball was glued to his boots as he twinkle-toed his way out of trouble and found his teammate Ousmane Dembele with a telepathic cross-box assist.

    Demebele took three touches, curled a deft shot around the Espanyol goalkeeper Pau Lopez, and gave Barcelona an easy 2-0 lead.

    Watch Messi's assist here:

    Luis Suarez capitalized on a Dembele pass to make it 3-0 just before half time, and though Messi had no direct involvement, he closed the show in formidable fashion in the 65th minute.

    From 27 meters out, Messi lined up another free kick and once again beat Lopez with his laser of a left foot.

    Watch it right here:

    Goal.com chief correspondent Peter Staunton tweeted: "It's time we stopped overlooking the fact that Messi is the greatest freekick taker of all time, on top of everything else." 

    The night wasn't just another typical Lionel Messi show, of which there have been many this season, as his exploits saw him surpass the 10+ goal mark in the 2018-2019 La Liga campaign.

    This means he has now scored over ten La Liga goals in each and every season for the last 13 years, and is the only player to ever do so in La Liga history.

    Still only 31, it's clear he will continue to break his own record in the years to come.

    SEE ALSO: 2 moments of Messi magic guaranteed Barcelona victory , and proved he's finally dominating Ronaldo as the main man in Europe

    DON'T MISS: Neymar is still being upstaged by Messi despite leaving Barça to escape living in his shadow

    UP NEXT: RANKED: The 27 most dominant soccer players in the world right now

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Beautiful time-lapse videos show how much China has changed over the years


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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.

    uniqlo

    • Uniqlo's Ultra Light Down Seamless Parka is only $69.90 but delivers the warmth of a much more expensive product.
    • This jacket is very thin, it weighs less than a pound, and it can be rolled into a compact pouch for easy storage while traveling.
    • Fall weather requires a jacket that is warm without being too heavy, and this jacket delivers on that with its lightweight, flattering cut.

    I spent my college years in upstate New York, an area known for its frigid winter temperatures. Naturally, weeks before my first year began my mom insisted on taking me shopping for winter essentials — think heavy jackets, snow boots, and fleece gloves. 

    Shopping for winter jackets in the summer can be quite trying, especially when you're a teenager who wants nothing less than their mom telling them what to do. So, when my mom insisted I buy this Uniqlo jacket after a draining day of trying on too much down and wool, I said fine, packed it in my bag, and brought it to school with me. Shortly after, I ended up losing it at a party without much thought.

    Fast forward two years, I was about to head off to study abroad in Spain. With limited packing space for four months abroad, I needed a jacket that would keep me warm for my travels throughout Europe without taking up too much space in my suitcase. I thought back to the Uniqlo Ultra Light Down jacket I had lost two years ago, yes the one my mom insisted I buy but I could have cared less about, and realized it was just what I needed. There began my love story with this jacket — and I have never worn it to a party, or let it get lost, since.

    jacketuniqlo

    If you are looking for a heavy-duty winter coat, one that can withstand below freezing temperatures, this is not it. What this jacket is, though, is a thin down layer that is deceptively warm and very affordable at about $70.

    While there are a few styles, I have the Ultra Light Down Seamless Parka. It's hard to imagine that this coat could provide any substantial warmth from just looking at it. The jacket itself weighs less than a pound; Uniqlo compares the weight of the jacket to the weight of three eggs. But, surprisingly, this super thin jacket is pretty warm.

    The shell is 100% nylon and it's filled with 90% down, with a fill power of over 640. Fill power refers to the quality of the down used and a higher fill power correlates with a greater ability to retain heat. So, even though this jacket is very light, the high fill power means it provides a substantial amount of warmth for its weight.

    The jacket comes in many colors and a simple, fitted cut that will complement anyone. This can be credited to the vertical quilting Uniqlo uses to achieve a more flattering look. Of course, I think this jacket is better used for function than fashion, but the fact that it's nice looking is a plus.

    I tend to size up in down jackets, as I like having the ability to layer as much as I want underneath my coat in order to stay warm. In wanting to keep with the fitted look of this one, I stayed with my regular size  and I still am able to fit a few layers beneath the coat comfortably.

    What sets this jacket apart for me is that it can be rolled into a small pouch for easy storage and portability.

    Each jacket in the collection is accompanied by a drawstring nylon pouch which, when used, transforms your jacket into a light, compact little cylinder. It easily fits in a backpack, larger pocket, or even a purse. When I traveled abroad, this feature became especially useful as I usually only travelled with a small carry on bag, even for longer trips. In attempting to pack smarter, some items had to go, but this small jacket always had a place in my luggage. For the warmth it gives, I would have given up even more of my suitcase space to keep it with me, but luckily it barely takes up any room at all.

    uniqlopocket

    It should also be noted that his jacket has a water-repellent coating, but is not weatherproof. It is enough to withstand light rain and snow, but can't promise to keep you dry in a monsoon. I have got caught in heavy rain in this jacket before, and while it doesn't compare to a slick windbreaker, it does a decent job of keeping out the water. The jacket itself absorbs most of the water, making it wetter and heavier, but for the most part your body and any layers of clothing you are wearing underneath won't be sopping wet. When you zip the jacket all the way up and put on the hood, the hood does a good job of covering your face, which I feel is one of its best features for more severe weather conditions like wind and snow. Again, though, this isn't a rain jacket or ski jacket and it isn't trying to be.

    This jacket sits in my closet sandwiched somewhere between my heavy-duty winter parka, which provides tons of warmth and insulation, and my denim jackets, which provide barely any. This jacket is a happy medium perfect for brisk fall days, when the average temperature is somewhere around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. When it gets colder, this jacket can easily be worn over a heavier sweater or under a larger coat. I go with the former combination often, layering a T-shirt and sweater under this coat for added warmth.

    It's hard to now imagine my resistance to buying this piece those five years ago, but I am so glad I made the choice to re-purchase. For fall, winter, and spring, this jacket is now a staple of mine. It's not the warmest jacket I own, or the best-looking, but at only $69.90 it's the best value I've found and a product that now has a forever hanger in my closet.

    Buy the women's Ultra Light Down Seamless Parka, $69.90

    Buy the men's Ultra Light Down Seamless Parka, $69.90

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

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    walking dead twd seth gilliam father gabriel negan

    • Don't go telling Seth Gilliam that Father Gabriel is to blame for Negan's jail cell escape on "The Walking Dead."
    • During an appearance Saturday at New Jersey's Walker Stalker Con in Edison, NJ, Gilliam maintained Gabriel's innocence claiming a guard should have been watching over Negan.
    • "Father Gabriel slammed the f---ing gate shut and it locked. And there was a f---ing guard standing by," said Gilliam during a panel INSIDER attended.

    On the season nine mid-season finale of "The Walking Dead," Jesus was killed, the Whisperers were revealed, and, Negan escaped from his cell after years of being jailed. 

    It seems like Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam), the last one who spoke with Negan, would be to blame, but Gilliam doesn't agree with that assessment one bit.

    "I think he'd be pissed at the guard that he left on duty when he slammed the gate — shut and locked," Gilliam said at Walker Stalker New Jersey panel in Edison, NJ Saturday afternoon when asked by a fan how Gabriel will feel once he finds out Negan is free from his holding place.

    INSIDER was on hand for the panel in which Gilliam took the stage with Pollyanna McIntosh, who played Anne/Jadis on the show until she flew off with Rick in a helicopter during season nine.

    "There was a guard on duty when Gabriel slammed the cell door, locked, who was in charge of making sure that Negan did not get out," he reiterated.

    negan cell 908 twd

    "No, Father Gabriel did not let Negan out on purpose," he continued, fired up. "Father Gabriel slammed the f---ing gate shut and it locked. And there was a f---ing guard standing by. Next f---ing question."

    Mic drop.

    Gilliam has been vocal about this on social media, too. His Twitter account is locked, but for those who are able to see his tweets, he pointed out the same exact thing after the episode aired. 

    seth gilliam tweets negan escape walking dead

    What kind of impact will Negan's escape have on Alexandria and the rest of the survivors moving forward on "The Walking Dead"? 

    twd 908 negan

    "When we open up in the first episode back in the new season, we will find out what it is that Negan is up to," showrunner Angela Kang told INSIDER of what Negan will be up to on the rest of the season.

    "He's certainly been sick of being stuck inside that cell, both Negan and Jeffrey," Kang added. "So it was fun to kind of have him out and about and I think there's a pretty cool story to be told there that I hope that fans will enjoy who have enjoyed Negan from the start or who are kind of just enjoying seeing his evolution in the character."

    A teaser, which aired on "Talking Dead," showed Negan with a shovel heading into a home in Alexandria. We'll have to wait to see what comes of that when the show returns to AMC in February 2019.

    You can follow along with our "Walking Dead" coverage here.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 6 airline industry secrets that will help you fly like a pro this holiday season


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    ariana grande travis scott kali uchis

    While the Grammy Awards have often been criticized for being out of touch, there's plenty to celebrate about the 2019 nominations.

    The late rapper Mac Miller secured a posthumous nod for "Best Rap Album," while the outrageously gifted Kendrick Lamar led the pack with the most nominations. Janelle Monáe's groundbreaking "Dirty Computer" is up for "Album of the Year." Female nominees dominated many of the major categories, including "Best New Artist."

    But as many fans know, for every success from a major award show, there is usually a source of rage or confusion.

    Here are INSIDER's picks for the 14 biggest snubs, in no particular order.

    Mitski's singular nomination for "Best Recording Package" is just plain rude.

    "Best Recording Package" is an award that honors the visual look of an album, not its sonic achievements.

    It is also the only category that recognized "Be the Cowboy," the fifth album from Japanese-American indie rock musician Mitski, and easily her most masterful to date — despite landing within the top five in everymajorroundup of this year's best albums.



    Ariana Grande's "Sweetener" didn't get much love.

    Ariana Grande is optimistic, alluring, and more confident than ever on her fourth studio album, "Sweetener." By many accounts, including Grande's, it's her best album yet.

    "This feels like the most 'me' an album has ever felt. It just feels super close to home,"Grande recently revealed. "A lot of people were like, 'How does it feel stepping out of your comfort zone?' And I'm like, 'Nah, I don't feel like I've stepped out of my comfort zone. I feel like I found it.'"

    But while "Sweetener" did secure a nomination for "Best Pop Vocal Album," it was shut out of most major categories, including "Album of the Year."

    Grande's hit single "God Is a Woman" was thankfully recognized for "Best Pop Solo Performance," but the most glittering, nuanced, and impeccably crafted tracks on the album (most notably "No Tears Left to Cry,""Get Well Soon," and "R.E.M.") were completely ignored.



    Travis Scott was one of the most successful artists this year, but his No. 1 album "Astroworld" was nearly ignored.

    Travis Scott has never been a Grammys darling, but "Astroworld" demonstrated a growth in skill and musical maturity that many thought would change his fate; after all, he somehow managed to get Drake, John Mayer, and Stevie Wonder on the same album. 

    "A real driver on this album too was when we got snubbed for the Grammys in 2016," Scott's A&R told Rolling Stone earlier this year. "We were like, man, are they not respecting us? That's when it was like, 'No, y'all got it f---ed up.' We went back and wanted to make an album that was undeniable."

    And yet: Scott secured a nomination for "Best Rap Album," but was still denied entry to the coveted "Album of the Year" category.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Urban Meyer

    • Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer will retire at the end of the season.
    • Meyer won three Big Ten titles and the 2014 National Championship in his seven years at Ohio State, but his final season in Columbus was marred by controversy.
    • Many speculated that the domestic violence scandal from the start of the season, combined with his ongoing health problems, could drive Meyer out of the Buckeye State.
    • Meyer has not indicated what he will do next, and his long and tumultuous career may not provide a clear answer.
    • Let's take a look back at Meyer's roller-coaster past and what he may choose to do in the future.

    Urban Meyer will coach his final game for the Ohio State Buckeyes when they take on the Washington Huskies in the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day.

    Meyer won three Big Ten titles and the 2014 National Championship in his seven years at Ohio State, but his final season in Columbus was marred by controversy. He was widely criticized for mishandling domestic violence allegations against former assistant coach Zach Smith and was subsequently suspended for three games to start the 2018 season. 

    Many speculated that Meyer's ongoing health problems, combined with the scandal, could drive Meyer out of the program.

    According to Pete Thamel of CBS Sports, the decision was driven by "a myriad of factors," but that "foremost among them was his happiness with the state of the Ohio State program."

    Meyer has yet to indicate what he will do next, and his nonlinear path to Ohio State doesn't provide a clear answer. Let's take a look back at his roller-coaster past and what he may choose to do in the next stage of his career.

    Urban Meyer has earned a reputation as a giant of college football, but he hasn't always been a household name.



    Meyer started his head coaching career at Bowling Green in 2001.

    He spent 15 years prior in assistant coaching positions with various programs, including Ohio State, Illinois State, Colorado State, and Notre Dame.

    Source: Cleveland.com



    After coaching the Falcons to 17-6 overall record in his two years at the helm, Meyer left Bowling Green for Utah.

    He coached the Utes to a 10-2 record in his first season at the helm to earn Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year honors.

    Source: Cleveland.com



    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.

    Snacknation

    Subscription boxes are the gifts that keep on giving.

    Whether you subscribe for three months or 12, you're essentially giving several gifts but without the hassle of shopping and wrapping each one.

    And to save you even more time and effort, Amazon has stepped up its subscription box game. Not only does the site literally have all of the things, its subscription box service has kits for every need and budget.

    Beauty fans, snackers, kids, pet owners — it's all there. And each month has a different theme so they're never getting the same products twice. It's basically the holidays every month, and they have you to thank for that.

    If you're going to give a subscription box this season, these 18 are all great choices.

    And if you're looking for more gift suggestions, check out all of our gift guides here.

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

    READ MORE: 22 unique gift ideas for everyone in the family — all from Amazon

    DON'T MISS: 22 useful and fun gifts for coffee lovers they don't already have

    FaceTory: sheet masks they can do every weekend

    FaceTory: FOUR-ever FRESH, $8.90 - $19.90/month, available at Amazon

    Treat them to a four-pack or seven-pack of facial masks every month. The types of masks range from basic cotton sheets to hydrogels so there's a good range of products they can try and explore.



    MexiCrate: Mexican candy for their sweet tooth

    MexiCrate, $11.99 - $21.95/month, available at Amazon

    For a bold taste of Mexico, gift them a box of Mexican candies that hit all the right spots: sweet, spicy, salty, and sour. The Liker box includes one pound of candy, while the Lover box has a whopping three pounds.



    Bean Box: best-in-class coffee from Seattle and Portland

    Bean Box, $26/month, available at Amazon

    Every month, they can try out another amazing coffee brewer from Seattle and Portland. There are six types of boxes to choose from — light roast, medium roast, dark roast, espresso, decaf, and an "All Roasts" option. Each box comes with a 12-ounce pouch of freshly roasted whole beans, tasting notes, and at-home brewing tips.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    mbs jared ivanka kushner

    • Jared Kushner was reportedly the target of Saudi efforts to influence the Trump administration.
    • Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, developed a close relationship with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and are even on a first-name basis, according to a New York Times report.
    • The relationship has cemented the crown prince in Kushner's priorities, as he defended him to the Trump administration after US intelligence agencies concluded he was responsible for the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

    Jared Kushner reportedly developed a close relationship and kept in contact with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, after being targeted by Saudi officials in an effort to woo the Trump administration.

    Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, also reportedly kept in regular contact with the crown prince, with whom he was on a first-name basis.

    The two men even regularly spoke on the phone — even after US intelligence agencies concluded he was responsible for the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to a Saturday New York Times report

    Khashoggi, a US-based columnist for The Washington Post, disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on October 2. Turkish officials leaked gruesome details to US and Turkish pro-government media in the following weeks about Khashoggi's violent death.

    Read more: Here's everything we know about the troubling disappearance and death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi

    The Times, citing former officials, text messages, and emails, reported that Kushner and the crown prince have been in close contact for nearly two years, despite efforts from the White House chief of staff, John Kelly, to rein in one-on-one communications with foreign leaders. 

    Donald Trump Mohammed bin Salman MbS

    Despite the White House's communications protocol, the crown prince and his aides reportedly continued to pursue contact with Kushner beginning around Trump's inauguration to curry favor for the prince's policies and authority in the region. 

    Three former senior US officials told The Times that Kushner's lack of political experience could leave him vulnerable to being manipulated by the Saudis.

    Kushner's close contact with Saudi officials has been previously reported. The Washington Post reported last month that the crown prince had told Kushner in a phone call that Khashoggi was a "dangerous Islamist" just days after the journalist went missing.

    Their relationship may have been the catalyst for Kushner's previously efforts to persuade Trump to stand by Crown Prince Mohammed through the uproar over Khashoggi's killing.

    Trump's reluctance to back the conclusion by US intelligence that Saudi Arabia orchestrated Khashoggi's killing has prompted outcry from lawmakers. The Senate even voted to advance a measure that would compel the US to withdraw its support for the Saudi-led efforts in Yemen's civil war.

    "We have to be able to work with our allies," Kushner said in an October interview with CNN, before crediting Saudi Arabia as "a very strong ally in terms of pushing back against Iran's aggression."

    Read the full Times report here »

    SEE ALSO: The creative accounting that reportedly allowed Jared Kushner to dodge paying income taxes for years is totally legal

    DON'T MISS: Trump says Chief of Staff John Kelly is leaving the White House at the end of the year

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    NOW WATCH: Anthony Scaramucci claims Trump isn't a nationalist: 'He likes saying that because it irks these intellectual elitists'


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    Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street, London

    • Theresa May's Brexit deal is highly risky and represents a failure on the UK's part to make fundamental choices about its future, according to a highly damning report from a cross-party group of MPs.
    • Hillary Benn MP, chair of the committee, said May's plan "would represent a huge step into the unknown."
    • The report said the deeply unpopular backstop mechanism — designed to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland — would likely need to kick in after the transition period, and would result in "immediate barriers" to UK-EU trade.
    • The stark warning comes just two days before Theresa May puts her much-criticised Brexit deal before parliament, with most MPs ready to vote against it.

    LONDON — Theresa May has failed to spell out what Britain's future will look like after Brexit, with her deal with the EU representing a "huge step into the unknown," according to a damning verdict from a cross-party committee of MPs.

    The Committee on Exiting the European Union's report published on Sunday said the government had "failed to make fundamental choices about the UK's future" and to assess the trade-offs that would result. 

    The stark warning comes just two days before Theresa May puts her much-criticised Brexit deal before parliament.

    Her proposals have been roundly criticised from almost every wing of the House of Commons: Brexiteers believe the deal would bind the UK too closely to the EU, while Remainers have suggested it would leave the UK in a state of vassalage with little upside compared to EU membership.

    The MPs found that:

    • After twenty months of negotiations, the government does not have detailed plans the nature of Britain's future relationship with the EU.
    • The political declaration — the document contained in Theresa May's proposed Brexit deal which sets out the UK and EU's plans for their future relationship — is "neither detailed nor substantive," and only sets out a series of options, meaning businesses would continue to face "significant uncertainty" about the terms of trade with the EU when the transition period ends.
    • There are no realistic, long-term proposals from the Government to keep an open border on the island of Ireland without leaving the EU single market and customs union — something Theresa May has repeatedly pledged to do.
    • The deeply unpopular backstop mechanism— an insurance policy designed to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland which would see the UK effectively remain within the EU's customs territory — would therefore be the default relationship between the UK and EU when the transition period ended.
    • The backstop would result in "immediate barriers" to UK-EU trade in goods and services. By 2022, the latest point at which the transition period could end — the UK could face the threat of "significant economic disruption" which would reduce its leverage in the negotiations.

    'This could take years to sort out'

    Hilary Benn

    Labour MP Hillary Benn, chair of the Brexit committee, said the political declaration fell "far short" of the "detailed and substantive" document promised by former Brexit ministers and by the EU.

    "It is because the Government has refused to face up to the hard choices confronting us that this deal would represent a huge step into the unknown," he said.

    “The Political Declaration falls far short of the ‘detailed and substantive’ document promised by former Secretaries of State and by the EU Chief Negotiator, Michel Barnier.

    "It does not give the British people or our businesses the clarity and the certainty they need about our future trading relationship with the EU in five or ten years’ time. And with these negotiations having not even having started yet, this could take years to sort out."

    Parliament appears highly likely to reject May's proposed deal when it is put to a vote on Tuesday evening, with all opposition parties resolved to vote against it along with a large number of Tory MPs.

    SEE ALSO: There is a 'real danger' the UK's security will be put at risk by Theresa May's Brexit deal

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    NOW WATCH: Lindsey Graham once warned there would be 'holy hell to pay' if Trump fired Jeff Sessions


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    james Comey

    • Former FBI Director James Comey said during his testimony before lawmakers that he and the special counsel Robert Mueller are "not friends in any social sense."

    • The testimony occurred in a closed-door setting, but lawmakers released a redacted transcript of the proceedings on Saturday.
    • President Donald Trump often accuses the pair of being "best friends," and once even said that there are 100 pictures of Comey and Mueller "hugging and kissing each other."

    • During Friday's testimony, one lawmaker said he wouldn't ask Comey about Trump's "hugging and kissing" remark, to which Comey joked it would be "a relief to my wife."

    Former FBI Director James Comey told House lawmakers on Friday that he and the special counsel Robert Mueller do not socialize, contradicting President Donald Trump's repeated claims that the pair are "best friends."

    Comey's testimony before the House Judiciary Committee and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee occurred behind closed doors. A redacted transcript of the proceedings was released by the committee leaders on Saturday.

    President Donald Trump has tweeted multiple times — the latest instance being on Friday — that Comey and Mueller are "best friends," accusing them of teaming up on the Russia investigation.

    "Robert Mueller and Leakin' Lyin' James Comey are Best Friends, just one of many Mueller Conflicts of Interest," Trump tweeted.

    Read more: Everything Michael Cohen told Mueller about the Trump campaign's contacts with Russia

    James Comey

    During Comey's testimony, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, asked about Trump's accusations. He cited a recent interview Trump gave to The Daily Caller, in which he accused Comey and Mueller of being "best friends" and said there were 100 pictures of the pair "hugging and kissing each other." The FBI later said it had no records of such images.

    "Are you best friends with Robert Mueller?" Nadler asked.

    "I am not," Comey responded. "I admire the heck out of the man, but I don't know his phone number, I've never been to his house, I don't know his children's names."

    He continued: "I think I had a meal once alone with him in a restaurant. I like him. I am not a — I'm an associate of his who admires him greatly. We're not friends in any social sense."

    When Nadler followed up by saying he wouldn't ask if Comey had hugged or kissed Mueller, Comey joked that it was "a relief to my wife."

    Read the full transcript here »

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    NOW WATCH: Anthony Scaramucci claims Trump isn't a nationalist: 'He likes saying that because it irks these intellectual elitists'


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    france yellow vest protest

    • Yellow vest protesters took to the streets across France on Saturday, in what quickly devolved into violent clashes with police.
    • The demonstrators began by protesting a planned fuel tax hike weeks ago, but participants have continued even after the French government canceled the increase.
    • The protesters continue to be outraged over French President Emmanuel Macron, economic inequality, and worsening living standards.

    For the fourth weekend in a row, yellow vest protesters took to the streets across France to demonstrate against President Emmanuel Macron, high taxes, and economic inequality.

    The weekly protests have steadily grown more violent, and French officials said by the end of Saturday, dozens were injured and hundreds arrested.

    Thousands of police officers were deployed to control the riots, eventually firing tear gas and rubber bullets, and repelling demonstrators with water cannons.

    Here's how the clashes unfolded:

    The so-called "Yellow Vest" movement was first sparked weeks ago, when protestors began demonstrating against a planned fuel tax increase.



    Many of the demonstrators are working-class or impoverished residents of France.



    In response to the growing outrage and violence, Macron eventually backed down and canceled the fuel tax increase on Wednesday.

    Source: The New York Times



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    twd jesus aaron walking dead

    • Jesus (Tom Payne) was surprisingly killed off "The Walking Dead's" season nine mid-season finale.
    • But we could see him again.
    • Saturday, at Walker Stalker Con New Jersey, Payne hinted we could see him in a flashback during the AMC series' six-year time gap.

    Jesus (Tom Payne) may have recently been killed off "The Walking Dead," but that doesn't mean we may never see him again on the show or in "TWD" universe.

    "There's a six-year time jump, in which a lot of stuff happened and there's the mysterious marks on Michonne and Daryl. All of these things which could be explained, and Jesus may have a hand in some of that," Payne said Saturday morning at New Jersey's Walker Stalker Con in Edison, NJ during a panel with "The Walking Dead" star Ross Marquand, who plays Aaron. 

    INSIDER was on hand as Payne was asked whether or not we could see Jesus resurrected or appear in some sort of flashback during the six-year time gap on the show. 

    "There's a lot of time," Payne said of the jump in time on the show.

    ross marquand tom payne

    But he quickly added that fans shouldn't expect to see Jesus rise from the dead anytime soon.

    "But, as far as this spot from the timeline in the show. Yeah, he dead," Payne said to laughs from the crowd.

    Read more: 'They knew I was a bit unhappy': 'The Walking Dead' star says he was frustrated and bored with his role on the show

    Marquand then chimed in with his own fan-fiction interpretation of what should happen. 

    "I'll tell you what's going to happen. I'll spoil this," joked Marquand. "So, there's a bunch of gravestones. They're basically going to dig a real quick hole, put some gravestones over him, and in three days, he's going to come back."

    If only that's how it worked. 

    twd daryl whisperer mask

    When INSIDER spoke with Payne ahead of the mid-season finale he similarly hinted that we could see Jesus pop up in that six-year time gap. That's what makes the most logical sense. 

    Showrunner Angela Kang has told us we should expect some flashbacks on the show. How else will we learn how Michonne and Daryl — and maybe others — received those mystery "X" marks on their backs? 

    "We'll find out some more about what happened during that six-year passage of time with the mystery of the "X," [and] we may see the return of a familiar character," Kang told INSIDER. Was she speaking of Payne? Maybe. "I'm excited for all of that. And we also, I'll tease, that we do something we've never done on the show before in the back-half of the season that I think fans will be into."

    You can follow along with our "Walking Dead" coverage here

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    NOW WATCH: Here's how easy it is for the US president to launch a nuclear weapon


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    jesus aaron relationship 907

    • Ross Marquand's Aaron had his arm amputated on "The Walking Dead" early on season nine.
    • At a panel during New Jersey's Walker Stalker Con on Saturday, Marquand said it was almost another character which received that fate back on season seven.
    • He didn't name anyone, but it's likely it could have been Carl or Rick Grimes.

    Aaron lost his arm early on season nine of "The Walking Dead" when his arm was crushed by a tree log. But actor Ross Marquand, who plays Aaron on the AMC zombie drama, says we could have seen a very different character meet a similar fate years ago.

    "Originally, they had been proposing that for another character in season seven," said Marquand at a Walker Stalker Con panel in Edison, NJ Saturday morning. "And then it didn't come to fruition for various reasons."

    aaron TWD 902

    He first learned Aaron would lose his arm on the show back in April and it was a detail he was surprised to find out. 

    "I had a meeting with Angela, the new showrunner, and she says, 'So, we're thinking about cutting off your arm.' I was like, 'Oh, OK.' Usually, those meetings are a little vague and you get a general idea of where your character might go, nothing really that specific," said Marquand. "So when she said, 'We're thinking about cutting off your arm,' that's very specific. That's a lot of information to digest."

    Marquand first noted on an episode of "Talking Dead" earlier this season that another character nearly lost their arm instead of him. The actor didn't say who the character was or why the idea from season seven was scrapped Saturday, but we have some ideas. 

    What other characters could have lost an arm on "The Walking Dead"

    Andrew Lincoln told press in 2017 he had asked the show for years to get rid of his arm, an iconic moment that happens early on in the comics.  

    rick grimes loses hand the walking dead

    "That is the one thing that I have been campaigning for for a long time, for them to chop my arm off,"Lincoln told press at New York Comic Con in 2017

    The main reason why it didn't happen? Lincoln said it was about money.

    "All that happens is the special effects department just starts sucking their teeth [like], 'That's gonna cost a lot of money to do,'" said Lincoln of one reason we haven't seen Rick lose his hand on the show.

    Clearly, the show found a way around that with Marquand. His character wears a giant sheath-like gauntlet over his arm that is made out of multiple materials in addition to the metal on the outside.

    twd jesus aaron walking dead

    "They basically took a cast of my entire arm," said Marquand at Walker Stalker NJ. "It's like a clamshell. It unlocks on one side.. There are four different parts and it's like rubber and plastic throughout. It iitches like crazy and it's impossible to take off."

    Marquand estimated wearing the glove for as many as 10 hours at a time.

    While Lincoln campaigned to lose his arm on the show, it's likely Rick's son Carl could have lost his arm. As a reminder, Negan almost forced Rick to chop off his son's arm during season seven. That fits in with the timeline Marquand mentioned Saturday. 

    carl walking dead arm

    Chandler Riggs has even said he previously thought Carl may lose his arm on the show.

    "I had no idea it wasn't going to happen," Riggs said at a Walker Stalker Con in 2017. "When I was reading the script, I was like 'Are they seriously going to cut my arm off?' I was scared to death."

    Marquand noted during the panel that every time he puts on his gear that he thinks of another TV show.

    "Every time I put it on, I think of 'Ash Vs. Evil Dead. 'Groovy' every time I put it on," Marquand said referencing Bruce Campbell's character, who also has an arm replacement with a chainsaw.

    Bruce Campbell ash vs evil dead

    That would be quite useful in the zombie apocalypse. Marquand says he's not promising a chainsaw addition for Aaron's arm, but he's not ruling it out.

    "Season 10, it's gonna be great," he joked when asked if he would get a similar modification. 

    If he doesn't get the chainsaw, the actor may be more likely to grow out a longer beard as Aaron.

    When Aaron lost his arm on the show many noted that the character started to more resemble comic-book Rick Grimes because of his addition of a long beard but Marquand said the beard was his idea and something he fought for on the show.

    aaron rick grimes walking dead

    "That's why I fought for the beard, too," Marquand said. "He loses so many people in the last few seasons, and I thought, 'Why would you be shaving?' You'd be letting it go. The beard's going to get longer, hopefully. I hope." 

    You can follow along with our "Walking Dead" coverage here.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This 13-year-old scientist invented a safer way to treat pancreatic cancer, and he hasn't even started high school yet


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    Tech v Trump (Jake Kanter's thumb — please do not use)

    • More than 90% of the political donations made by Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google staff went to the Democrats, figures dating from 2004 show.
    • Staff at Google's parent company Alphabet were the biggest benefactors to Democratic candidates and causes, according to the data from GovPredict.
    • The findings come at a delicate time for Silicon Valley.
    • US President Donald Trump and other prominent Republicans have criticized what they see as bias at powerful tech firms and are threatening anti-trust probes.

    The political donations made by staff at the world's biggest tech firms have been revealed in data seen by Business Insider.

    BI worked with GovPredict, the political data firm backed by prestigious Silicon Valley tech incubator Y Combinator, to uncover donations made by employees at the FAANG firms: Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google. 

    The data is drawn from campaign filings and covers a 14-year period. It only measures political contributions made by employees and doesn't reflect company-level donations to candidates. Facebook, for example, donates to candidates at a company level through its own Political Action Committee (PAC.)

    GovPredict found that workers at these tech giants have backed the Democrats to the tune of millions of dollars, while donations to the Republicans have been paltry in comparison.

    In fact, more than 90% of the $40 million donated by big tech employees to political causes since 2004 has gone to the Democrats.

    Staff at Google's parent company Alphabet were collectively the biggest funders of Democratic candidates and causes. Employees donated $16.3 million to the party, which was nearly $10 million more than employees from the next biggest funder, Amazon.

    Democrats had a near-monopoly on donations from staff at Netflix, accounting for 98% of worker contributions to political parties.

    Tech political donations 04–08

    The findings come at a delicate time for Silicon Valley. US President Donald Trump and other prominent Republicans have criticized what they see as bias at powerful tech firms. Trump is also looking at anti-trust proceedings against Amazon, Facebook, and Google.

    The president said in August that Google search results were "RIGGED" against him, while last month, he asked his Twitter followers to "check out how biased Facebook, Google and Twitter are in favor of the Democrats."

    Google, in particular, has been a lightning rod for anger. Trump has repeatedly targeted the company, as have Republicans, including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

    Read more: A report on Alphabet employee political donations could light a fire under Trump's war on Google

    Google CEO Sundar Pichai will appear before Congress for the first time next week, when he gives evidence to the House Judiciary Committee on December 11. He is expected to face tough questions about search results, potential antitrust issues, and Google's plans to launch a censored search engine in China.

    The biggest year of donations from Alphabet staffers to the Democrats came in 2016, when staff spent $6 million trying to keep Trump out of office. In fact, all of the tech firm employee donations hit a high in 2016, except Amazon, GovPredict found. Workers at Jeff Bezos' company donated their peak of $3 million to liberal causes in 2012 when Barack Obama secured a second term.

    Tech political donations 16

    Ari Ezra Waldman, director of the Innovation Center for Law and Technology at the New York Law School, said there is "zero" evidence to support the theory that Google is fixing search results against the Republicans — and donation patterns do not change that.

    "What comes up on search results on Google, for example, is the product of Google's highly complex and proprietary algorithm, which is sensitive to what other people click on, share, and so forth," he said. "So, if critical articles about Donald Trump are coming up first, that just means that critical articles about Donald Trump are being shared more, clicked on more, and searched for more."

    Google, Apple, Facebook, and Netflix declined to comment. Amazon did not respond to requests for comment.

    GovPredict analyzed Federal Election Commission filings, state and city campaign finance portals, and the Internal Revenue Service. It examined election contributions made by tech staff by tracking the various subsidiary names of their companies used in the filings. 

    GovPredict then categorized, as Democrat or Republican, the unique committees to which employees made donations. Most were labelled by the Federal Election Commission, while on others GovPredict had to make its own call.

    Former Harvard graduate Emil Pitkin launched GovPredict at the Y Combinator demo day in 2015. The company is also said to have $120,000 in seed funding from Y Combinator, which has backed startups such as Airbnb, Reddit, and Stripe.

    SEE ALSO: Bernie Sanders has received donations from more Amazon workers than Barack Obama over the past 14 years

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    NOW WATCH: Why it's so difficult to land a spacecraft on Mars


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    Grace Millane thumb

    • British backpacker Grace Millane, 22, went missing in Auckland, New Zealand, on December 1.
    • Police in Auckland say they believe they have found her body on the outskirts of the city.
    • The update comes hours after police charged a man with Millane's murder.
    • Millane had been travelling after finishing her studies at university.

    Police say they believe they have found the body of murdered British backpacker Grace Millane in the outskirts of Auckland, New Zealand. 

    The update comes hours after New Zealand police said the 22-year-old Millane was dead and charged a 26-year-old man with her murder. His name has been withheld, and he is due in court on Monday.

    Detective Inspector Scott Beard said the body had been found around 10 metres off Scenic Drive, a road that runs through the western outskirts of Auckland. In a statement, Beard said that the body had not been formally identified but was believed to be Millane's.

    Read more:Police are charging a man with murdering a 22-year-old backpacker who went missing in New Zealand

    "Obviously, this brings the search for Grace to an end,"he said in a statement. "It is an unbearable time for the Millane family and our hearts go out to them."

    He added that Millane's family had been informed. "Any father, any parent in this situation would struggle."

    Grace Millane toyota corolla

    Millane was from the British town of Wickford in south-eastern England. She had been travelling around the world after finishing her studies at the University of Lincoln.

    She had not been seen since December, when she was last seen alive at a hotel with a man. It isn't clear if the same man is being held by police.

    In a statement released by her family earlier this week, Millane was described as "a fun loving, outgoing and family-orientated person."

    According to the BBC, Millane had been in New Zealand for around two weeks after finishing up a six-week group trip to South America.

    In his statement, DI Beard appealed to anyone who might have seen a red Toyota Corolla hatchback car, which had been hired in Auckland.

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    DEFORESTATION, BRAZIL

    • Commodity companies in cocoa, coffee, soy, and even oil have jumped into sustainability linked loans.
    • Companies can reduce the interest rate on their debt if they meet green criteria, and will be punished financially if they don't.
    • Sustainable finance has become more and more commonplace in the commodities industry.

    Companies across some of the world’s murkiest industries have taken steps to save money, (and bonus: improve their less-than-squeaky clean images) by taking on "sustainability loans." A slew of commodities producers, users, and traders have joined the trend in the past 12 months across areas including the notoriously dirty palm oil industry. 

    Take Switzerland chocolate company Barry Callebaut, one of the world's largest cocoa producers. Last year the company, stung by an accusation of illegally purchasing cocao from protected parks in the Ivory Coast, linked one of its credit facilities (a form of loan) to sustainability rankings.

    That means the interest rate on its loan can go lower if it performs well on sustainability criteria, which is determined by an independent ratings company called Sustainalytics. Callebaut's deal, previously unheard of, was the first of many. (Callebaut did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the cocoa purchases.)

    “Market uptake has been high,” said Leonie Schreve, head of sustainable finance at ING. “Companies are realising that this is part of their transition towards a future economy aligned with the Paris Accords.”

    Read more: The UN says curbing climate change would reap huge health benefits

    Research by firms such as Nielsen has suggested that millennials, in particular, are more willing to spend larger amounts of money to buy products that are sustainable. Companies are taking note, with sustainable financing now regularly mentioned by banks, investors, and major businesses.

    Major palm oil producer and trader Wilmar signed up to a similar loan last year — the first of its kind in the palm oil sector — an industry that has repeatedly drawn criticism from environmental groups.

    Singaporean commodity trader Olam took similar steps this year with a $500 million bank loan linked to a range of environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics. Importantly, if the company performs well against the metrics the cost of its debt will decrease, saving money while winning brownie points from environmentalists.

    Some players in the oil industry — the climate's biggest boogeyman — are even in on the act. Switzerland-based oil trader Gunvor, announced a sustainability linked bank loan, and will be punished financially if it fails to meet the targets set out in its loan agreement. It also said any savings from meeting those targets will go towards its recently launched Gunvor Foundation which works with aid groups in Africa.

    "We reward companies which choose to use innovative sustainable investments," said Esther Berkelaar, head of trade and commodity finance, agriculture at Rabobank. "On the other hand, banks will increasingly require a higher interest rate from companies which are significantly falling behind on sustainability performance, because the bank runs a higher credit risk." 

    Another commodity trader, ECOM, also took the step of linking its financing to its social sustainability objectives in 2018.

    The companies are motivated to clean up their act, but perhaps the bigger incentive in a world of cut-throat competition and thin trading margins. To be sure, it's an uphill battle. The commodities industry has struggled with reputational hits and an array of scandals ranging from modern slavery, child labor, and bribery.

    "We have clear restrictions on what we don't do," said ING's Schreve, declining to elaborate. "But more importantly, we seek opportunities to support our clients in financing their sustainable transition."

    SEE ALSO: Oil plunges as OPEC tries to balance supply concerns with Trump's demands

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    NOW WATCH: The legendary economist who predicted the housing crisis says the US will win the trade war


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