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    migraine

    • When a migraine hits, you need to act quick.
    • Migraines affect over 38 million Americans.
    • There are several types of treatments including over-the-counter pain relievers, prescription medications, and lifestyle modifications.

    If you suffer from migraines, you know all too well how important it is to treat these painful headaches aggressively, especially since they can really disrupt your quality of life. With so many options for treatment, it can be difficult to choose the right one for you. That's why INSIDER asked several doctors to weigh in on how to treat different types of migraines, and here's what they had to say.

    What is a migraine?

    Before we do a deep dive into the different types of treatments, let's go over the basics about migraines. Dr. Evan Schloss, MD, neurologist, neuro-ophthalmologist, CareMount Medical, told INSIDER that a migraine typically has two parts: the headache, and the aura (if any).

    "A migraine headache is usually a one-sided, severe, throbbing headache, and the headache is often associated with sensitivity to light, sensitivity to sound, and nausea," he explained. "Most people just have the headache, however, in some people, the headache is preceded by an aura, which is often a visual disturbance which can look like a gradually expanding colorful shape in your vision, with a border that often looks like a zig-zag and has a shimmering quality to it," he added. But some people just have the aura, and no headache.

    Adding to the complexity of these headaches, are the different types of migraines. "There are several well-characterized sub-types of migraine including migraine with brainstem aura, hemiplegic migraine, retinal migraine, vestibular migraine, menstrual migraine, and chronic migraine," Dr. Cara Pensabene, MD, EHE told INSIDER.



    Over-the-counter pain relievers are an option.

    There are several categories of migraine treatments. Schloss said that the most common is symptomatic treatment, which most people are familiar with. "You get a headache, and you take an over the counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen (NSAID) or acetaminophen," he said.

    Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medications such as naproxen or ibuprofen can be helpful in treating migraines. Dr. Robert Carson, MD, Ph.D. assistant professor of neurology at Vanderbilt and advisor toRemedy Review told INSIDER these are most helpful when taken as soon as a migraine is noted, so for those with an aura, as soon as the aura is detected, then you should take something.

    While caffeine can trigger migraines, Carson said that some individuals respond well to a combination of NSAIDs with caffeine. "Please note that taking NSAIDs more than two to three times per week for treatment of migraines can lead to chronic daily headaches, a notoriously difficult type of headache to treat which is best avoided," he warned. "If you are taking something two to three times per week, you might strongly think about more lifestyle changes or a prophylactic treatment of some type," he added.  



    Prescription medicine can be prescribed for preventative measures.

    If OTC products don't work, you might want to consider preventative prescription medicines. "Preventive treatment refers to prescription medicines you can take on a regular (usually daily) basis to prevent headaches in the future," explained Pensabene.Dr. Janette Nesheiwat, medical director at CityMD told INSIDER that prescription medications such as "triptans" and nausea medications are two types of medications doctors will use to treat the symptoms of migraines.

    Schloss also said that recently, a new type of migraine medication was approved by the FDA, called CGRP inhibitors. "These are powerful new medications which are capable of providing headache relief for patients with chronic migraine for which no medication has been successful, including Aimovig, Ajovy, and Emgality," he added.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    austin perine

    • Random acts of kindness remind us that the world is a good place after all.
    • This year was an especially good one for RAKs: Christmas was celebrated early by a town in Ohio for a terminally ill little boy, and strangers around the world got flowers on October 24. 

    Random acts of kindness tend to restore people's faith in humanity.

    This year was an especially good one for RAKs: Christmas was celebrated early by a neighborhood in Ohio for a terminally ill little boy, and strangers around the US received flowers on October 24 in honor of the "Petal It Forward" initiative. 

    From the simple act of footing a stranger's restaurant bill to a 4-year-old devoted to feeding the homeless, these 13 moments are sure to warm your heart. 

    Keep scrolling for more random acts of kindness. 

    A grocery store clerk let a boy with autism help him stock the fridge — and their compatibility went viral, inspiring people to help them both.

    Twenty-year-old grocery store clerk Jordan Taylor was restocking a refrigerator when he noticed that 17-year-old Jack Ryan Edwards was watching him, interested. Edwards has autism, and after a brief chat Taylor asked Edwards if he wanted to help him, and the two began stocking orange juice together. 

    The moment was captured on video by Edwards' sister, Delaney Edwards Alwosaibi, and she shared the heartwarming story on Facebook. In her post, she wrote: "We all know autism makes going out difficult and sometimes grocery stores can be a challenge. This young man (Taylor) took the time to slow down and allow Jack Ryan to help over 30 minutes, guiding him as he finished his task."

    "He could have ignored him. He could have made an excuse and said he couldn't allow him to help. Instead, he let him have his moment and in turn gave my family a moment we will never forget." 

    In return, Edwards Alwosaibi set up a GoFundMe page for Taylor to help pay for his college education. The campaign surpassed $50,000 within the first 24 hours. The grocery store also offered Edwards a job, and he accepted. 



    A college student in Birmingham walked 20 miles to get to his first day of work, so his boss decided to give him his car.

    Walter Carr, a college student from Birmingham, Alabama, was excited for his first day of work, until his car broke down the night before. With no other mode of transportation, Carr decided to walk from Homewood to Pelham overnight, in the dark. The trip was about 20 miles long. 

    Carr made it to Pelham at about 4 a.m., when four Pelham police officers found him, and provided him with food and shelter until morning. When they posted about him online, Carr quickly gained support and admiration from the internet — Luke Marklin, CEO of Carr's new workplace, saw the buzz, and asked Carr to meet "for coffee." Instead of coffee he announced that he was donating his own, barely-driven 2014 Ford Escape to Carr



    A 4-year-old boy in Alabama asked his parents to use his toy money to buy food for the homeless instead.

    Birmingham, Alabama native (and 4-year-old) Austin Perine didn't understand what "homeless" meant when his dad, TJ, tried to explain it to him. After the two visited a homeless shelter, Perine asked if they could help the people inside get something to eat. 

    The two headed to a nearby Burger King, and Perine told his dad that he could use his weekly "toy money" to buy an order of chicken sandwiches. And TJ did, thus beginning Perine's activism.

    Word of Perine's good will spread, and, according to CNN, Burger King soon gifted him a $1,000 monthly allowance so he could continue to feed people in the shelter. 

    Perine now dons a red superhero cape on his weekly visits — or, as he likes to call them, "missions"— to the homeless shelter, and continues to feed, inspire, and "show love."



    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.

    best flower delivery service

    • A bouquet of freshly cut flowers is the perfect gift for your loved ones on Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, a birthday, or any day of celebration.
    • We've tested several online flower delivery services over the years to find the best ones. 
    • The Bouqs Co. is our top pick with its farm-fresh flowers that are sustainably harvested and beautifully packaged.

    Nothing says, "I love you!" or "Happy Birthday!" quite like a bunch of flowers. Whether it's Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, the holidays, or some other special occasion, freshly cut flowers are always a hit. They're also a wonderful way to express condolences in times of sorrow.

    If you don't have the time or inclination to head over to your local florist and order a bouquet, you're in luck — online flower delivery services are positively booming.

    We've researched and tested several online flower delivery services to find the best ones for different people's needs. All of our top picks offer same-day or next-day delivery on select flower arrangements and all of them are guaranteed to deliver perfect flowers every time.

    If you want farm-fresh flowers that are sustainably harvested from well-regarded farms, The Bouqs Co. is our absolute favorite. However, if you want extras like teddy bears and chocolates, 1-800-Flowers and Florists' Transworld Delivery have the best options. These two more traditional flower delivery services also offer same-day delivery — even on holidays.

    We highly recommend ordering flower arrangements well in advance of any holidays like Valentine's Day or Mother's Day, because you will end up with slim pickings if you wait until the last minute. You might also want to grab some chocolate while you're at it.

    Here are the best online flower delivery services:

    Updated on 12/14/2018 by Malarie Gokey: Added UrbanStems, a note about holiday gift guides, and our guide to the best chocolate you can buy to go with these flowers.

    Read on in the slides below to learn all about our top picks. Still shopping for gifts? Check out all of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides for 2018.


    The best online flower delivery service overall

    Why you'll love it: Bouqs partners with eco-friendly farmers to ensure that every bouquet is made up of the best freshly cut flowers.

    If you care about sustainable farming practices, you'll love The Bouqs Co. This florist partners with eco-friendly farmers around the world to bring only the best flowers to your door. We've sent many bouquets from The Bouqs Co to friends and family, and they have always been perfect.

    If you order a Farm to Table bouquet, you can rest assured that the flowers were cut on the day you placed the order. The bouquets are also shipped directly from the farm instead of being re-routed to a middleman. You can even see a picture of the farmer, a map showing where the flowers are from, and a video of the farm. Bouqs also promises that it only cuts the flowers it sells, so there aren't any cut blooms going to waste.

    In addition to supporting small farms, Bouqs also works with talented local florists to make the Hand Crafted bouquets. These bouquets can even be delivered on the same day, with some blooms arriving just two hours after your order is placed. Of course, on busy holidays like Mother's Day and Valentine's Day, these bouquets may be sold out or impossible to get.

    As with any flower delivery service, the more you plan ahead, the more likely your shipment will arrive on your loved one's doorstep on time. Bouqs makes it easy to see the earliest available ship date for its bouquets, too, so it's easier to figure out which bouquet will suit your timeframe.

    If it's your first order, you can get 10% off when you sign in using your email address. 

    Pros: Eco-friendly farmers, same-day delivery on some bouquets, local florists make many of the bouquets, gorgeous flowers, lots of options

    Cons: Some bouquets sell out on holidays

    Shop bouquets from The Bouqs Co. for $40 and up 



    The best online flower delivery service for last-minute shoppers

    Why you'll love it: You don't have to call 1-800-Flowers anymore to get gorgeous bouquets delivered to your loved ones on the same day you ordered them.

    1-800-FLOWERS may sound like a retro throwback, but the venerable flower delivery service is still transporting beautiful flower arrangements to loved ones around the country. The 40-year-old company is family owned and takes pride in delivering beautiful bouquets.

    Because it's a larger company, 1-800-Flowers has hundreds of different flower arrangements and you can also get bouquets along with teddy bears or chocolates, among other things. The flowers themselves are beautiful, of course, and you have tons of options.

    If you want farm fresh flowers, there's a special selection of bouquets to suit your needs. 1-800-Flowers is also offering a lot of classic roses and succulents. Some arrangements offer same-day delivery, but your choices may be limited.

    If you're aiming to send flowers for a special holiday like Mother's Day or Valentine's Day, it's best to order ahead. You can order online or in the company's mobile app.

    Pros: Same-day delivery on some arrangements, many choices, mobile app

    Cons: Some may sell out, not as eco-friendly as some options

    Shop bouquets at 1-800-Flowers for $30 and up



    The best classic online flower delivery service

    Why you'll love it: Florists' Transworld Delivery sends beautiful flowers anywhere in the US with same-day delivery.

    Florists' Transworld Delivery (FTD) has been delivering flowers since 1910, so the company really knows what it's doing. FTD has many different beautiful flower arrangements available, but you can also get succulents, chocolates, and other gifts delivered.

    The bouquets are handmade and the flowers are carefully selected at farms before they arrive at the FTD florist's shop. Most of the arrangements come in nice vases, and you can choose how full you want the bouquet to look.

    There's even a helpful section for bouquets that cost $50 or less, and you can choose from a selection of potted plants if you prefer to send a living plant instead of freshly cut blooms.

    FTD offers same-day delivery of some arrangements and others come from FedEx or UPS. Of course, on big shopping days like Mother's Day and Valentine's Day, it's best to order early so you get the best blooms and service.

    Although we haven't tried FTD's flower delivery yet, expert reviewers from Consumer Reports and Reviews.com rate the service highly.

    Pros: Long history of quality, lots of flower arrangement options, same-day delivery

    Cons: Some may sell out, not as eco-friendly as others

    Shop bouquets from FTD for $27 and up



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    tesla model s

    • Tesla has lowered the price of its Model S sedan and Model X SUV in China after the country temporarily lowered some tariffs on cars imported from the US, CNBC reports.
    • Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
    • The Chinese government will temporarily remove 25% tariffs on 144 US vehicle and auto parts and 5% tariffs on 67 auto-related items between January 1 and March 31, Reuters reports.
    • China has also reportedly decided to lower tariffs on some cars and auto parts from 40% to 15%.

    Tesla has lowered the price of its Model S sedan and Model X SUV in China after the country temporarily lowered some tariffs on cars imported from the US, CNBC reports.

    Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Read more: Tesla employees were reportedly told not to walk past Elon Musk's desk because of his wild firing rampages

    For Chinese customers, the Model S starts at around $107,000, while the Model X starts at around $115,000, according to Tesla's Chinese website. For US customers, the Model S starts at $78,000 and the Model X starts at $84,000.

    The Chinese government will temporarily remove 25% tariffs on 144 US vehicle and auto parts and 5% tariffs on 67 auto-related items between January 1 and March 31, Reuters reports. China has also reportedly decided to lower tariffs on some cars and auto parts from 40% to 15%.

    Have a Tesla news tip? Contact this reporter at mmatousek@businessinsider.com.

    SEE ALSO: A quirky French SUV you’ve probably never heard of has a dashboard strikingly similar to the one in Tesla's Model 3 — take a look

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This spray paint lights up at the flip of a switch, but it's not glow-in-the-dark


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    Johnson & Johnson

    • Johnson & Johnson plunged by more than 9% on Friday after Reuters reported the company had known "for decades" that some of its baby powder contained traces of asbestos.
    • The selling has wiped out $38 billion of market cap.
    • JPMorgan, however, says the selling is overdone.
    • Watch Johnson & Johnson trade live.

    Johnson and Johnson shares were down more than 9% on Friday after a Reuters report said the company had known "for decades" that some of its baby powder had contained traces of asbestos, but at least one Wall Street firm says the weakness is overdone. 

    "We note that all issues reported were previously disclosed as part of talc litigation discovery," a team of JPMorgan analysts led by Chris Schott wrote in a note to clients out Friday.

    "As we think about the risk to JNJ here, on one hand, we believe it is highly unlikely the company's exposure to this talc issue will even come close to the ~$40bn in lost market cap today (for context, the largest historic drug liability ~$21bn for fen-phen). Along those lines, we see today's move as an over-reaction, especially from a longer-term perspective."

    JPMorgan notes that this story isn't likely to go away anytime soon and that shares could trade at lower multiples for an "extended period of time."

    Johnson & Johnson issued a statement Friday afternoon in response to the report, saying that the article was false and that its baby powder is "safe and asbestos-free."

    Shares were down about 5% this year, including Friday's sell-off

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Drinking too much water could be surprisingly hazardous to your health


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    woman laptop

    • You're never too young to begin investing, and you don't have to be rich to open your first investment account.
    • Don't let your emotions rule your investment decisions. When the market turns down, smart investors wait it out.
    • Understand your investment goals. That will help you decide where to put your money.
    • Angela Moore, a certified financial planner (CFP), has some advice to get you started.

     

    Angela Moore's first job after college was as a finance director for a car dealership. She spent all day looking at other people's credit and, she said, "I quickly realized that there was a huge financial literacy problem in the community."

    Moore decided to go back to school so she could help people close this gap. She is now a CFP and a certified financial education instructor with her own firm.

    Whether you have a little money saved up or you just got a windfall, Moore thinks "everybody should look at opening some type of investment account." She noted that most bank accounts pay interest rates that don't keep up with inflation, so your savings lose value over time.

    Your investment account can be an IRA, 401k, or any brokerage account that hold funds made up of stocks, bonds, and other investments. Here are six things to think about before you open your first investment account.

    SEE ALSO: How to easily find a savings account that will earn you more money

    Create a rainy day fund first.

    "You don't want to take all your cash and put it in investments and then not have any cash in case of an emergency," Moore said. That could force you to withdraw money from your investment account when the market is down.

    Instead, set aside between three and 12 months of living expenses in an emergency fund, Moore suggested, noting that "the amount that you need depends on the stability of your income." Freelancers need a bigger cushion than someone with secure employment. Plan on having at least a couple months of emergency savings before you begin investing.



    Understand the costs associated with investing.

    There are two primary types of costs associated with investment accounts, according to Moore: management fees, charged by your investment manager, and fees charged by the funds you invest in.  

    Total fees are usually in the range of 1% to 2%. If you start investing at a young age, Moore said, those fees will "add up over time."

    Don't let this discourage you from investing – just understand the costs associated with your accounts and look for low-cost alternatives.



    Get investment help from a robot.

    Moore has a suggestion that can save you some management fees: "There's a lot of robo-advisors where there's a very little fee or no fee at all." A robo-advisor is AI that asks you a set of questions about your goals and your tolerance for risk then uses an algorithm to recommend investments.

    "For the average investor who's just getting started, a robo-advisor is great," Moore said. "I'm a financial advisor with a master's degree, and I use robo-advisors for myself."

    She noted that accounts associated with robo-advisors often have lower minimums than accounts managed by humans. Some have no minimums, so you can start building your portfolio with a small monthly investment.

    Nerdwallet has a list of the top robo-advisors for 2018.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    female doctor

    • According to the American Cancer Society, most cancers are commonly diagnosed in older adults.
    • Cases of Hodgkin lymphoma are more commonly diagnosed during early adulthood when someone is in their 20s.
    • Testicular cancer is most commonly diagnosed in young adults.
    • Prostate cancer is more likely to be diagnosed in someone who is 50 or older. 

    According to the American Cancer Society,most cancers are commonly diagnosed in older adults. However, a wide variety of cancers can occur in people of any age. And age isn't the only risk factor to keep in mind — differences in hormones, genetics, environmental conditions, and lifestyles can lead to varied risks of developing certain cancers over the course of a lifetime.

    Here are the common ages of diagnosis for 10 types of cancers. 

    Hodgkin lymphoma is most commonly diagnosed during early adulthood.

    Lymphomas are a group of cancers that affect the lymph nodes, which aresmall glands that act as filters for your immune system, trapping viruses and bacteria before they can spread around your body.

    Cases of Hodgkin lymphoma are more commonly diagnosed during early adulthood when someone is in their 20s, according to the American Cancer Society. But the risk of developing this type of lymphoma increases again at age 55, making the average age of diagnosis approximately 39 years old.

    Read More: 10 signs of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma



    Breast cancer is rarely diagnosed before age 30.

    According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is more commonly diagnosed in individuals who are older than 30. Although it's possible,it's somewhat rare to develop this type of cancer before that age. 

    The chances of being diagnosed with breast cancer increases with age, but according to the National Cancer Institute, family history, breast density, and alcohol consumption are some of many factors that can increase one's risk of developing breast cancer, regardless of age. 

    Read More: 10 subtle signs of breast cancer



    Testicular cancer is more commonly diagnosed in young adults, with the average age of diagnosis being 33.

    The average age of someone being diagnosed with testicular cancer is 33, according to the American Cancer Society. It's a very rare type of cancer, accounting for just 1% of all cancers that occur in people with testicles, according to the National Health Service.

    Although it's an uncommon cancer overall, it's the most common type of cancer to affect men between the ages of 15 and 49.

    Testicular cancer can affect one or both testicles and it commonly presents itself as a hard or painful lump that can be felt in the scrotum. Fortunately, Cancer Council reports the five-year survival rate for testicular cancer can be as high as 99%, depending on the time of diagnosis and whether or not it has spread. 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Insurtech 2.0

    Tech-driven disruption in the insurance industry continues at pace, and we're now entering a new phase — the adaptation of underlying business models. 

    That's leading to ongoing changes in the distribution segment of the industry, but more excitingly, we are starting to see movement in the fundamentals of insurance — policy creation, underwriting, and claims management. 

    This report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, will briefly review major changes in the insurtech segment over the past year. It will then examine how startups and legacy players across the insurance value chain are using technology to develop new business models that cut costs or boost revenue, and, in some cases, both. Additionally, we will provide our take on the future of insurance as insurtech continues to proliferate. 

    Here are some of the key takeaways:

    • Funding is flowing into startups and helping them scale, while legacy players have moved beyond initial experiments and are starting to implement new technology throughout their businesses. 
    • Distribution, the area of the insurance value chain that was first to be disrupted, continues to evolve. 
    • The fundamentals of insurance — policy creation, underwriting, and claims management — are starting to experience true disruption, while innovation in reinsurance has also continued at pace.
    • Insurtechs are using new business models that are enabled by a variety of technologies. In particular, they're using automation, data analytics, connected devices, and machine learning to build holistic policies for consumers that can be switched on and off on-demand.
    • Legacy insurers, as opposed to brokers, now have the most to lose — but those that move swiftly still have time to ensure they stay in the game.

     In full, the report:

    • Reviews major changes in the insurtech segment over the past year.
    • Examines how startups and legacy players across distribution, insurance, and reinsurance are using technology to develop new business models.
    • Provides our view on what the future of the insurance industry looks like, which Business Insider Intelligence calls Insurtech 2.0.

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

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

    Purchase & download the full report from our research store

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider and The Points Guy Affiliate Network receive a commission from card issuers if you apply through these links and are approved.

    december best credit cards 4x3

    • The fastest way to earn credit card rewards and frequent flyer miles is to open a new card and get the new membership bonus.
    • For the last month of 2018, there's an excellent slate of both consumer and small business cards offering excellent, but limited-time, offers — there's even a huge new sign-up bonus on a United Airlines credit card, perfect for those looking to score an award flight on United or its partners.
    • We've also included a few of our favorite ongoing offers.
    • You can use the points from these cards to fly or stay in hotels for virtually free, or for upgrades, cash back, gift cards, and more.
    • Read on for the best offers of December 2018.

    It's easy to earn frequent flyer miles and rewards points from everyday credit card spending.

    To step up your rewards and get serious points, though, the best thing to do is open a new card and earn the bonus offered to new members.

    Credit card issuers offer huge bonuses to attract customers, and while each card may have different eligibility requirements, in most cases you can get the bonus as long as you haven't had that card before — or, in some cases, as long as you haven't had it in the past few years.

    Over the course of 2018 we've seen some incredible offers on new cards, refreshed products, and old standbys — and right now, some of the best offers we've seen are available as we get ready to close out the year.

    Even after you earn the bonus, it's easy to keep the rewards and benefits coming. All you need to do is use a card for your normal spending — and pay it off in full each month — and you'll earn tons of bonus points in categories like grocery stores, dining, and travel.

    You can read more about earning new card member bonuses and how that will affect your credit score here, or scroll down to find some of the best offers available this month.

    Keep in mind that we're focusing on the rewards and perks that make these cards great options, not things like interest rates and late fees, which can far outweigh the value of any rewards.

    When you're working to earn credit card rewards, it's important to practice financial discipline, like paying your balances off in full each month, making payments on time, and not spending more than you can afford to pay back. Basically, treat your credit card like a debit card.

    1. United Explorer Card

    Sign-up bonus: Up to 65,000 United miles (40,000 after spending $2,000 in the first three months, and an additional 25,000 miles after spending a total of $10,000 in the first six months). For a limited time only.

    Earlier this year, United and Chase re-launched their co-branded credit card, slightly changing the name, but more importantly, tweaking the benefits and improving how the card earns points. Previously, the card earned 2x miles on every dollar spent with United Airlines and 1x dollar on everything else. Now, the card also earns 2x points at restaurants and hotels. 

    This sign-up bonus is one of the best public offers we've ever seen on this card, but it's only available until January 8, 2019.

    The card offers a free checked bag when you use your card to purchase your tickets, priority boarding as long as you have the open card attached to your MileagePlus account, 25% off in-flight purchases, and a fee credit to cover your application to Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.

    The United Explorer also has two benefits that are unique among US airline credit cards in the same class. First, you'll get two complimentary United Club lounge passes each year. In the lounges, you can enjoy comfortable seating, Wi-Fi, free food and drinks, and more before your flight. Normally, one-time entry to a United Club would cost $59 if you didn't have a membership.

    Second, although this is an unpublished benefit, United cardholders also get access to more saver award space than other United members — that makes it easier to find good flights when it's time to use your miles..

    The card has a $95 annual fee, which is waived the first year.

    Click here to learn more about the United Explorer Card from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.

    2. American Express® Gold Card

    amex rose gold new york 12

    Welcome offer: 25,000 Membership Rewards points (after spending $2,000 in the first three months). Until January 9: Get up 20% back at US restaurants within the first three months, up to $100 total.

    Last month, American Express launched a massive reboot of its Premier Rewards Gold card, rebranding it as the American Express Gold Card, releasing a new metal design and limited-edition rose gold version, and totally overhauling the rewards and benefits on the card. Because that wasn't quite enough, AmEx also introduced a fairly unique new welcome bonus.

    The new Gold Card earns 4x points at US restaurants and on up to $25,000 per year at US supermarkets (and 1x after that), 3x points on flights booked directly with the airline, and 1x point on everything else.

    Based on the fact that you can easily redeem Membership Rewards points for more than 1¢ of value each, that makes this the highest-earning card for everything food-related.

    The Gold Card keeps the old card's $100 airline fee credit each calendar year, and adds up to $120 of dining credits — split into $10 each month — at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Steak House, or participating Shake Shack locations. If you use those credits in full, that's a guaranteed $220 of value each year.

    New card members — those who haven't previously had the Premier Rewards Gold — can earn a welcome bonus of 25,000 points when they spend $2,000 in the first three months. Additionally, those who apply before January 9 can get 20% back on all US restaurant charges — up to $100 total — in the form of a statement credit. Keep in mind you may be able to be targeted for a higher offer.

    While it's difficult to assign a single objective value to Membership Rewards points, due to the many ways you can redeem them, travel website The Points Guy subjectively estimates each point as worth 1.9¢. That makes the welcome bonus worth $575 — $475 for the points, and up to $100 back from restaurants. Even without factoring in the annual credit benefits, that's more than enough to make up for the card's $250 annual fee.

    Click here to learn more about the AmEx Gold Card from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.

    3. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

    Capital_One_Venture_Photoshoot

    Sign-up bonus: 50,000 miles (after spending $3,000 in the first three months).

    The Capital One Venture has historically been a useful card, thanks to a solid earning rate of 2x miles on everything, even though the rewards program was just...fine. Unlike cards offered by competitors, miles had a fixed value of 1¢ each toward travel purchases. Generally, transferable credit card points— those that you can transfer to an airline frequent flyer program, should you choose — are more valuable, thanks to the way that booking frequent flyer award tickets works. You can read more about that here.

    However, Capital One has announced that as of December 10, Venture cardholders will be able to transfer miles to 12 new airline partners, significantly increasing the potential value of each mile.

    Capital One had a month-long promotional sign-up bonus (up to 75,000 miles) when it first made the announcement. Although the bonus has returned to its normal amount — 50,000 miles when you spend $3,000 in the first three months — it's still a solid value worth pursuing. 

    The Capital One Venture earns miles at a rate of 2x per dollar spent on all purchases, and an incredible 10x points per dollar spent on hotel stays when you book and pay through Hotels.com/Venture. Hotels.com has its own loyalty program that rewards you with a free night after 10 paid nights, so that equates to a staggering 20% return on hotels.

    Between the ability to transfer miles to airlines, and the chance to earn up to 10x miles on hotels, this is one of the best cards available right now.

    The card also offers a credit to enroll in TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. It has a $95 annual fee, which is waived the first year. 

    Click here to learn more about the Capital One Venture from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.

    4. Capital One Spark Miles for Business

    Sign-up bonus: Up to 200,000 miles (50,000 miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months, and an additional 150,000 miles after spending $50,000 in the first six months). For a limited time only.

    Like the Venture, the Capital One Spark Miles is gaining the ability to transfer miles to 12 airline frequent flyer partners. Unlike the Venture, the Spark Miles is still offering a limited-time sign-up bonus to mark the change.

    The spending requirement to earn the full bonus — $50,000 in the first six months — is high, but it's definitely achievable for plenty of small- and medium-sized businesses — particularly those that lay out for materials, equipment, or services on behalf of a client.

    The Spark Miles is fairly similar to the Venture, aside from the fact that it's a business card rather than a personal one. It earns 2x miles on all purchases, with no limits, and has a $95 annual fee that's waived the first year.

    It was already a solid card; with the ability to transfer miles to airline partners, plus the massive sign-up bonus, the Spark Miles becomes a major player.

    Click here to learn more about the Capital One Spark Miles from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.

    5. The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard

    Sign-up bonus: 70,000 miles (after spending $5,000 in the first 90 days), for a limited time only.

    This is the highest sign-up bonus we've ever seen for this card — an exciting development, coming near the end of a busy year for Barclaycard's flagship US product.

    Earlier this year, Barclays closed applications for one of its most popular credit cards, before relaunching the card with a new all-time highest sign-up bonus. Then, this fall, Barclays began waiving the card's $89 annual fee for the first year, a first for the card.

    The Barclaycard Arrival Plus earns double miles on every dollar spent. Miles can be redeemed for one cent each on travel purchases (applied as a statement credit to negate the cost of that purchase), or a half-cent each for cash back or gift cards. Best of all, you'll earn 5% of your miles back every time you make a redemption.

    Effectively, that means that the sign-up bonus is worth $700 toward travel, plus an extra $100 from the miles you'll earn meeting the spending requirement.

    The card comes equipped with Chip-and-PIN service, which, combined with the fact that the card has no foreign transaction fees, makes it a great option when traveling internationally.

    Depending on your spending habits, it is easy to get more value from the card than what you pay for the annual fee, thanks to the 2x earning rate on all purchases. Of course, the sign-up bonus alone will cover the annual fee for more than eight years.

    Click here to learn more about the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard.

    6. Platinum Card® from American Express

    amex business

    Welcome Offer: 60,000 points (after spending $5,000 in the first three months)

    The American Express Platinum card has one of the highest annual fees of any consumer credit or charge card — $550 — but as AmEx's flagship product, this premium credit card offers a tremendous amount of value to offset that fee. For example, I got more than $2,000 worth of value in my first year with the card.

    The card earns Membership Rewards points, the currency in AmEx's loyalty program, which can be exchanged for statement credits or cash back, used to book travel through AmEx's travel website, or, to get the most value, transferred to any of 17 airline and three hotel transfer partners (transferable points are among the best). Travel website The Points Guy lists a valuation of 1.9¢ per Membership Rewards point; based on that, the welcome offer is worth around $1,140.

    Because $5,000 is one of the steepest spending requirements of any consumer credit card, this is an ideal time to open it — with holiday spending going on, you can take advantage of those planned expenses to meet a higher minimum required spend than you would normally be able to.

    Plus, you can take advantage of the card's airport lounge access to make holiday travel a little bit less hectic.

    The Platinum Card earns an incredible 5x points on airfare purchased directly from the airline, and offers a $200 airline fee credit each calendar year, and up to $200 in Uber credits each card member year. It also grants the cardholder access to more than 1,200 airport lounges around the world, including Delta Sky Clubs and AmEx's own Centurion Lounges. Other benefits include automatic gold elite status at Starwood, Marriott, and Hilton hotels, a statement credit to cover enrollment in Global Entry/TSA PreCheck, concierge service, and much more.

    If you're an active military servicemember, you can get the AmEx Platinum Card's fee waived.

    You can read our complete review of the card here.

    Click here to learn more about the American Express Platinum from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.

    7. Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card

    capital one savor

    Sign-up bonus: $500 (after spending $3,000 in the first three months)

    If dining and cooking are your thing, and cash back is what you're after, the Capital One Savor is sure to please.

    The card earns unlimited 4% cash back on all dining and entertainment, 2% back at grocery stores, and 1% on everything else. Plus, the card offers a whopping $500 sign-up bonus when you spend $3,000 in the first three months.

    The Savor carries a lower annual fee than the AmEx Gold — $95, waived the first year. The earning rate will make up for the fee in many cases, based on normal spending, but if that's too high for you, there's an alternative: the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card.

    The SavorOne card has no annual fee, and offers a slightly lower — but still valuable — earning rate of 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% back at grocery stores, and 1% on everything else. It offers a lower sign-up bonus of $150 when you spend $500 in the first three months.

    Click here to learn more about the Capital One Savor card from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.

    Click here to learn more about the Capital One SavorOne card from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.

    Read more: The Capital One Savor offers 4% cash back on dining and entertainment — here's how much the average American saves each year with the card

    8. Chase Sapphire Preferred

    Card Group — Chase Sapphire Preferred Chase Sapphire Reserve_21 1

    Sign-up bonus: 50,000 points (after spending $4,000 in the first three months)

    The Sapphire Preferred is one of the most popular all-around rewards credit cards, and it's easy to see why. This card earns 2x points per dollar spent on just about all travel and dining purchases, and 1x point on everything else. It also comes with a ton of travel and purchase protections, such as rental car insurance, trip delay coverage, and extended warranty.

    The sign-up bonus — 50,000 UR points — is worth, at the very least, $500 as cash back or gift cards. However, if you book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and use points to pay, you'll get a 25% bonus, making points worth 1.25 cents each. That means that the sign-up bonus would be worth $625.

    Even more lucrative — the Chase Sapphire Preferred lets you transfer your UR points to a few different frequent flyer and hotel loyalty programs. This comes in handy because, in many cases, it costs fewer points to book a trip if you go through one of those programs, as opposed to using the points as cash. You can read more about why transferring points to frequent flyer programs gets you more value here.

    This all comes for a fairly standard annual fee of $95, which is waived the first year.

    Click here to learn more about the Sapphire Preferred from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.

    9. Chase Sapphire Reserve

    Chase card

    Sign-up bonus: 50,000 points (after spending $4,000 in the first three months)

    The Sapphire Reserve is basically a beefier version of the Preferred. While the card comes with the same sign-up bonus, it earns points on everyday spending faster, nabbing a higher 3x points per dollar spent on travel and dining purchases, and 1x on everything else. It also offers similar, though in many cases, enhanced travel and purchase protections.

    Unlike the Preferred, the Sapphire Reserve comes with a Priority Pass Select membership, which gets you and any travel companions free access to more than 1,000 airport lounges around the world.

    You can use points from the Reserve the same ways as with the Preferred, except that you'll get a 50% bonus when booking travel through Chase, making your points worth 1.5¢ each.

    The card carries a higher annual fee than the Preferred: $450. However, it also comes with a $300 travel credit each card member year. Each year, you'll get statement credits for the first $300 in travel-related purchases you make, including things like subway fare, taxis, parking, and tolls, as well as airfare and hotels. When you subtract this credit from the annual fee, the card is effectively only $150 each year.

    If you're not sure whether the Preferred or Reserve is the better card for you, take a look at this breakdown. Also keep in mind that you can typically only earn the sign-up bonus for one Sapphire-branded card every two years.

    Click here to learn more about the Sapphire Reserve from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.

    10. Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

    Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

    Welcome offer: 150,000 Hilton Honors points when you spend $4,000 in the first three months

    The premium Hilton Honors American Express Aspire card has a hefty $450 annual fee, but it comes with so many perks, benefits, and rebates that it's more than worth paying for Hilton loyalists — or even brand-agnostic hotel guests.

    In addition to a $250 airline fee credit per calendar year and a $250 Hilton resort statement credit each card member year, the Aspire also offers a $100 Hilton on-property credit every time you book a stay of two nights or longer at a Hilton property — you just need to book through a specific website for cardholders.

    The card also offers a free weekend night reward each year — regardless of how much you spend — and a second if you spend $60,000 on the card in a calendar year. It also comes with complimentary Diamond status.

    The Aspire earns a tremendous 14x points per dollar spent with Hilton, 7x points on flights booked with the airline, car rentals, and at US restaurants, and 3x points on everything else.

    Click here to learn more about the Hilton Honors Aspire card from Insider Picks' partner The Points Guy.

    11. Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

    https_%2F%2Fblogs images.forbes.com%2Fthepointsguy%2Ffiles%2F2018%2F07%2FNY City Cards wells fargo propel 8 1200x800

    Welcome offer: 30,000 Go Far points (after spending $3,000 in the first three months)

    This new card from Wells Fargo has one of the more attractive rewards offerings you'll find from a no-annual-fee card. The new Propel card is actually a re-launch of an old product — Wells Fargo stopped accepting applications for the old card back in February, before announcing the new product and reopening applications this summer.

    The card earns 3x points on all travel, dining, and select streaming services (and 1x point on everything else). If that sounds familiar, it's because it's almost the same as the popular Chase Sapphire Reserve.

    There are some key differences between the cards. The Propel lets you redeem points for 1¢ each toward cash back, merchandise, travel, or more, while the Sapphire Reserve offers a range of more valuable redemption options — it's easy to get at least 50% more value for Chase points. Plus, the Sapphire Reserve offers a number of premium perks that the Propel doesn't, like airport lounge access, a $300 annual travel credit travel delay insurance, and more.

    Of course, the Sapphire Reserve also comes with a $450 annual fee, while the Wells Fargo Propel doesn't have a fee. Between the new member offer, and the solid earning rate on popular spend categories, the Propel makes a decent option for those who don't travel often, or who aren't comfortable floating a large annual fee.

    We named the Propel the best no-fee card of 2018.

    Click here to learn more about the Wells Fargo Propel card from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.

    SEE ALSO: I pay $1,000 in annual fees for the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Amex Platinum — and as far as I’m concerned, the math checks out

    DON'T MISS: The AmEx Platinum is available to active duty servicemembers at no annual fee — but even with the fee, the credit card is a great value

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    David Neeleman TAP

    • David Neeleman is one of the most successful airline entrepreneurs in the world.
    • He's the founder of JetBlue and Azul as well as a cofounder of Morris Air and WestJet
    • He's also a co-owner of TAP Air Portugal.
    • Neeleman cofounded Morris Air in 1984, at the age of 25. 
    • The airline boss shared with Business Insider the advice he would give his 25-year-old self at the beginning of his career.

    David Neeleman is one of the most experienced and successful entrepreneurs in the history of the airline industry. The affable, Brazilian-born, Utah-raised businessman has had a hand in the founding of four successful airlines over the last 35 years.

    He's the founder of JetBlue and Azul Brazilian Airlines as well as a cofounder of Morris Air and WestJet.

    He's also one of the co-owners of Portuguese national airline TAP Air Portugal.

    Earlier this year, Neeleman, 58, announced plans to launch his fifth airline, an American low-cost carrier called Moxy.

    Neeleman's career as an airline entrepreneur started early, when he co-founded Morris Air in 1984, at the age of 25. 

    He served as Morris Air's president from 1988 until it was sold to Southwest Airlines in 1994 for a reported $129 million. 

    "I sold Morris Air to Southwest because [the airline] was really vulnerable," he told Business Insider in an interview earlier this year. "I'm sitting in Delta Air Lines's hub in [Salt Lake City, Utah], I didn't have a lot of capital at the time and one of my guys told me, 'You know if Delta just matched all your fares they'd be revenue positive' and take so much of our market share."

    David Neeleman JetBlue"We were pretty vulnerable and Southwest wants us, plus when someone hands you $15 million at 33 years old you're like, 'Yeah! I'll take it,'" Neeleman added.

    After working at Southwest Airlines for a while after the merger, he left and helped cofound WestJet, now Canada's second largest airline. In 1998, Neeleman founded JetBlue, a New York-based boutique airline that melded premium service and amenities with low cost. 

    He followed that up with the founding of Azul Brazilian Airlines in 2008, a venture that has now become one of the largest carriers in South America. 

    So what advice would the David Neeleman of today give to his 25-year-old self?

    David Neeleman AzulHave personal control of the business and know the industry in which you are working, Neeleman said. 

    "Everything I've ever been involved in that I didn't control or run and was outside of my area of expertise I've lost money in," he said. "It's almost unanimous."

    From there, the goal is to differentiate yourself from the pack.

    "Be passionate. Be the best and create something that no one else has," Neeleman told us. "Build a better mousetrap."

    "If you build a better mousetrap, people will beat a path to your door," the airline boss said. "I really believe that."

    SEE ALSO: The amazing story of how the Airbus A320 family became the Boeing 737's greatest enemy

    FOLLOW US: On Facebook for more car and transportation content!

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Craig Jackson of Barrett-Jackson Auction Company has one of the world's most expensive private garages — take a look inside


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    Lotte World Tower South Korea

    • The Lotte World Tower is the tallest in South Korea and the fifth tallest in the world.
    • The high-rise recently won the Emporis Skyscraper Award, which honors the top ten skyscrapers that have been completed in the previous calendar year.
    • The tower features a number of record-breaking features, like an elevator that whizzes people to the 121st floor in one minute.
    • It's also built to withstand major disasters like a 9.0 magnitude earthquake or winds as strong as those seen during Hurricane Katrina. 

    The world is witnessing a massive boom in skyscraper construction, led by nations like China, Saudi Arabia, and the United States. This year alone, China built more skyscrapers than at any other time in history. 

    Amid growing competition for the tallest and most innovative towers, one high-rise in South Korea managed to surpass all others.

    Read more:Stunning photos of the 10 best skyscrapers in the world

    Earlier this week, the Lotte World Tower in Seoul received the Emporis Skyscraper Award, the world's most renowned prize for high-rise architecture. 

    The tower's sleek design pales in comparison to its record-shattering features, which include the world's highest glass-bottomed observation deck and the world's fastest elevator.

    Take a look at how it was built — and what it looks like now. 

    The tower's construction began in 2011, more than two decades after the land was procured.

    The owner, Lotte Corporation, also oversaw the construction of the world's largest indoor theme park.



    The structure is designed to hold up under a 9.0 magnitude earthquake.

    It's also intended to withstand gusts of wind as strong as those seen in Hurricane Katrina (around 180 miles per hour).



    At more than 1,800 square feet, it's the tallest building in South Korea and the fifth tallest building in the world.

    The structure, which opened in in April 2017, has 123 floors and 42,000 windows. Construction of the roof alone required 3,000 tons of steel.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    luxury home house mansion

    • Luxury developers are building expansive and extravagant underground spaces in multimillion-dollar homes. 
    • This is often a way to get around strict zoning laws in Los Angeles meant to limit the construction of large mansions.
    • These lavish lower levels include luxurious spas, sports facilities, "living" plant walls, wine cellars, art galleries, and in one case, even a ballroom.

     

    Developers are taking luxury homes in an unexpected direction: Underground.

    Rochelle Maize, a Los Angeles luxury real estate agent, said she's seeing more and more "extravagant basements" or lower levels being built into homes.

    "While this square footage isn't considered as valuable as above grade, it still allows for a higher selling price and return on investment," Maize told Business Insider.

    But these spaces are nothing like the dingy, unfinished space you might picture when you think of a typical basement. 

    "The other big trend that I am seeing in the basement level build-outs is interesting details that are being installed by landscape architects," Maize said. "They are creating gorgeous 'living-walls' on the concrete wall areas below ground. This is actually making them more inviting than some of the above-ground areas!"

    Some of these lavish subterranean spaces include spas, wine cellars, art galleries, tennis courts, and other sports facilities.

    Read more: Super rich people are paying up to $500,000 for luxe panic rooms, and as gun violence picks up, they're more popular than ever

    In Los Angeles, these spaces are often a way for developers to get around "red tape" that restricts the size of new construction single family homes, known as anti-mansionization laws, Maize said.

    Hacienda de la Paz, a 51,000-square-foot home in Los Angeles county, was built to be mostly underground in order to comply with such zoning requirements, according to the Los Angeles Times. Only one of its floors is above ground, and the other five levels are underground and include a 10,000-square-foot Turkish spa, a 15,000-square-foot tennis court, a ballroom, a yoga room, and a wine cellar.

    Just Sold at $22.4 million - Hacienda de la Paz (1 Buggy Whip Dr.) - Represented buyer and seller.

    A post shared by Jason Oppenheim (@jasonoppenheim) on Oct 31, 2018 at 7:19pm PDT on

    It sold at auction in October for $22.4 million, the Times reported.

    Then there's the most expensive home for sale in San Francisco, an ultra-modern complex listed for $45 million, which has a two-story underground art gallery, as Business Insider's Lina Batarags previously reported.

    These over-the-top basements are not just a West Coast trend. Jeffrey Collé, a custom home builder in the wealthy Hamptons community of New York, told the New York Times about a house he built with a 5,000-square-foot underground space that included a bedroom, a wine cellar, a home theater, a gym, a sauna, and a steam room.

    "You don’t have a feeling like you're underground," Collé told the Times. "These are open, airy spaces."

    The super-wealthy of London have also been building downwards, Business Insider previously reported, sometimes adding up to five levels underground in some of the city's most sought-after neighborhoods.

    SEE ALSO: Here's what the most expensive house for sale in every US state looks like

    DON'T MISS: This $245 million Los Angeles mansion is the most expensive home for sale in the US — and it costs 960 times more than a typical US home

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The author of 'Boy Erased' reveals what gay conversion therapy is really like — and how he survived it


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    Coast Guard icebreaker Polar Star McMurdo Station Antarctica

    • Countries are looking to take advantage of the opening of the Arctic for shipping and exploration.
    • Operating there requires specialized icebreakers, of which the US has just one.
    • That icebreaker is in such poor shape that the Coast Guard declined to send it north, fearing it would break down.

    Countries are jockeying for position as the changing climate makes the Arctic more amenable to shipping and natural-resource extraction.

    Conditions in the high north are still formidable, requiring specialized ships. That's felt acutely in the US, mainly because of the paucity of ice-breaking capability compared to other Arctic countries — particularly Russia.

    Moscow, which has the world's largest Arctic coastline, has dozens of icebreakers, some of which are heavy models for polar duty and others that are designed to operate elsewhere, like the Baltic.

    The US has just two, only one of which is a heavy icebreaker that can operate in the Arctic and Antarctica.

    US Coast Guard Polar Star icebreaker Arctic Antarctic Ross Sea

    That heavy icebreaker, the Polar Star, is more than 40 years old and clinging to service life — something former Coast Guard commandant Paul Zukunft was well aware of when he was asked to send the Polar Star north.

    "When I was the commandant, the National Security Council approached me and said, 'Hey, we ought to sent the Polar Star through the Northern Sea Route and do a freedom of navigation exercise,'" Zukunft, who retired as an admiral in 2018, said this month at a Wilson Center event focused on the Arctic.

    Read more: The former head of the Coast Guard says Russia has 'all the pieces on the chessboard' in the Arctic — but the US has 'only got a couple of pawns'

    "I said, 'Au contraire, it's a 40-year-old ship. We're cannibalizing parts off its sister ship just to keep this thing running, and I can't guarantee you that it won't have an catastrophic engineering casualty as it's doing a freedom of navigation exercise, and now I've got to call on Russia to pull me out of harm's way. So this is not the time to do it,'" Zukunft said.

    The Polar Star was commissioned in 1976 and refurbished in 2012 to extend its service life. It's the Coast Guard's only operational heavy icebreaker, and it can chop through ice up to 21 feet thick. (The Healy, the service's other icebreaker, is a medium icebreaker that is newer and bigger but has less ice-breaking capability.)

    Coast Guard icebreaker Polar Star Polar Sea McMurdo Antarctica

    The Coast Guard's other heavy icebreaker and the Polar Star's sister ship, the Polar Sea, was commissioned the same year but left service in 2010 after repeated engine failures.

    Like Zukunft said, the service has been stripping the Polar Sea of parts to keep the Polar Star running, because many of those parts are no longer in production. When they can't get it from the Polar Sea, crew members have ordered second-hand parts from eBay.

    Read more: The former head of the US Coast Guard describes countering drug smugglers' 'free pass,' facing Russia in the Arctic, and how to 'think beyond the tyranny of the present'

    The icebreaker makes a run to McMurdo Station in Antarctica every year. On its most recent trip in January, the ship faced less ice but still dealt with mechanical issues, including a gas-turbine failure that reduced power to the propellers and a failed shaft seal that allowed seawater into the ship until it was sealed.

    Harsh conditions wear on the Polar Star — it's the only cutter that goes into drydock every year. It also sails with a year's worth of food in case it gets stuck. As commandant, Zukunft said the Polar Star was "literally on life support."

    Coast Guard icebreaker Polar Star propeller hull dry dock

    The Coast Guard has been looking to start building new icebreakers for some time.

    In 2016, Zukunft said the service was looking to build three heavy and three medium icebreakers. Along with the Navy, it released a joint draft request for proposal to build a new heavy icebreaker in October 2017.

    Read more: The former head of the Coast Guard describes how the US remains unprepared to deal with the effects of climate change

    The Homeland Security Department, which oversees the Coast Guard, requested $750 million in fiscal year 2019, which began October 1, to design and build a new heavy polar icebreaker. (That request included $15 million for a service-life extension project for the Polar Star.)

    But the department is one of several that have not been funded for 2019, and it's not clear the icebreaker money will arrive, as lawmakers focus on other spending priorities, including a wall on the US-Mexico border.

    US Coast Guard cutter icebreaker Healy Alaska Russia

    The $750 million was stripped by the House Appropriations Committee this summer — a move that was protested by House Democrats. The current Coast Guard commandant, Adm. Karl Schultz, said earlier this month that he was "guardedly optimistic" that funding for a new polar icebreaker would be available.

    The need for Russian assets to support the US in the high north would not be unprecedented, however.

    Read more: The former head of the US Coast Guard wants to cut a vital artery in the heart of the global cocaine trade

    When asked what infrastructure was needed in the Arctic to support US national defense, Zukunft stressed that much of it, like ports, would be dual-use, supporting military and civilian operations.

    "But the immediate need right now is for commercial [operations], and that was driven home when we didn't get the fuel delivery into Nome," Zukunft said, likely referring to a 2012 incident in which the Alaskan city was iced-in and a few weeks away from running out of fuel.

    "At that point in time we were able to call upon Russia to provide an ice-capable tanker escorted by the Coast Guard cutter Healy to resupply Nome."

    SEE ALSO: We got aboard a Coast Guard chopper to see how they bust smugglers and save boaters in the crowded waters around Miami

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Arctic and Antarctic sea ice just hit record lows — here's what would happen if all the ice melted


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

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

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

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

    Here are some of the key takeaways:

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

     In full, the report:

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

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

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

    Purchase & download the full report from our research store

     

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    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.

    le creuset, $50

    Whether they have a cookware collection that rivals Martha Stewart's or their most prized kitchen accessory is their drawer of takeout menus, they'll appreciate a nice new kitchen tool to add to their space.

    From solving common cooking aggravations to just making mealtime more fun, there's really a kitchen gadget for everyone, and every budget, out there. 

    For a solid gift you can bank on them loving, check out our list of 21 kitchen accessories below. It runs the gamut from practical to quirky and everything in between, plus you can find all of it for $50 or less. 

    SEE ALSO: 35 clever presents for coworkers that they'll actually be happy to receive

    DON'T MISS: The 36 best products we discovered in 2018

    A batter crayon

    Fred CRAYUM Batter Crayon, $7.99, available at Amazon

    Getting the perfect pancake can be a challenge, but this batter crayon can help them out — and make breakfast a little more fun. 

     



    A stovetop espresso maker

    Bialetti Moka Express Stovetop Coffee Maker (1-cup), $24.95, available at Amazon

    For the coffee-loving types who have already tried just about every way to get their morning brew, give them this moka pot. Bialetti actually invented the first stovetop coffee maker in the early 20th century and, even after all these years, it's original model is our favorite option out there. 



    A cheese melt pan

    Cuisinart BBQ Cheese Melt Pan, $9.99, available at Amazon

    If they're not already melting cheese on all of their favorite foods... they should probably start. Help them out with this pan that makes the ooey, gooey, cheesy topping of their dreams a reality. 



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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.

    surface pro 6

    • Microsoft has kicked off its holiday promotion, the "12 Days of Faves," with discounts on its best tech, including the Xbox One S and Surface Laptop.
    • The deals are available through December 22, but Microsoft's free shipping takes between three and seven days in the US, so the sooner you place your order, the better.
    • You can also choose to pick your order up at a Microsoft Store to avoid waiting for shipping. 

    The holiday season is in full swing, and Microsoft has rolled out its "12 Days of Faves" sale to give last-minute shoppers a way to save on the latest Xbox and Windows tech until December 22.

    The Surface deals

    The Windows laptop and accessories deals

    The Xbox deals 

    Microsoft rarely discounts its hardware, so it's surprising to see gadgets like the Surface Pro 6 available for up to $200 off. Although these deals are primarily focused around hardware that Microsoft makes, you can save on PC laptops from other companies, like Dell's Inspirion 15. All laptops come with a $20 discount on a one-year subscription to Microsoft Office 365, a software suite that includes popular apps like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.

    If you need help deciding between the two Xboxes, both consoles can play the same library of games, but the Xbox One X is more powerful, so it can play them at 4K instead of 1080P. Microsoft has bundled both the Xbox One S and Xbox One X with a game, so whoever you gift it to can start playing the minute they take the console out of the box. 

    The company has also cut the price of its limited edition Playerunknown's Battlegrounds Xbox One controller, which is a great gift for gamers who want a little extra flare. 

    The "12 Days of Faves" may last until December 22, but you might want to place your order sooner rather than later. Microsoft's free shipping takes three to seven days to arrive, which is cutting it close if you're ordering any of these gadgets as a gift. You can pay between $4.99 and $16.99 for faster shipping, or choose the "pick up at store" option if you live near a Microsoft store that has these items in stock.

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

    SEE ALSO: 15 online stores with free 2-day shipping for last-minute holiday gifts — and the delivery deadlines to know

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    Mick Mulvaney

    • President Donald Trump on Friday announced that Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney will become the acting White House chief of staff, replacing outgoing chief of staff John Kelly.
    • Trump added that Kelly, a former four-star Marine Corps general, "served our Country with distinction" and that Mulvaney "has done an outstanding job" within his administration.
    • A senior White House official told reporters Mulvaney's interim role would have "no time limit."
    • Mulvaney, a former Republican representative of South Carolina, took on numerous roles in the Trump administration and is widely seen as a fiscal conservative willing to cut federal spending.

    President Donald Trump on Friday announced that Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney will become the acting White House chief of staff and replace John Kelly.

    Trump added that Kelly, a former four-star Marine Corps general, "served our Country with distinction," and that Mulvaney "has done an outstanding job" within his administration.

    "I look forward to working with him in this new capacity as we continue to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!" Trump tweeted on Friday.

    A senior White House official told reporters Mulvaney's interim role would have "no time limit."

    "He's the acting chief of staff, which means he's the chief of staff," the official said. "He got picked because the president liked him they get along."

    The official added that Mulvaney's experience in Congress and his "fiscally responsible" views were also an important factor in the decision.

    Read more: John Kelly reportedly took notes on Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump and left them on his desk in full view

    Mulvaney, a former Republican representative of South Carolina, took on numerous roles in the Trump administration and is widely seen as a fiscal conservative willing to cut federal spending.

    Trump's decision comes after weeks of speculation of who would replace the outgoing chief of staff, who was long rumored to be departing following reports of a rift with other White House officials. Kelly replaced former chief of staff Reince Priebus in June 2017.

    The speculation surrounding Kelly's replacement reached a fever pitch earlier on Friday, when former Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey declined the role, citing it was "not the right time for me or my family to undertake this serious assignment."

    Christie's decision comes at the heels of another rejection from Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff. Nick Ayers, who was believed to be a top candidate for the position, rejected the offer on Sunday after he reportedly could not commit to a long period of time in the role.

    Kelly was previously reported to have butted heads with Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka Trump, both of whom are senior advisers in the White House. He has reportedly tried to curb freewheeling access to the Oval Office, including from Ivanka and Kushner.

    Kelly, according to the White House official speaking on background, was satisfied with Trump's selection of Mulvaney.

    "The current chief is happy," the official said. "The current chief is fine. The current chief will stay till the end of the year."

    SEE ALSO: Trump reportedly flicked a folder and scattered papers in anger after his fiery debate with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer

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    woman working

    • The brain is the most complex organ in the body.
    • Scientists think that human brains are actually shrinking over time.
    • Contrary to the popular myth, you actually do use most of your brain.
    • Your brain can't actually feel pain.
    • The part of your brain that lets you see is actually nowhere near your eyes.

    You use your brain all day and night, but how much do you really know about it?

    Scientists have been trying to unravel the mysteries of the human brain for centuries, and they’ve uncovered some pretty fascinating stuff about how our grey matter really works.

    Here are a few truly incredible facts about the human brain.

    The human brain isn't actually fully mature until age 25.

    According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, our brains don't really finish growing upuntil we're about 25 years old.

    Recent research suggests that people younger than 25 often process information witha part of the brain called the amygdala, which is the part of the brain involved in managing emotions.

    In contrast, people over 25 tend to use their prefrontal cortex, which is the seat of rational decision-making and judgment. Scientists believe that important connections between these two areas of the brain aren't fully formed until our mid-twenties.



    Scientists think that human brains are actually shrinking over time.

    As University of Wisconsin anthropologist John Hawks explained to Discover magazine, human brains haveactually lost about 150 cubic centimeters over the past 20,000 years – that's amounts to a chunk the size of a tennis ball.

    Scientists aren't totally sure why our brains are getting smaller,but some think that as our bodies and nervous systems became smaller, our brains sized down to match. Others believe that the shift has more to do with lifestyle and habitat changes.



    The human brain is mostly water and dehydration can make it work poorly.

    Need another reason to stay hydrated? The human brain is mostly made of water. In fact, your brain isroughly 75% water and contains about 2% of the total water in your body. If you were to put your brain on a scale, it would weigh about3 pounds. Disturbingly,being dehydrated by just 2% can impair your attention, memory skills, and other cognitive functions.



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    grocery shopping

    • Try to avoid going grocery shopping when you're hungry.
    • Keeping a running shopping list on your phone can be helpful.
    • Clean out and take stock of your pantry before you go shopping.

    Grocery shopping may be one of the most important outings you'll make all week, but with so many scattered grocery lists and overwhelming aisles, it can be tough to stay on track and have an efficient grocery shopping trip. 

    Here are some of the best ways to prepare for your grocery trip in order to save time and money. 

    Keep a running list of what you need.

    Registered dietitian and nutritionist Jenny Friedman recommends using shareable list and document apps that let you keep running lists that you can share with a partner or a roommate.

    "Because my phone is always on me, I can add to my grocery list as soon as I think of something [I need] or the second I use up that last bit of whatever as I'm cooking," Friedman told INSIDER. "I also love having a list on my phone because I always used to lose that little piece of paper I was writing it on. A list is great because it keeps you focused and helps you make sure you get exactly what you need." 

     



    Structure your grocery list to match the layout of your store.

    Although running around the supermarket may be a good form of exercise, if you want to be efficient, organize your list by department and food type. If you have a mental map of your usual grocery store, even better.

    "Most stores open into the produce section, so that's what I keep at the top of my list," Friedman told INSIDER. Plus, creating a list organized by route should mean less backtracking and fewer impulse purchases.



    Look at your calendar.

    "Some questions that are helpful to consider are: What's my schedule this week? What's the weather? Do I need to use anything up before it goes bad? What's the stock on my staples?," said Friedman. If you won't be home for dinner or have time to make lunch for five days in a row, it could shape your purchases. 

    Looking at the upcoming weather can also help structure your plans — is it going to be too hot to feel like spending time over your stove or will soup on a rainy night hit the spot? "Without an eating plan and without a grocery list, you're bound to end up making last-minute decisions that may not align with your health goals," Friedman added.



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    us-mexico border bollard fence

    • The Department of Homeland Security edited a press release that drew online mockery earlier this week for its strange syntax and outlandish claims about President Donald Trump's border wall.
    • The old press release said "DHS is committed to building wall and building wall quickly," while the edited version says "DHS is committed to building a wall at our southern border and building a wall quickly."
    • Critics took to Twitter on Wednesday and Thursday with jokes and caveman comparisons, poking fun at the release's oddly simplistic language.
    • But the edits did not address critiques of the press release's accuracy in claiming that the border wall has been built.

    The Department of Homeland Security apparently edited a press release that recently drew online mockery for its bizarre syntax and dubious claims that the government is building President Donald Trump's long-promised border wall.

    The memo, titled "Walls Work," was first published Wednesday. It features images of newly constructed steel fencing, claiming the structures constitute Trump's wall.

    Here's what it looked like on Wednesday:

    dhs press release before

    Now, the press release inserts the word "a" before some instances of the word "wall," and restructured much of the first sentence.

    Here's what it looks like on Friday:

    dhs press release after

    INSIDER monitored the press release and observed the changes sometime between 2:30 and 3 p.m. ET Friday.

    Shortly after the press release was issued on Wednesday, critics began pointing out the memo's outlandish claims and oddly simplistic language, and began weighing in on Twitter with jokes and caveman comparisons.

    Read more: People are roasting a bizarre government memo claiming the Trump administration is 'building wall and building wall quickly'

    The editing process may have been a little hasty, however. The updated release contains a typo:

    dhs typo

    DHS did not immediately respond to INSIDER's request for comment on the edits.

    'Wall' vs. 'fence'

    border bollard fence

    Another widely criticized aspect of the release was its inaccuracy in describing how much of the border wall has been built. DHS appears to have left those claims unedited.

    Though the difference between the terms "wall" and "fence" may be up for debate, the memo's claims that the government has begun building or has already built parts of the border wall have also attracted skepticism.

    The Trump administration has not begun constructing any structures that resemble the concrete border wall Trump had described throughout his presidential campaign.

    Instead, the government has been carrying out a number of construction projects to replace or strengthen existing fencing along the US-Mexico border using steel bollards — hollow steel rods spaced slightly apart.

    Walt Hickey contributed reporting.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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


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