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- 12/12/18--18:02: _How healthcare prov...
- 12/12/18--18:11: _'Riverdale' fans fi...
- 12/12/18--18:55: _2019 will be an ext...
- 12/12/18--19:10: _These were the bigg...
- 12/12/18--20:07: _This device will be...
- 12/12/18--20:55: _You can now battle ...
- 12/12/18--21:02: _How payments firms ...
- 12/12/18--21:03: _Amazon just opened ...
- 12/12/18--22:06: _How digital media c...
- 12/12/18--23:07: _How the Internet of...
- 12/12/18--23:48: _Bernie Sanders stoo...
- 12/13/18--00:00: _10 things in tech y...
- 12/13/18--00:07: _A second Canadian h...
- 12/13/18--00:44: _UK renewables start...
- 12/13/18--03:03: _'You can't tariff y...
- 12/13/18--03:05: _The strategies comp...
- 12/13/18--03:13: _Cristiano Ronaldo c...
- 12/13/18--03:18: _Pulitzer Prize-winn...
- 12/13/18--03:19: _The 'yellow vest' p...
- 12/13/18--03:30: _An angry Santa ripp...
- The consumerization of healthcare is redefining how consumers engage with providers across each stage of care.
- But the vast majority of healthcare providers haven’t sufficiently altered their services to align with current patient expectations. Only 8% of US hospitals and health systems demonstrate strong consumer-centric performance, per a 2018 Kaufman Hall survey.
- Failure to react to patient preferences hurts provider organizations’ bottom lines. US hospital profit margins are already thinning, and an emerging reimbursement model that ties a portion of providers' compensation to patient satisfaction means providers can't afford to preserve the status quo.
- Alternative players with consumer-focused healthcare services threaten to poach patients from traditional health systems. Tech-focused primary care startups, like One Medical and 98point6, and retail outlets, like Target, Walmart, and CVS, offer patients on-demand access to healthcare providers via mobile apps and convenient locations to receive healthcare services, drawing them away from incumbent health systems.
- In order to retain patients — and keep them from straying to alternative care services — providers must transform their services with an emphasis on transparency, access, and ongoing engagement outside of the clinic.
- Healthcare providers that tailor their services to the new healthcare consumer will be well positioned to see growth. Alternatively, businesses that don’t implement these changes could find themselves falling behind the rest of the industry or closing their doors for good.
- Details how patient behavior, preferences, and expectations have changed.
- Outlines the demographic and industry trends that should add a sense of urgency for providers to revamp the patient experience.
- Summarizes how the patient experience providers currently offer isn't conducive to loyalty and is likely driving patients to nonhospital services.
- Explains strategies health systems and hospitals can implement to create a consumer-centric patient experience that fosters satisfaction, loyalty, and patient volume.
- Offers examples of provider organizations that have successfully adopted new strategies to encourage patient-doctor communication, improve satisfaction, and drive scheduling capacity.
- The 2019 calendar is full of major events in spaceflight, planetary science, and astronomy.
- SpaceX and Boeing hope to launch NASA astronauts inside commercial spaceships for the first time next year.
- Elon Musk may also conduct a test launch of his rocket company's "Starship" spacecraft.
- Plus, humanity will make its farthest-ever visit to a planet-like object, and China intends to return its first lunar soil samples to Earth.
- Meteor showers, total lunar and solar eclipses, and other night-sky events will also grace our planet.
- Fintech funding has already reached new highs globally in 2018, with overall funding hitting $32.6 billion at the end of Q3.
- Some new regions, including South America and Africa, are emerging on the fintech scene.
- We've seen considerable scaling in older corners of the fintech ecosystem, including among neobanks and alt lenders.
- Some fintechs, including a number of insurtechs, have dipped into new markets to escape heightened competition.
- Emergent areas like blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT), as well as digital identity, are gaining traction.
- Many incumbents are undertaking business transformations that aim to reimagine everything from products and services to front-end systems and back-end processes.
- Details the funding and regulatory landscape in the US, Europe, and Asia.
- Gives an overview into a number of fintech segments and how they've changed over the past year.
- Discusses how incumbents are reacting to fintechs in order to stay relevant in the changing financial services sector.
- Evaluates what the future of fintech will look like and what trends to look out for in the coming year.
- 12/12/18--20:07: This device will be the next smartphone
- Smartphones are the fastest adopted tech in the U.S.
- Whichever device becomes the next smartphone needs to go everywhere
- Consumer expectations around the smartphone are changing
- And much more
- After two and a half years, Pokémon Go players finally have the ability to battle each other, thanks to a long-awaited new update.
- The update literally changes the game: It introduces a revamped battle system that lets Pokémon learn a third attack, introducing a whole new layer of strategy.
- The fights themselves let trainers take a team of three Pokémon into battle, with otherwise hard-to-find items as a possible prize for the victor.
- To start a battle, you'll generally need to be close enough to your would-be opponent to scan a QR code on their phone — a mechanic designed to encourage real-world interaction.
- Here's how it all works.
- SMBs are a massive force in the US, which makes understanding their needs a necessity for POS terminal providers, software providers, and resellers — the US counts roughly 8 million SMBs, or 99.7% of all businesses.
- The entrance of new challengers into the payment space has put pricing pressure on the entire industry, forcing all of the players in the industry to find new solutions to keep customers loyal while also gaining a new revenue source.
- Major firms in the industry, like Verifone and Ingenico, have turned to value-added services, specifically app marketplaces, to not only build loyalty but also giving them a new revenue source — Verifone charges developers 30% of net revenue for each installed app and a distribution fee for each free app.
- According to a recent survey by Intuit, 68% of SMBs stated that they use an average of four apps to run their businesses. As developers flock to the space to grab a piece of the pie, it's likely that increased competition will lead to robust, revenue-generating marketplaces.
- And there are plenty of opportunities to build out app marketplace capabilities, such as in-person training, to further engage with users — 66% of app users would hire someone to train and educate them on which apps are right for their businesses.
- Identifies the factors that have changed how SMBs are choosing payment providers.
- Discusses why firms in the payments industry have started to introduce app marketplaces over the last four years.
- Analyzes some of the most popular app marketplaces in the industry and identifies the strengths of each.
- Breaks down the concerns merchants have relating to app marketplaces, and discusses how providers can solve these issues.
- Explores what app marketplace providers will have to do going forward in order to avoid being outperformed in an industry that's becoming increasingly saturated.
- Amazon Go's newest store measures less than 500 square feet.
- Its small size belies the huge ambition it represents.
- The Go concept is expanding rapidly, with reports indicating Amazon could put it everywhere from airports to larger places like Whole Foods.
- Skinny bundles — Cheaper, streaming versions of the traditional pay-TV bundle, but with fewer channels.
- SVOD aggregators — Facilitate a la carte sign-ups to third-party streaming services through a central user portal. The primary example so far is Amazon Channels, Amazon's SVOD partner program.
- SVOD integrations — SVOD services like Netflix that bring their offerings to a traditional operator's service.
- Streaming service partnerships — Combine one or more streaming services under a single offering, at a lower cost than the total price separately.
- SVOD bundles partake in a growing SVOD market in the US. Business Insider Intelligence estimates that the SVOD market totals $13.6 billion in 2018, primarily driven by uptake on services from SVOD giants Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video.
- Streaming video accessed on over-the-top (OTT) platforms is going mainstream, while consumers — particularly younger viewers — are reducing usage on live, linear TV. Traditional TV usage among viewers ages 18-24 has dropped 48% since 2011, 35% among 25-34 year olds, and 18% in the 35-49 demographic.
- Skinny bundle services are growing in popularity, with 7.2 million subscribers in the US, but they suffer fundamental financial sustainability problems.
- Distributors with at-scale platforms and powerful back-end tech can capitalize on the growing consumer demand for content consolidation among consumers. Faced with a fragmented and expanding universe of content options, more than two-thirds of consumers say they would prefer to get all their services from a single source, per Hub Entertainment Research.
- Winners in the bundling shakeout will have prioritized internet-connected tech, an effective user experience, reasonable pricing, and content diversity.
- Identifies the four SVOD model types that have emerged as alternatives or supplements to traditional distribution.
- Investigates the top advantages and challenges of each model type.
- Outlines strategies that players across media and distribution companies can use to address business or market challenges.
- Explores how the dynamics of each model type will evolve as services converge under new bundled offerings.
- The Internet of Things is fueling the data-based economy and bridging the divide between physical and digital worlds.
- Consumers, companies, and governments will install more than 40 billion IoT devices worldwide through 2023.
- The next five years will mark a pivotal transformation in how companies and jurisdictions operate, and how consumers live.
- Consumer IoT: In the US alone, the number of smart home devices is estimated to surpass 1 billion by 2023, with consumers dishing out about $725 per household — a total of over $90 billion in spending on IoT solutions.
- Enterprise IoT: Comprising the most mature segment of the IoT, companies will continue pouring billions of dollars into connected devices and automation. By 2023, the total industrial robotic system installed base will approach 6 million worldwide, while annual spending on manufacturing IoT solutions will reach about $450 billion.
- Government IoT: Governments globally are ushering in IoT devices to spur the development of smart cities, which would be equipped with innovations like connected cameras, smart street lights, and connected meters to provide a real-time view of traffic, utilities usage, crime, and environmental factors. Annual investment in this area is expected to reach nearly $900 billion by 2023.
- Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Wednesday displayed a giant photo of an emaciated child impacted by the Saudi-led war in Yemen as the Senate voted overwhelmingly to advance a resolution to end US involvement in the bloody conflict.
- The Senate voted 60-39 to further the debate. A final vote is expected for Thursday.
- Calls for strong action against Saudi Arabia and its leadership have grown louder since journalist Jamal Khashoggi's murder on October 2.
- 12/13/18--00:00: 10 things in tech you need to know today
- The sudden scrutiny and skepticism hitting Google and other Big Tech companies is "here to stay," Google CEO Sundar Pichai told Axios Tuesday after he testified for more than three hours on Capitol Hill. When asked if Google would be broken up, Pichai cited investment in emerging technologies as a benefit of bigness.
- Trump administration officials have been trying to treat the arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou and the US-China trade talks as two separate issues. But Trump undermined that argument on Tuesday by suggesting Meng could be used as a bargaining chip in the trade talks.
- Chinese researchers working in hi-tech sectors were warned not to take any unnecessary trips to the US. Staff at a research agency were also told in an internal memo that if they did have to travel to the US, they should remove any sensitive information from their mobile phones and laptops.
- People are attacking Waymo's self-driving cars in Arizona by slashing tires and, in some cases, pulling guns on the safety drivers. Twenty-one instances of people attacking Waymo cars have been recorded, according to the Arizona Republic, citing police reports.
- Facebook settled a $500 million lawsuit over virtual reality after a years-long battle. Facebook was sued for $2 billion by Zenimax Media, the former employer of an Oculus executive, but the two firms reached a settlement.
- Amazon's public policy exec got booed in a meeting with New York council members when he evaded a question about the company's business with immigration agencies. In response to a question about Amazon's relationship with the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, VP Brian Huseman said: "We believe the government should have the best available technology."
- Los Angeles City Council has started to regulate Airbnb, approving a new set of home-sharing rules that bars residents from renting out homes that are not their primary residence or are under rent control. The new law, set to go into effect in July, also caps the number of days a host can rent out their home or a room to 120 days a year, though there are exceptions.
- Employees at Amazon's new warehouse in New York City are pushing to unionise, according to Bloomberg. It's the latest challenge on Amazon's plan to build a major new campus in the area.
- The Chinese government has not approved any new video games for release in the country since March 2018, and the freeze could continue into early 2019. China recently announced the formation of an Online Games Ethics Committe, but the committee's first batch of reviews resulted in zero approvals.
- Samsung is backing aware from a proposed collaboration with a fake streetwear brand, after it emerged the firm was partnering with a counterfeit version of Supreme. Samsung wouldn't say if it knew about the copyright dispute before its purported partner, Supreme Italia, and the original New York company Supreme.
- China has detained a second Canadian, reportedly the man who introduced Dennis Rodman to Kim Jong Un.
- Canada's The Globe and Mail and the Associated Press have identified the second man as the Liaoning-based entrepreneur Michael Spavor.
- Spavor, a high-profile not-for-profit tour organiser, joins International Crisis Group's senior analyst and former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig who was detained in Beijing, earlier this week.
- The apparent tit-for-tat hostage diplomacy from Beijing is the latest unspoken retaliation by Beijing for the arrest of the Huawei CFO in Canada on December 1.
- Meng posted bail Wednesday and has reportedly thanked China for its support, according to a WeChat message circulating across Chinese social media.
- Octopus Energy will team up with a Silicon Valley tech company to make renewable energy cheaper.
- Customers can turn off heating during peak price times, control their energy usage remotely, or charge electric vehicles more cheaply.
- Growth of Chinese imports targeted by tariffs has fallen sharply in recent months.
- But the US-China trade deficit has held at a record high.
- Trade balances are influenced by a combination of factors, including foreign exchange rates, the strength of an economy, and how much a country borrows from abroad.
- The breach threat isn’t going anywhere. The number of overall breaches isn’t consistent — it soared from 2013 to 2016, but ticked down slightly last year — but hackers might be becoming better at obtaining more records with less work, which magnifies risk.
- The majority of breaches come from the outside, and leverage software and hardware attacks, like malware, web app attacks, point-of-service (POS) intrusion, and card skimmers.
- Firms need to build a strong front door to prevent as many breaches as possible, but they also need to develop institutional knowledge to detect a breach quickly, and plan for how to resolve and respond to it in order to limit damage — both financial and subjective — as effectively as possible.
- Explains the scope of the breach threat, by industry and year, and identifies the top attacks.
- Identifies leading perpetrators and causes of breaches.
- Addresses strategies to cope with the threat in three key areas: prevention, detection, and resolution and response.
- Issues recommendations from both a technological and organizational perspective in each of these categories so that companies can avoid the fallout that a data breach can bring.
- Juventus forward Paolo Dybala had a goal of the season contender ruled out on Wednesday.
- Dybala struck the ball from 25-yards, rifling it into the top-left corner.
- His teammate Cristiano Ronaldo interfered from an offside position, meaning the goal was not given.
- Juventus ended up losing 2-1 to the Swiss side in an upset of little consequence.
- The Italian side are already through to the playoffs after finishing top of their group.
- Read all of Business Insider's coverage for the 2018-2019 European soccer season right here.
- Republican Gov. Matt Bevin of Kentucky railed against The Courier Journal, the state's largest newspaper, after it announced it had partnered with the Pulitzer Prize-winning nonprofit news group ProPublica for a year-long investigation of a "government program" in Kentucky.
- Bevin expressed concern for The Journal's upcoming investigation "of some organization within Kentucky."
- The Journal has published investigations of Bevin as recently September, including one in which he allowed a 134% salary increase — or $215,000 — to an Army friend and business associate who worked as the state's chief information officer for 10 months.
- Bevin particularly took issue with ProPublica having been financed by billionaire investor George Soros, a popular target for anti-Semitic and right-wing groups.
- In a light-hearted tweet, ProPublica responded to Bevin's video and said The Journal's "reporting project is [very] promising," and that it would not disclose any further details "[because] we believe in gathering facts first."
- France's economy has taken a hit after weeks of yellow vest protests have caused issues across the country.
- French President Emmanuel Macron faces a vote of no confidence in the national assembly Thursday.
- Macron has offered concessions to quell the protests, but the country might breach the EU's budget deficit ceiling next year without new spending cuts.
- A Santa Claus in St Ives in Cambridgeshire reportedly lost it with a group of children.
- Parents said he started swearing when a fire alarm went off.
- He also ripped off his hat and beard, and told everyone to "get the f--- out" of his grotto.
- The event organisers have since apologised on Facebook, saying the Santa was trying to get everyone out safely.
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. Current subscribers can read the report here.
The consumerization of healthcare — a fundamental shift in patients’ preferences, behaviors, and demands around healthcare services — is threatening hospitals' bottom lines. For the first time, patients are transforming from passive recipients of healthcare services to active participants in their own health. They're flocking to online review sites to choose which doctor to see, skipping hospital visits in favor of a health clinic in their local CVS, and aren't afraid to ditch providers that don't offer them an engaging experience.
The superior customer service expectations of millennials, declines in hospital profitability, and threats from startup providers and retail pharmacies intensify the need for providers to revamp the patient experience. Providers' current engagement capabilities are weak, and deficiencies around scheduling, appointment wait times, and billing are dragging on patient satisfaction, driving patients elsewhere and draining provider revenue.
In this report, Business Insider Intelligence explores the trends that are driving providers to revamp their care services. We then outline how patients' expectations for transparency, convenience, and access are transforming the way they interact with providers across each stage of care. Finally, we detail strategies health systems and hospitals can implement to create a consumer-centric patient experience that fosters satisfaction, loyalty, and patient volume.
The companies mentioned in this report are: 98point6, BayCare, Cleveland Clinic, CVS, Integris, Kaiser Permanente, Luma Health, New York-Presbyterian, One Medical, Publix, Target, Walgreens, Walmart, Yelp, and Zocdoc.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:
In full, the report:
Warning: Spoilers ahead for season three, episode eight of "Riverdale."
"Gryphons and Gargoyles" (G&G) is a dangerous game on "Riverdale."
The role-playing game, similar to "Dungeons and Dragons," is behind five deaths so far — RIP Dilton, Ben, Principal Featherhead, Warden Norton, and Joaquin — and it's sure to affect more residents as the third season of the hit CW show progresses.
Betty and Jughead are working to uncover the mystery surrounding the game, and during Wednesday's mid-season finale, Betty learned just how exactly the game started.
Here's what we know.
The first introduction of the game was mysterious.
During the season three premiere, Jughead tries to ask Ben and Dilton what they are playing at Pop's Diner. Dilton tries to answer, but all he gets out is "Gryphons and..." before Ben tells him to shut up.
Later, when Jughead is preparing to go to Archie's trial, Dilton knocks on Jug's door in a panic.
"Ben and I thought it was just a game, a stupid role-playing game, but it's not," he says. "It's so much more. He's real."
When Jughead asks who, Dilton eventually responds with, "The Gargoyle King."
Paper covered in weird symbols and stick creatures found in Jughead's home lead him to the woods where he finds Ben and Dilton unresponsive and kneeling in front of an altar with symbols carved into their backs and chalices next to their bodies. Dilton dies in the park due to cyanide consumption. Ben recovers in the hospital but then says he isn't afraid to "ascend" like Dilton was and leaps to his death out of the window.
Betty and Jughead learn that Ethel is also playing the game and confront her about it. They learn about Dilton's secret bunker in the woods, and upon exploring the bunker, they discover that the poisoned chalice Ben and Dilton drank from is part of "G&G."
Ethel reveals that the rulebook is referred to as the "scripture."
How is the game played?
When Betty and Jug explore the bunker for the first time, they find coins with the Gargoyle King on them, drawings of the king, and various knick-knacks from the game.
The game consists of dice and quests that the players must complete. The players pick characters, follow quest cards, listen to the game master, and sometimes, they dress up in costumes to match their characters.
On the flashback episode, the parents find the game in a teacher's desk and play it. It's made clear that the game master designs the quests and game board and incorporates them into the real world.
In present day, Jughead goes to the bunker and meets Ethel to play the game. She is dressed in her Princess Etheline gown and has him choose a character. He picks the Hellcaster.
"Good choice," she says. "That was Ben's avatar. I was supposed to ascend with him but then he betrayed me and finished the game with Dilton instead."
After getting through part of the game, Ethel presents Jughead with two chalices. When he incredulously asks if one of them is poisoned, she says it's "gargoyle blood." He drinks it to get the manual and is fine. But before she hands it over to him, she makes him kiss her because it's all part of the "scripture."
Ethel then drinks from the other chalice and starts to get ill. He saves her life by getting her to the hospital. She denies being suicidal and then threatens Jughead if he spills the secrets.
"I told him you were worthy enough to spread his gospel," she tells him.
The Gargoyle King himself is a terrifying creature who seems to be behind the rules of the game, but his exact tie to the game is unknown.
The game has more of a history than previously expected.
During the mid-season finale, Ethel and Betty discover that "G&G" was created by patients at the Sisters of Quiet Mercy."
Betty figures out that the Gargoyle King sightings in the group home are brought on by hallucinations from Fizzle Rocks. She convinces Ethel to believe her, and the two take Sister Woodhouse hostage. They take her to the Gargoyle King's "chambers" and demand answers about the king, the game, and Hiram's involvement.
"Misbehaving children have been brought to this room since the asylum opened. That statue scared them into submission," Woodhouse says of the basement room and gargoyle statue. "Some of them, the more disturbed ones, created a fantasy realm, a game, to cope with the fear of the one they named "the Gargoyle King."
She continues: "We embraced it as a therapeutic tool, and it worked because it embeds itself in the minds of the players. It makes them complacent, focuses them."
Betty asks her how the game could have gotten out of the group home.
"It was never meant to leave these walls," Woodhouse says. "It's too powerful, a game born of madness."
Jughead has a theory.
During the earlier episodes of season three, someone, possibly Ethel, distributed a manual to every student's locker at Riverdale High.
"By next weekend, almost every student at Riverdale High would be playing 'Gryphons and Gargoyles,' and the real game was just beginning," Jughead says.
As Jughead plays the game, he becomes a level three-game master and leads his players on quests. When Betty goes to tell him about their parent’s secret, he tells her that he is working to ascend and meet the Gargoyle King.
He says that their parents playing the game means that his theory is correct: "We have been playing this game for a lot longer than we know and off board."
He says the gang fights and struggles they have had to deal with are all just part of the game. He also points out an interesting fact about the game's location.
"Eldervair, the realm of 'Gryphons and Gargoyles' is an anagram for Riverdale," he said. "The whole game is an analog for Riverdale. The game only exists in Riverdale, that's why we couldn't find it on the web. It's all connected. It's all one big narrative that's still being written and played."
When Jughead and Archie find themselves in the town of Athens, Jughead finds a group of kids playing "G&G." That means the game is expanding more than they could have anticipated. As for who spread the game to the masses is still unknown, but we know that "G&G" isn't going away any time soon.
"Riverdale" returns in January 2019.
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When it comes to events in space, 2019 is going to be an extraordinary year.
That's not to say 2018 will be an easy act to follow. After all, SpaceX debuted the world's most powerful operational launch system (called Falcon Heavy), sent a car beyond Mars, and helped lift off more orbital rockets than in any year since 1990.
With a fewexceptions, NASA also had a momentous 12 months: The US space agency announced its first-ever commercial astronaut crews, began a new hunt for Earth-like planets, sent a probe to "touch" the sun, and landed its InSight robot on Mars.
But 2019 will be a doozy — a sentiment that NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine highlighted after NASA's recent Mars landing.
"Right now at NASA, there is more underway than in I don't know how many years past," Bridenstine said during a live broadcast. "It's a drought, and then all of the sudden there's all of these activities."
Here are some of the biggest events you can expect from aerospace companies, government space agencies, and the night sky next year.
This story has been updated with new information. It was originally published on November 29, 2018.
January 1: NASA's New Horizons probe will fly by Ultima Thule, the farthest object humanity has ever tried to visit
After NASA's New Horizons spacecraft flew past Pluto in July 2015, the robot kept going. The space agency now plans to use the nuclear-powered probe to visit an icy body called Ultima Thule, or 2014 MU69. The object is in the Kuiper Belt, about 4 billion miles from Earth, and researchers think it's a peanut-shaped rock.
Overnight on December 31, 2018 — New Year's Eve — and into January 1, New Horizons will fly by, study, and photograph the mysterious object. Scientists estimate that it's perhaps 20 miles long and 12 miles wide (roughly the size of a city). New Horizon's flyby will make Ultima Thule the most distant object ever visited by humanity.
January 3: China becomes the first nation to land on the far side of the moon
China is pursuing an aggressive lunar-exploration campaign called Chang'e (the name comes from a moon goddess). It started with the moon orbiter Chang'e-1, which launched in October 2007. Two more missions after that included landers, a rover, relay satellites, and microsatellites.
January 3-4: The Quadrantids meteor shower peaks
In 2019, bright moonlight won't get in the way of obfuscating this annual meteor shower. The event starts to peak around 9 p.m. EST on January 3 and lasts through dawn the next day. The Quadrantids can produce 50 to 100 meteors per hour, according to EarthSky— but you need to find a dark night sky to see more than a meteor per minute.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
In recent years, we've seen a ballooning of activity in fintech — an expansive term applied to technology-driven disruptions in financial services. And 2018 has been no different, with fintechs' staggering influence on the market evidenced by record funding levels for the industry — by Q3 2018, overall funding was already up 82% from 2017’s total figure, according to CB Insights.
Additionally, this year marked a watershed moment for the industry, with the once clear distinction between fintechs and financial services proper now blurred significantly. Virtually every incumbent financial institution (FI) is now looking inward and engaging in an innovation drive, spurred on by competition from fintechs. As such, incumbents are now actively investing in, acquiring, and collaborating with their fintech rivals.
In this report, Business Insider Intelligence details recent developments in fintech funding and regulation that are defining the environment these startups operate in. We also examine the business model changes being employed among different categories of fintechs as they strive to embed themselves further in mainstream finance and prove sustainability. Finally, we consider which elements of the fintech industry are rapidly rubbing off on incumbent financial services providers, and what the future of fintech will look like.
The companies mentioned in this report are: Funding Circle, GreenSky, Transferwise, Ant Financial, Nubank, Cellulant, Oscar Health, Stripe, One97, UiPath, LianLian Pay, Wacai.com, Gusto, Toast, PingPong, Flywire, Deposit Solutions, Root, Robinhood, Atom, N26, Revolut, OneConnect, PolicyBazaar, WeCash, Zurich, OneDegree, Dinghy, Vouch Insurance, Laka, Cleo, Ernit, Monzo, Moneybox, Bud, Tandem, Starling, Varo Money, Square, ING, Chase, AmEx, Amazon, Monese, Betterment, Tiller Investments, West Hill Capital, Square, Ameritrade, JPMorgan, eToro, Lendy, OnDeck, Ripple, Quorom, Chain, Coinbase, Fidelity, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, Apple Pay, Bank of America, TransferGo, Klarna, Western Union, Veriff, Royal Bank of Scotland, Royal Bank of Canada, Facebook, ThreatMetrix, Relx, Entersekt, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, Gemalto, Lloyd's of London, Kingdom Trust, Aviva, Symbility LINK, eTrade, Allianz, AXA, Broadridge, TD Bank, First Republic Bank, BBVA Compass, Capital One, Silicon Valley Bank, Credit Suisse, Ally, Goldman Sachs.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:
In full, the report:
The smartphone is an essential part of our everyday lives.
But as with all technology, things change. So the question becomes: What will be the next smartphone?
Will it be the connected car? Or the smart speaker? What about the smartwatch?
Here are some of the key takeaways:
To get your copy of this FREE slide deck, simply click here.
Developer Niantic has finally given Pokémon Go players the ability to battle their fellow Pokémon trainers — a feature that's been in hot demand since the game first launched in the summer of 2016.
Starting late Wednesday evening, the update started going out to Pokémon Go players. As is usually Niantic's way, it started going out to high-level players first, but it's spreading fast. So if you don't see the option right away, just give it a little bit and try again to see if it's reached you.
It's already clear that the addition of player-versus-player (PvP) battles is slated to completely change the game. And I mean that literally: Among many other things, the trainer battle update adds the ability for your Pokémon to learn a third attack, beyond the two that they already know. The game's battle system itself is getting tweaked slightly, such that you're rewarded for tapping rhythmically to charge up certain attacks in combat.
Much of it builds on the game's new social features, which were introduced a few months ago alongside the also-much-requested Pokémon trading feature. While you can battle strangers, there are a few advantages to fighting your friends.
Here's how Pokémon Go trainer battles will work:
The first thing you gotta know is that Pokémon Go battling is sorted into leagues. When you challenge another trainer, you decide ahead of time which league's rules you'll fight under.
Different leagues have different caps on the strength of the Pokémon you can use to battle. The highest-level league, the Master League, takes off (almost) all the limits: You can use any Pokémon, at any level, including so-called Legendaries.
The one caveat are that you can't use Ditto or Shedinja, two weird cases in the larger Pokémon canon, in any kind of player-versus-player battles, including Master League.
If you want to battle another trainer, you'll use your phone's camera to scan their unique QR code. You'll only be able to battle remotely with your Ultra Friends and Best Friends, as a perk for IRL besties.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
In an increasingly digitized world, brick-and-mortar retailers are facing immense pressure to understand and accommodate their customers’ changing needs, including at the point of sale (POS).
More than two years after the EMV liability shift in October 2015, most large merchants globally have upgraded their payment systems. And beyond upgrading to meet new standards, many major retailers are adopting full-feature, “smart” devices — and supplementing them with valuable tools and services — to help them better engage customers and build loyalty.
But POS solutions aren’t “one size fits all.” Small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) don't usually have the same capabilities as larger merchants, which often have the resources and funds to adopt robust solutions or develop them in-house. That's where app marketplaces come in: POS app marketplaces are platforms, typically deployed by POS providers, where developers can host third-party business apps that offer back-office services, like accounting and inventory, and customer-retention tools, like loyalty programs and coupons.
SMBs' growing needs present a huge opportunity for POS terminal providers, software providers, and resellers. The US counts roughly 8 million SMBs, or 99.7% of all businesses. Until now, constraints such as time and budget have made it difficult for SMBs to implement value-added services that meet their unique needs. But app marketplaces enable providers to cater to SMBs with specialized solutions.
App marketplaces also alleviate some of the issues associated with the overcrowded payments space. Relatively new players that have effectively leveraged the rise of the digital economy, like mPOS firm Square, are increasingly encroaching on the payments industry, putting pricing pressure on payment hardware and service giants. This has diminished client loyalty as merchants seek out the most affordable solution, and it's resulted in lost revenue for providers. However, app marketplaces can be used as tools not only to build client loyalty, but also as a revenue booster — Verifone, for instance, charges developers 30% of net revenue for each installed app and a distribution fee for each free app.
In this report, Business Insider Intelligence looks at the drivers of POS app marketplaces and the legacy and challenger firms that are supplying them. The report also highlights the strategies these providers are employing, and the ways that they can capitalize on the emergence of this new market. Finally, it looks to the future of POS app marketplaces, and how they may evolve moving forward.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:
In full, the report:
Amazon's newest store is smaller than the average New York City apartment.
The company unveiled a small-format version of its cashier-less Go concept on Wednesday. It measures only 450 square feet, and it looks more like a giant vending machine than a small store. It sells only prepared foods, drinks, and snacks — and none of the "grocery" essentials some of the other Go stores offer.
The first one is located in Amazon's Macy's Building in Seattle, and is therefore limited to Amazon employees and their guests.
But that doesn't mean the idea will stay that way.
Amazon is looking into putting Go stores in airports, Reuters reported earlier in December citing public records. Airports, with their often small stores, could be an ideal place for a smaller format shop. Head of Amazon Go Gianna Puerini told CNN they want to put the stores in hospitals, office building lobbies, or "anywhere where there's a lot of people who are hungry and in a rush."
The smaller stores could also be key to Amazon's reported plan to open thousands of the stores in a few years, as the small versions are modular and take only weeks to set up, making them only moderately more difficult to install than a traditional automated retail device like a vending machine.
Amazon quietly pulled the plug on its latest vending machine replacement, Amazon Instant, this year.
But Amazon isn't just going small — it's also going big.
Amazon is also looking to expand the use of the technology used in Go to larger stores, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. The company recently started testing the use of the tech in a larger space in Seattle, the Journal reported.
The most obvious use case for this would be Amazon's own fleet of grocery stores, Whole Foods, which are much larger than the Amazon Go convenience stores the company has been opening in cities across the country.
While Whole Foods stores were an average of 40,000 square feet as of 2017, Amazon Go's seven stores opened so far have all been less than 2,300 square feet — more convenience store than full-scale fresh grocery.
But that could change once Amazon is able to crack the code of scaling the technology to spaces where there are more items for sale, more people shopping, and just generally more information to take in and process.
As streaming becomes an increasingly mainstream behavior among consumers, the video industry has produced new combinations of streaming video programming services to prepare for the progressive overhaul in how media is distributed.
These streaming bundles have emerged in response to the problems of media fragmentation, cord-cutting, and high consumer costs. Declining usage of traditional TV across every demographic, particularly among young viewers, has also demanded new solutions to the traditional distribution model that is pay-TV.
Although streaming media bundles are still evolving, four distinct models have emerged:
In the SVOD Bundling Report, Business Insider Intelligence examines the state of the US video ecosystem and how media companies are refining their distribution strategies to meet the changing needs of consumers. The report situates each of the four bundle model types within the overall SVOD market, and investigates the overarching advantages and challenges each faces. Finally, we predict how player dynamics might transform and adapt, outlining best practices for providers to succeed within the new TV landscape.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:
In full, the report:
Being successful in the digital age doesn’t just require knowing the latest buzzwords; it means identifying the transformational trends – and where they’re heading – before they ever heat up.
Take the Internet of Things (IoT), for example, which now receives not only daily tech news coverage with each new device launch, but also hefty investments from global organizations ushering in worldwide adoption. By 2023, consumers, companies, and governments will install more than 40 billion IoT devices globally. And it’s not just the ones you hear about all the time, like smart speakers and connected cars.
To successfully navigate this changing landscape, individuals and organizations must understand the full extent and functionality of the “Things” included in this network, the key drivers of each market segment, and how it all relates to the work they do every day.
Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has forecasted the start of the IoT’s global proliferation in The IoT Forecast Book 2018— and the next five years will be transformational for consumers, enterprises, and governments.
Want to Learn More?
People, companies, and organizations all over the world are racing to adopt the latest IoT solutions and prevent growing pains amidst a technological transformation. The IoT Forecast Book 2018 from Business Insider Intelligence is a detailed three-part slide deck outlining the most important trends impacting consumer, enterprise, and government IoT — and the key drivers propelling each segment forward.
Representing thousands of hours of exhaustive research, our multipart forecast books are considered must-reads by thousands of highly successful business professionals. These informative slide decks are packed with charts and statistics outlining the most influential trends on the leading edge of your industry. Keep them for reference or drop the most valuable data into your own presentations to share with your teams.
Whether you’re newly interested in a topic or you already consider yourself a subject matter expert, The IoT Forecast Book 2018 can provide you with the actionable insights you need to make better decisions.
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Wednesday displayed a giant photo of a starving child living through the Saudi-led war in Yemen as the Senate voted overwhelmingly to advance a resolution to end US involvement in the bloody conflict.
Last month, the Senate put forward a resolution calling on the president to pull out US troops stationed in Yemen. But the White House has indicated plans to shelve the measure when it reaches the president's desk, and has pledged continued support for Saudi Arabia.
On Wednesday, Sanders spoke on the Senate floor about the devastating impact of the war in Yemen while standing next to the harrowing image.
"Yemen is now experiencing the worst humanitarian crisis in the world," Sanders said. "According to the United Nations, Yemen is at risk of severe famine in more than 100 years, with some 14 million people facing starvation."
Sanders also singled out the Saudi-led coalition's use of American weapons in Yemen's three-year civil war, which has resulted in the death of scores of Yemeni civilians.
The Senate voted 60-39 to further the debate on the resolution. A final vote is expected for Thursday.
Those in support of the resolution say it sends a strong message to Saudi Arabia in the wake of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
"To our friends in Saudi Arabia, you are never going to have a relationship with the United States Senate unless things change. And it's up to you to figure out what that change needs to be," Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a Trump ally and strong critic of Saudi Arabia, told reporters at a Capitol Hill press conference.
Graham, along with Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) , also said there are plans to advance legislation to impose sanctions and prohibit arms to the Saudi state.
Earlier this month, Senators from across party lines announced with a "high level of confidence" that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was "complicit" in the Khashoggi's brutal killing in October. They also called for the crown prince to be "held accountable" for a number of human rights abuses, and put him at the helm of the gruesome plot to execute Khashoggi.
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A second Canadian has reportedly been detained in China and is being questioned by state security, as Beijing appears to have come good on its earlier threats of "grave consequences" for Canada after the arrest in Vancouver of Huawei's Chief Financial Officer Sabrina Meng Wanzhou on December 1.
Canada's The Globe and Mail and the Associated Press have identified the second person as the well-known Liaoning-based entrepreneur Michael Spavor.
The detention of Spavor and the International Crisis Group's senior analyst and former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig within the space of a week is certain to have Canadian authorities taking notice.
"We are aware that a Canadian citizen, Mr. Michael Spavor, is presently missing in China," Global Affairs Canada spokesperson Guillaume Berube told Canada's Global News.
Canadian officials are trying to track Spavor who reportedly sought out the Canadian government after being questioned by Chinese officials, Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Wednesday night.
Canada has since lost contact with the Dandong-based director of the Paektu Cultural Exchange. Calls from Business Insider to Paektu and to Spavor's Jilin phone number on Thursday could not get through.
He brought Rodman to Kim
"We haven’t been able to make contact with him since he let us know about this," Freeland said on Wednesday. "We are working very hard to ascertain his whereabouts and we have also raised this case with Chinese authorities."
Spavor, who runs a not-for-profit business assisting travel inside North Korea, is a relatively high-profile businessman out of Dandong, not far from the northern metropolis of Dalian, in Liaoning. He made headlines by linking up the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with former US basketball player Dennis Rodman in Pyongyang a few years back.
Here's the 'heavy price'
In the days that followed, State media came out swinging, The People's Daily warned Canada to choose between "justice and willfulness," saying that Canada must "stop violating the legal and reasonable rights of Chinese citizens and give an explanation to the Chinese people," which may "forestall paying a heavy price."
And from the Global Times, "China’s message to Canada is clear: Canada must correct its mistake and immediately stop violating her lawful rights and interests, as well as give the Chinese people a proper explanation for this disgusting and vile act made at the behest of the United States.
"Otherwise, as the Chinese side has warned, Canada will pay a heavy price."
The detention of Spavor followed hot on the heels of the reported detention of ICG's senior analyst and former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig in Beijing, Monday.
Kovrig is reportedly being questioned by the state security department in Beijing on suspicion of "engaging in activities that endanger China’s national security,"according to the Beijing News, citing an unnamed government official.
At its regular press conference, China’s foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang on Wednesday said it officially has no idea what is going on regarding Kovrig.
"The Canadian citizen you asked about, detained in Beijing?" Lu said. "I have no information here that can be provided to you. If there is such a situation, please rest assured that the relevant Chinese authorities will handle the matter according to the law."
The foreign ministry's silence is an important beat in the Chinese government's familiar hostage diplomacy or tit-for-tat diplomacy routine and does bring to mind the popular Chinese proverb — 此地无银三百兩 — one that literally means "no 300 taels of silver buried here."
It comes from the story of a man who cunningly buried his life savings and then put up a big sign saying 'no 300 bits of silver buried here.'
There is a message buried here somewhere
However, foreign ministry spokesman Lu did break with tradition in a slightly ominous note for Kovrig, suggesting on Wednesday that the ICG had not registered in China, suggesting the NGO founded by former Australian foreign minister Gareth Evans was in breach of one of China's myriad laws on foreign non-governmental agencies operating inside China.
The escalating tit-for-tat from Beijing is the latest unspoken retaliation by Beijing for the arrest of Meng. Meng faces charges in relation to allegedly violating US sanctions on Iran and that she was a central figure in misleading banks and investors regarding a second company, possibly the Huawei subsidiary Skycom that was still making sales to Iran.
Meng posted bail in Vancouver and is now with her family there, according to a post Wednesday reportedly from her WeChat account.
"I'm in Vancouver, by my family's side. I'm proud of Huawei, and proud of my home country. Thanks to everyone who has been concerned about me. Meng Wanzhou," the Wechat post read, alongside a Huawei advertisement featuring a ballerina's training scars.
Octopus Energy, a UK renewable energy company backed by £7 billion ($8.8 billion) fund Octopus Capital, is set to announce an integration with If This Then That (IFTTT) to enable customers to automatically adjust energy usage based on changes in price.
Based in San Francisco, IFTTT has raised $62.5 million in venture capital funding from investors that include the firm Andreessen Horowitz and Salesforce.
In a release on Thursday, the companies say customers can save hundreds of pounds a year as well as trim personal CO2 footprint by choosing to, for example, turn off heating during peak price times, control their energy usage remotely, or charge electric vehicles more cheaply.
Octopus supplies renewable energy to about 400,000 UK homes — one notable customer is the Premier League soccer club Arsenal.
Renewables’ share of electricity generation in the UK jumped to a record quarterly high of 30.1% in the first three months of the year, compared to 27% at the same time last year, according to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
IFTTT was founded in 2010 and officially launched its service in 2011.
This allows users to automatically turn smart devices or appliances on or off when the price of energy changes or when the price of energy will be below a certain level for a prolonged period of time. Actions can also be triggered when consumption in a day, week or month exceeds a nominated value.
Customers can create "Applets" that connect input "Triggers" to output "Actions." Consumption can be altered based on energy price change, energy price threshold change over a duration and total consumption over a certain period of time.
Users can automatically turn smart devices or appliances on or off when the price of energy changes or energy prices are set to be below a certain level for a period of time. Actions can also be triggered when consumption in a day, week or month exceeds a nominated value.
“This kind of technology advance is crucial to adopting the smart grid needed for a renewable future," said Greg Jackson, CEO Octopus Energy.
Washington and Beijing have placed tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of each other's products, leading certain imports to an expected slowdown on each side. But even as China loses share in markets targeted by tariffs, its trade surplus with the US has remained at record highs.
US import growth of Chinese products included in the first round of tariffs dropped from 8.6% to -22.1% year-over-year in October, for example, according to UBS economist Li Zeng. While growth has held up relatively better for imports targeted in later tranches, it has still declined.
Likewise, American businesses have warned they could lose market share in China's market. Farmers, for example, have lost out to other countries in the face of retaliatory duties on agriculture products.
But the US has imported other products from China at an accelerated pace in recent months. The goods trade deficit with Beijing hit an all-time high of $43.1 billion in November, with Chinese shipments to the US up by nearly a tenth from a year earlier.
"The Trump administration is learning you can't tariff your way out of a trade deficit," said Adam Ozimek, an economist at Moody's. "So, if you decrease some imports with tariffs it will be made up by greater imports in other goods and services or fewer exports. There are no surprises here."
Trade balances are determined by an assortment of factors, including foreign exchange rates, the strength of an economy, and how much a country borrows from abroad. There are countries with low tariff rates and significant trade surpluses, Ozimek noted.
The decline in imports subject to tariffs could also be due to a slowdown in frontloading, or companies rushing orders to avoid duties. There had been an added level of uncertainty when the first round of tariffs was levied because Americans weren't sure if Trump would follow through, said Mary Lovely, a professor at Syracuse University and expert on trade at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
"Americans were on notice for later rounds of tariffs, though, and they did increase imports ahead of the tariff," she said. "This anticipation effect can be seen in the UBS charts. Recent declines in imports may reflect a letdown after this anticipatory stock up."
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.
Over the past five years, the world has seen a seemingly unending series of high-profile data breaches, defined as incidents in which unauthorized parties access and retrieve sensitive, secure, or private data.
Major incidents, like the 2013 Yahoo breach, which impacted all 3 million of the tech giant’s customers, and the more recent Equifax breach, which exposed the information of at least 143 million US adults, has kept this risk, and these threats, at the forefront for both businesses and consumers. And businesses have good reason to be concerned — of organizations breached, 22% lost customers, 29% lost revenue, and 23% lost business opportunities.
This threat isn’t going anywhere. Each of the past five years has seen, on average, 1,704 security incidents, impacting nearly 2 billion records. And hackers could be getting more efficient, using new technological tools to extract more data in fewer breach attempts. That’s making the security threat an industry-agnostic for any business holding sensitive data — at this point, virtually all companies — and therefore a necessity for firms to address proactively and prepare to react to.
The majority of breaches come from the outside, when a malicious actor is usually seeking access to records for financial gain, and tend to leverage malware or other software and hardware-related tools to access records. But they can come internally, as well as from accidents perpetrated by employees, like lost or stolen records or devices.
That means that firms need to have a broad-ranging plan in place, focusing on preventing breaches, detecting them quickly, and resolving and responding to them in the best possible way. That involves understanding protectable assets, ensuring compliance, and training employees, but also protecting data, investing in software to understand what normal and abnormal performance looks like, training employees, and building a response plan to mitigate as much damage as possible when the inevitable does occur.
Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has put together a detailed report on the data breach threat, who and what companies need to protect themselves from, and how they can most effectively do so from a technological and organizational perspective.
Here are some key takeaways from the report:
In full, the report:
Juventus forward Paolo Dybala may have had a few choice words for Cristiano Ronaldo on Wednesday after his 25-yard screamer was ruled out because his superstar teammate interfered from an offside position.
Juventus were 2-1 down against Swiss side BSC Young Boys in their final Champions League group game.
Though the Italian club's progression to the playoffs was already secured, a defeat at the hands of the Swiss club would have been an upset, to say the least.
In the second minute of injury time, the ball fell to mercurial striker Dybala who lazered the ball from outside the box into the top-left corner.
As Dybala wheeled away in celebration, the referee blew his whistle and the goal was ruled out, much to the forward's disbelief.
Slow-mo replay footage revealed that Ronaldo — standing in an offside position — had attempted to flick the ball on with his head.
You can watch the footage of the goal that should have been below:
Though Ronaldo doesn't seem to get a touch on the ball, the FA says that offside can be ruled if a player is "clearly attempting to play a ball which is close when this action impacts on an opponent or making an obvious action which clearly impacts on the ability of an opponent to play the ball."
People on twitter were quick to admonish Ronaldo for his actions, which denied his teammate a superb, equalizing goal.
Ronaldo deprived Dybala of what could have been the GOAL OF THE SEASON! pic.twitter.com/EoVYWiHzhM— ASG (@ahadfoooty) December 12, 2018
Always said Ronaldo is NOT and will NEVER be a team player— ＹＡＺＺ (@Yazz_Official) December 13, 2018
Why's everyone so surprised he ruined a world class strike from Dybala to grab the headlines AGAIN
Only One ... LIONEL MESSI #ronaldo#Juventus#YoungBoys#ChampionsLeague
Dybala scores an absolute screamer and Ronaldo jumps whilst offside to try and get a nick on it #egomaniac— ⚽️442oons⚽️ (@442oons) December 12, 2018
Disallowed for offside 😆
Dybala can take solace from the fact that Juventus' only goal of the match also came from him, which was a fine strike taken on the half-volley from outside the box.
Juventus still finished top of their group, despite last night's shock defeat, after Manchester United were bested by Valencia CF.
Juventus and the rest of the teams to progress to the first Champions League knockout round will find out their next opponents on Monday, December 17.
Editor's note: Business Insider has a publication agreement with ProPublica.
Republican Gov. Matt Bevin of Kentucky on Wednesday went on a tear after The Courier Journal, the state's largest newspaper, announced it had partnered with the Pulitzer Prize-winning nonprofit news group ProPublica for a year-long investigation of a "government program" in Kentucky.
"The Courier-Journal ... have announced with breathless excitement that they are partnering with an organization called ProPublica," Bevin said in a video. "This is the same Courier-Journal ... while it's dying, continues to maintain that they are unbiased, that they are good journalists, and that they are interested in transparency and holding government, among other people, accountable."
Bevin accused The Journal of a left-leaning bias and discredited ProPublica by making comments that have been associated with conspiracy theories and acts of violence against media organizations. Bevin particularly took issue with ProPublica having been financed by billionaire investor George Soros, a popular target for anti-Semitic and right-wing groups.
"Now the Courier Journal has just straight up said, 'We don't even care about being objective. We're willing, for a price, because we'll sell our soul, we'll be a sock-puppet for the ProPublica organization, for George Soros ... for all these other people who hate America, and undermine day in and day out the values that we in Kentucky actually hold dear, that America was founded upon."
In his tirade against The Journal, Bevin described Soros as "George I-hate-America Soros" and encouraged "everybody to just disregard the nonsense that comes out of this biased, left-wing organization."
ProPublica disclosed that the George Soros' Open Society Foundations "fund less than 2%" of its operations in an article published in August. The article also acknowledged its ties to Soros could be viewed as controversial but maintained that its journalistic integrity was not compromised.
"Those who bring to light uncomfortable truths are dismissed as 'fake news' or, in our case, the work of the 'Soros-funded' ProPublica, the all-purpose, vaguely anti-Semitic epithet meant to connote left-wing bias," editor-in-chief Stephen Engelberg wrote.
It was unclear what exactly prompted the governor's remarks against The Journal and ProPublica, aside from his accusations of bias and his suspicion against its financiers. However, The Journal has published numerous investigations of Bevin as recently September, including one in which he allowed a 134% salary increase — or $215,000 — to an Army friend and business associate who worked as the state's chief information officer for 10 months.
Bevin also expressed some concern for The Journal's upcoming investigation "of some organization within Kentucky."
"Now they're not going to be transparent about what that is," Bevin said. "They're not going to be transparent about their partner."
The Journal notes in its partnership announcement that the project was launched as part of an initiative to "help strengthen coverage of state government at a time when many news organizations are cutting back because of economic conditions."
In a light-hearted tweet, ProPublica responded to Bevin's video and said The Journal's "reporting project is [very] promising," and that it would not disclose any further details "[because] we believe in gathering facts first."
"You called us a 'biased, left-wing organization,'" ProPublica tweeted. "Actually, we believe in evidence. Hard, indisputable evidence. Carefully gathered and precisely told. Perhaps that's why our peers have given us 4 Pulitzers, 3 Peabodys, 2 Emmys, 6 Polks, a duPont and a National Magazine Award."
The Journal, which published its first edition in 1868, celebrated its 150th anniversary in November. The newspaper has won 10 Pulitzer Prizes that have ranged from the public service category to international reporting.
Weeks of protests by yellow vests in France have touched a nerve of discontent — among the people, investors, and French politicians.
The damage to the economy is apparent, and more is still to come. What started out as a fuel tax protest by rural communities soon escalated, morphing into a row over the country's future. The yellow vest protests are expected to halve the country's GDP growth by 0.2% from 0.4% in the fourth quarter.
Macron has offered concessions to quell the protests, promising to raise the minimum wage by 100 euros ($114) a month while saying overtime will not be taxed or subject to social welfare charges. The costs will be hefty. Reuters reported that the country might breach the European Union’s budget deficit ceiling next year without new spending cuts. Macron faces a no-confidence vote Thursday (right after UK Prime Minister Theresa May fended off her own challenge Wednesday).
France is required to reduce its 2019 structural deficit by 0.6% of gross domestic product.
France’s 10-year borrowing costs rose to their highest level over Germany’s in 1-1/2 years Tuesday. The country's credit default swap prices spiked more than 23% Wednesday after Macron's political climbdown.
Retailers have lost an estimated €1 billion in revenue since the protests erupted, while shares in tourism-related shares saw their worst week in months. Upmarket department store Printemps said it suffered a 25% to 30% slump in sales over the past four weeks, directly influenced by the yellow vest protests. RBC Capital Markets says French luxury brands are among the most exposed stock sectors in light of the disruption.
Heightened political risk in France will also be on the agenda when European Central Bank President Mario Draghi outlines euro area growth and inflation projections Thursday.
France isn't immune from the US-China spat over global trade, either.
“The trade war that we are seeing will have an important and negative impact on global growth in the coming months,” French interior minister Bruno Le Maire said, according to Reuters.
Children and parents were left horrified last Sunday when an angry Santa Claus ripped off his hat and beard and told crowds to "get the f--- out" of his grotto.
According to reports, a fire alarm went off at the Corn Exchange grotto in St Ives, Cambridgeshire, England, and the Santa on shift started acting strangely.
The alarm was apparently triggered by a smoke machine in the same building where Santa and his "chief snowman" were available to meet guests.
Festival Events St Ives (FESt), the organisers of the event, have since apologised on Facebook, saying that the raging Santa was only trying to get everyone out quickly and safely.
"Santa was upstairs in his grotto, an event organised by Festival Events St Ives (a voluntary organisation) and immediately assisted in the evacuation of the building,"the post reads.
"FESt wish to apologise for any offence or distress caused to parents and children by the attempts to ensure all visitors and staff had exited the building and were safe."
The Santa's behaviour meant parents had to try and explain what was wrong with him to their children.
One mother told Cambridgeshire Live that Santa used "vile language" and had steam "literally coming from his ears."
Another told her children he wasn't the real Santa, and instead was "an imposter and will be going on the naughty list."
According to the Guardian, DJ Stuart Wilkin observed what happened.
"I do think though the reason Santa was raging was because they booked a kids' rave on the same day as kids going to see Santa upstairs above the event," he said. "He probably sat there trying to talk to kids with thumping music playing and was p----d-off. The fire alarm going off was probably the final straw for him."
Research has shown how people working in retail may mentally suffer when they have to listen to Christmas music constantly over the festive period. Maybe by two weeks before Christmas, this Santa had simply had enough.