Articles on this Page
- 01/07/19--23:55: _Cyntoia Brown, a se...
- 01/07/19--23:57: _10 things in tech y...
- 01/08/19--01:16: _Theresa May's offic...
- 01/08/19--01:21: _The global market r...
- 01/08/19--02:06: _These are the four ...
- 01/08/19--02:14: _Kim Jong Un rode hi...
- 01/08/19--02:17: _Hailey Baldwin open...
- 01/08/19--02:50: _Amazon stopped sell...
- 01/08/19--02:57: _An investor crushin...
- 01/08/19--02:58: _'Big Short' investo...
- 01/08/19--03:00: _An Australian group...
- 01/08/19--03:01: _WALL STREET WARNS: ...
- 01/08/19--03:02: _GOLDMAN SACHS: Thes...
- 01/08/19--03:03: _Three untapped oppo...
- 01/08/19--06:23: _Trump's plan to get...
- 01/08/19--06:25: _Tenshin Nasukawa we...
- 01/08/19--06:33: _Media companies are...
- 01/08/19--06:38: _THEN AND NOW: Taylo...
- 01/08/19--06:39: _How Meghan Markle a...
- 01/08/19--06:46: _Lawyers voice conce...
- Cyntoia Brown killed a man who hired her as a sex worker when she was 16. She says it was in self-defense.
- As a minor, she was sentenced to life in prison
- After serving 15 years, she was granted clemency Monday following a social-media campaign.
- 01/07/19--23:57: 10 things in tech you need to know today
- The world's largest tech show CES has kicked off, and LG stole the show with a "rollable" TV that disappears into a box at the push of a button. When not being used, the skinny TV rolls down into a box that also doubles as a soundbar.
- Apple trolled Google with a massive billboard at CES, which it isn't even attending. The ad was positioned near Las Vegas' monorail system, whose shuttles are emblazoned with Google ads.
- SoftBank has slashed a planned $16 billion mega-investment in WeWork after facing objections and will now invest $2 billion. SoftBank's initial plan, reported in October, would have given it a majority stake in WeWork. But the size of the deal reportedly upset some of its biggest financial backers in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi.
- Amazon is now the world's most valuable company, ending Microsoft's spot at the top after five weeks. The Seattle-based online retail giant capped a strong holiday sales period with a 3% pop in its stock price, bringing its market capitalization to $793 billion and edging past Microsoft's roughly $788 billion valuation.
- Weak Q4 sales in China for Samsung have deflated the company's hopes for the beginning of 2019. Samsung expects Q1 to be pretty subdued, Bloomberg reports.
- A new robot called "BreadBot" is able to bake a fresh loaf of bread every six minutes. The company behind the BreadBot, Wilkinson Baking Company, debuted the device on Sunday at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
- Mastercard is dropping its name from its logo as it prepares for paying with a card to go out of fashion. The logo will now appear as just the two intersecting circles of red, yellow, and orange in the middle.
- What were thought to be mysterious "sonic attacks" on US diplomats in Cuba may just have been loud Caribbean crickets. Diplomats from the US and Canada in Cuba complained of bizarre symptoms in 2016 and some said the condition started after they heard a strange noise, prompting speculation about potential "sonic weapons."
- Amazon will soon let customers get packages delivered in their garage. Amazon's "Key" service will allow customers to have a package delivered inside their garage if they have the relevant tech installed.
- Google is running a Disneyland-style ride from its massive CES booth. Google's 18,000 square foot booth at CES 2019 will include a ride similar to Disney's "It's a Small World," according to reports.
- British officials have discussed delaying Brexit amid fears Theresa May's proposed withdrawal deal will be rejected by MPs.
- Sources told the Telegraph that UK officials have been "putting out feelers" with the EU about the prospect of extending Article 50.
"Until now, this didn’t come up, but we’re hearing it more and more now," a source said.
- Global stock markets continue to rise as trade talks between US and China move into a second day.
- In the first hour of trading in Europe, all major stock indexes are higher, with gains of between 0.5% and 0.9% across the board.
- Futures in the US point to a gain of around 0.5% for all three major indexes once the market opens at 9.30 a.m. ET.
- Traders, however, are cautious.
- "Both sides are making encouraging comments that they are on the right track," Jasper Lawler, the head of research at London Capital Group said.
- Follow global markets live at Markets Insider.
- In the first hour of trading in Europe, all major stock indexes are higher, with gains of between 0.5% and 0.9% across the board. The Euro Stoxx 50 broad index of major European corporations is up 0.59% as of around 8.45 a.m. GMT (3.45 a.m. ET).
- Asian stocks are painting a marginally less positive picture, with Chinese stocks nursing small losses at the close. The Shanghai Composite lost around 0.2% of its value on the day, while the Shenzhen Composite was down 0.1%.
- Not all Asian indexes fell, however, with Japan's Nikkei up 0.8%, and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong climbing 0.1%.
- In the US, futures markets point to a positive open for all three major indexes. The Dow Jones, S&P 500, and Nasdaq are all set to open higher by exactly 0.55% at the time of writing.
- Both Brent crude and West Texas Intermediate are up by around 0.3%. Brent is trading at $57.55 per barrel, while WTI is at $48.66.
- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un traveled to China on Tuesday for a four-day summit with President Xi Jinping.
- Tuesday is also Kim's 35th birthday.
- The North Korean leader took his family's personal armored train and traveled through Beijing with a massive motorcade.
- Hailey Baldwin has opened up about her anxiety on her Instagram page.
- She shared a long post which explains how she is human and often compares herself to other people.
- She said she will try this year to be confident in herself and accept her flaws, and encouraged her fans to do the same.
- Justin Bieber, her husband, replied: "This is beautiful hun."
- Amazon removed a number of bathmats and doormats featuring Islamic scripture from its site after a complaint from The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
- CAIR said the mats were offensive because the holy writings would be "stepped-on or otherwise disrespected by customers."
- Since Amazon removed the mats, a CAIR spokesman told CNN that more complaints have come in about similar products, including toilet covers.
- Kyle Weaver, who oversees $5 billion as lead manager of the Fidelity Advisor Growth Opportunities Fund, shares his three top stock picks for 2019.
- Weaver's fund has returned 12.71% over the past year through Jan. 4, putting it in the 99th percentile relative to competitors.
- Steve Eisman, the hedge fund manager famous for betting against the US housing market ahead of the 2008 crash, is sounding the alarm on the spectacular rise of poorly rated debt among corporations.
- Eisman — who was a central figure in the book, and subsequent film, 'The Big Short' — told the Financial Times that the rising stock of corporate debt rated at BBB, just one notch above junk status, is a cause for serious concern.
- Stocks of such debt have more than quadrupled since the crisis, standing at around $2.7 trillion.
- Bastion Collective is buying regional agencies around the US to form an alternative to the holding company model.
- It’s bought three Southern California agencies and plans to acquire more at a rate of three per year.
- The company sees an opportunity to serve marketers better than holding companies, arguing they have failed to adapt to changing consumer habits.
- As concerns of a slowdown in global growth swirl, some experts on Wall Street are suggesting investors bulk up on defensive holdings.
- Goldman Sachs just told clients to "increase portfolio defensiveness," and Bank of America said investors' exposure to "low quality" stocks is a key risk this year.
- The calls come amid continued US-China trade negotiations, central banks around the world unwinding fiscal stimulus, and continued Brexit uncertainty.
- The best-performing investment of 2018 came as a shock to everyone — and the stars are now aligned for its continued dominance
- Here's how the risky behavior of debt-heavy corporate giants like GE and AT&T could spark the next financial crisis
- 01/08/19--03:02: GOLDMAN SACHS: These 11 stocks are going to get crushed
- Goldman Sachs' equity strategy team has published its quarterly chart book detailing the final quarter of 2018, and what lies ahead for this year.
- Among its round-ups was a list of stocks trading at the highest premium to the firm's price targets.
- Most of the names expected to fall the most can be found in two sectors: consumer staples and real estate.
- After a shaky start, wearables like smartwatches and fitness trackers have gained traction in healthcare, with US consumer use jumping from 9% in 2014 to 33% in 2018.
- More than 80% of consumers are willing to wear tech that measures health data — and penetration should continue to climb.
- The maturation of the wearable market will put more wearables in the hands of consumers and US businesses.
- Insurers can use wearable data to enhance risk assessments and drive customer lifetime value. One study shows that wearables can incentivize healthier behavior associated with a 30% reduction in risk of cardiovascular events and death.
- Providers can use the remote patient monitoring capabilities of wearable technology to improve chronic disease management, lessen the burden of staff shortages, and navigate a changing reimbursement model. And since 90% of patients no longer feel obligated to stay with providers that don't deliver a satisfactory digital experience, wearables could help to attract and retain them.
- Employers can combine wearables with cash incentives to lower insurance costs and improve employee productivity. For example, The Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority yielded $5 million in healthcare cost savings through a wearable-based employee wellness program.
- 01/08/19--06:23: Trump's plan to get out of Syria is collapsing already
- President Trump declared on December 19 that ISIS was "defeated in Syria" and that US troops would therefore leave.
- The situation is much more complicated.
- The US wants Turkey to hold the line and take on the remnants of ISIS, which is not totally defeated.
- It also wants assurances that Turkey will not attack Kurdish militants in Syria, which Turkey considers terrorists.
- US National Security Adviser John Bolton went to Turkey this week to secure these.
- But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday refused to agree to Bolton's conditions and said he "made a serious mistake."
- It is not clear how Trump will be able to deliver on his promise if the US and Turkey cannot agree.
- Tenshin Nasukawa has welcomed Conor McGregor's mixed martial arts challenge.
- But Nasukawa has a few demands that would prove problematic to any negotiations with McGregor and the Irishman's employer, the UFC.
- Nasukawa wants the fight to be competed at a weight that is alien to McGregor, in a kickboxing ring rather than a UFC cage, and wants to make McGregor play the waiting game rather than book the bout now.
- McGregor has other fights that could prove far more lucrative, with rematches against Nate Diaz and Khabib Nurmagomedov likely options.
- A Nasukawa vs. McGregor exhibition could, therefore, remain talked about on social media platforms only, rather than on the negotiating table in UFC boardrooms.
- McGregor must weigh-in at 58kg (127.8 pounds)
- The bout must be fought under kickboxing rules in a ring
- It must be held after Nasukawa has competed in the RISE kickboxing grand prix this year
- 01/08/19--06:38: THEN AND NOW: Taylor Swift's 'squad'
- Taylor Swift famously made "squad goals" a thing in 2015.
- Swift's squad consists of more than two dozen individuals.
- Swift appears to still be friends with most of the squad.
- According to Forbes, the royal family is worth at least $88 billion.
- Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle have fortunes of their own before becoming members of the royal family.
- Prince William and Prince Harry have a similar net worth.
- The three royal kids have their own impressive net worths.
- An attorney seeking to subpoena Azealia Banks in a lawsuit centered on Tesla CEO Elon Musk's "funding secured" tweet is arguing that Musk's lawyers "seem to be pressuring" Banks to conceal and destroy information based on a now-deleted tweet by Banks.
- Tesla investors claim that Banks — who was at one of Musk's properties soon after he posted the tweet — could have information relevant to the case. Their motion argues that information on social media is prone to being discarded inadvertently.
- Banks said on Monday that she had told Musk's lawyers she did not want to testify in the case, a reversal from her prior excitement.
- "If investors are looking to me to give them the iconic, succinct, truthful, legendary, dramatic-pop-culture-courthouse monologue ... they will absolutely get it," Banks told Business Insider last week.
Cyntoia Brown, a woman who received a life sentence after killing a man who picked her up her for sex while she was being sex-trafficked at 16 year old, has been granted clemency after a star-studded effort to gain her release from prison.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam granted a full commutation to Brown on Monday, making her eligible for release on August 7, at which point she will face a 10-year period of parole.
The act instantly cut out the 39 years, the time left before she could petition parole, between Brown and her potential freedom. But the moment of catharsis was a long time coming.
This is the story of how Brown found herself behind bars and eventually gained her freedom.
Brown was born afflicted with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome on January 29, 1988, to a home facing drug and alcohol abuse and mental illness. She was eventually given up for adoption.
In court, Brown's biological mother along with a psychologist testified that Brown was born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, a condition caused by alcohol exposure in the womb. The condition can cause brain damage among other complications, though Brown was said to have a high IQ.
She was born into a household afflicted with mental illness and drug and alcohol abuse.
"Bipolar, personality disorder, suicidal, manic depressive," said Brown's biological Georgina Mitchell in court footage from a 2011 documentary, listing conditions she's been diagnosed with. Mitchell said in court that she drank up to a fifth of whiskey a day while pregnant with Brown. She also would admit to using crack cocaine.
Eventually, Cyntoia was given up for adoption.
Brown eventually ran away from her adopted home in 2004, when she was 16. She was forced into prostitution by an abusive 24-year-old named Garion McGlothen who went by the alias "Cut Throat." The two consumed drugs and alcohol together.
According to court documents, after running away from home following alleged abuse from her stepfather, Brown stayed with various friends using drugs and alcohol, before meeting 24-year-old Garion McGlothen, who went by the alias, "Cut Throat."
Brows says that he abused and sexually assaulted her, eventually forcing her into prostitution.
On August 7, 2004, Brown killed a man who hired her for sex. She said she shot him because she thought he was reaching for a gun.
Brown shot and killed 43-year-old real-estate agent Johnny Allen after he picked her up on the way to Sonic. Brown says the pair agreed that he would pay her $150 for sex.
Brown claims that throughout their encounter at Allen's home, he repeatedly brought up guns that he allegedly owned, stating that he was formerly in the military and was a "sharpshooter." She called the victim "weird" in court documents, and says she would have run were it not for a gun cabinet in the room.
At one point, she claims Allen grabbed her “really hard" before rolling over to "maybe to reach for something" like a gun.
She grabbed her own gun, which McGlothen had been given to her, and shot Allen, she said.
After shooting Allen, Brown took some of his guns and his wallet, allegedly because she feared returning to McGlothen emptyhanded. She drove Allen's car to a Walmart parking lot.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Tuesday.
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LONDON — British and European officials have discussed delaying Brexit amid fears Theresa May's proposed withdrawal deal will be rejected in parliament.
Three sources told the Telegraph that UK officials had been "putting out feelers" and "testing the waters" about extending Article 50, the legal mechanism which is scheduled to take the UK out of the EU on March 29.
"Until now, this didn’t come up, but we’re hearing it more and more now," a source said.
The EU has previously suggested the UK could be granted an Article 50 extension to pass legislation or to hold a referendum or general election. It would require the consent of the 27 remaining EU member states.
Downing Street insists that it remains firmly opposed to extending Article 50.
May still faces resounding defeat
The news comes after one of Theresa May's ministers admitted for the first time that the UK could seek to delay the EU exit process to avoid a chaotic no-deal scenario.
Digital Minister Margot James told the BBC on Monday that the UK government could be forced to seek an extension if MPs vote down the prime minister's deal with the EU this month.
We might have to extend Article 50
James told the BBC that she hoped MPs would get behind May's deal but added: "If that proves to be impossible then I think we have very little time left, but we might have to extend Article 50.
Downing Street dismissed James's comments, but it has increased fears among Brexit-supporting MPs that Downing Street could seek to delay the UK's EU exit.
Theresa May plans to put her Brexit deal before parliament next week, having delayed the vote in December after admitting the deal would be defeated by a significant margin.
There remains widespread opposition to the Irish backstop measure, which opponents of May's plans say could keep the UK locked in a customs union indefinitely, with different rules applied to Northern Ireland.
The EU has so far refused to offer any legal concessions on the backstop and does not intend to, although UK officials hope it could issue a further document which clarifies the measure is only intended to be temporary.
The prime minister had hoped to soften opposition to her plans over Christmas, and she held a drinks reception with Tory MPs at Downing Street on Monday evening in the hope of persuading wavering MPs to back her deal.
But none of the approximately 120 Tory MPs who have spoken out against her deal has publicly changed their position, and defeat next week appears almost certain.
Theresa May will hold her first Cabinet meeting of the year on Tuesday morning, where ministers are expected to discuss ongoing preparations for a no-deal Bexit.
Global markets continue broadly to rally Tuesday as the renewed optimism which has characterized the last few days pushes stocks around the world higher.
With trade talks between the USA and China starting on a positive foot on Monday, and renewed optimism around the US economy following a blockbuster jobs number last Friday, some of the doom and gloom that characterized the final months of 2018 and the first days of 2019 evaporated a little.
Mid-level US officials have travelled to Beijing for talks with Chinese counterparts and early signs were positive. Wilbur Ross, the Secretary of Commerce said he was confident a deal could be struck in a round of talks which is focused on US access to China to do business, and the transfer of intellectual property between the two nations.
Sentiment was also helped by a further easing of monetary policy from China's central bank. The People's Bank of China made substantial efforts to ease lending conditions Friday with a 1% cut in bank's reserve requirements ratios (the first of four possible cuts in 2019).
While there are clear gains being made, particularly in Europe, on Tuesday morning, an air of caution still remains.
"Traders are adopting a wait and see approach before deciding whether the latest round of US-Sino trade talks will be productive," Jasper Lawler, the head of research at London Capital Group said in an email.
"Both sides are making encouraging comments that they are on the right track, and whilst that is offering some support to equities the markets know that we have been here before."
Here's the scoreboard:
Rising smartphone penetration, regulations pushing users away from cash, and globalization demanding faster and new ways to transact are leading to a swell in noncash payments, which Business Insider Intelligence expects to grow to 841 billion transactions by 2023.
This shift has created a greenfield opportunity in the space. Legacy providers are working to leverage their scale as they update their infrastructure and adapt their business models. But at the same time, upstarts are using their strengths in user experience to try to disintermediate or beat out those at the forefront of the space — a dichotomy that’s creating crowding and competition.
Digitization and crowding in the payments space will force companies that want to emerge atop the ecosystem to undergo four critical digital transformations: diversification, consolidation and collaboration, data protection, and automation. Those that do this effectively, and use these shifts as a means of achieving scale without eroding the user experience, will be in the best position to use ongoing digitization in their payments space to their advantage.
In The Future Of Payments 2018, Business Insider Intelligence takes a look at some of the biggest problems digitization and crowding are causing for payments firms, outlines the key transformations players can make going forward to resolve them, and explores areas where firms have already begun to use these transformations to their advantage.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un traveled on his personal armored train to China to spend his birthday with President Xi Jinping.
Kim arrived in Beijing on Tuesday, which is his 35th birthday.
North Korean state media aired footage of Kim walking along a long red carpet to board his family's train, which is is bulletproof, and has white conference rooms and pink leather chairs.
He waved to the dozens of government officials and army officers who had lined up to send him off.
He was accompanied by his wife, former singer Ri Sol Ju, and at least eight other officials.
Watch clips of his departure below, as published by BBC Monitoring:
Footage of Kim Jong-un's departure for Beijing aired on North Korean TV. pic.twitter.com/XOeJQnaTdZ— BBC Monitoring (@BBCMonitoring) January 8, 2019
CNN reporter Matt Rivers on Tuesday also published video of Kim's motorcade — at least four black cars and at least 16 motorbikes — traveling along Chang'An Avenue, a busy boulevard in central Beijing that appeared to have been cleared for Kim's visit.
Kim and Xi are due to meet on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, Rivers said.
Here's our video showing some of Kim Jong Un's arrival in Beijing. The motorcade is seen heading down Beijing's most famous boulevard, on the way to meet Xi Jinping. Meetings set for today, the 9th, and the 10th. pic.twitter.com/3ahppYkw2D— Matt Rivers (@MattRiversCNN) January 8, 2019
Kim's trip to China — his fourth in less than a year — comes amid rumors of a second summit with US President Donald Trump.
China is North Korea's most important trading partner, and a buffer against pressure from the US.
Trump said earlier this week that he is "negotiating a location" for his next meeting with Kim. White House officials have been considering Bangkok, Hanoi, and Hawaii, according to CNN.
Trump and Kim last met in Singapore in June 2018, where they agreed to work toward denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula. However, they did not mention a timeline or provide further details on how they would work toward it.
There has also been little real progress in terms of nuclear disarmament, which is the stated aim of US engagement with North Korea.
The US wants North Korea to provide detailed accounts of its nuclear arsenal, while Pyongyang says it has done enough and now wants Washington to ease economic sanctions.
The US president said earlier this week that his administration has "a very good dialogue" with its North Korean counterparts, but said that sanctions will remain until they see "very positive" results.
Hailey Baldwin has had a transformative couple of months on social media, changing her name on Instagram at the end of 2018 to "haileybieber."
Now, she has kicked off 2019 with a post opening up about her mental health.
The 22-year-old model posted a photo of her smiling in a Coors Light jacket, with a long message in the caption about body positivity, her relationship to the internet, and her anxiety.
"Stepping into 2019 I want to be more open," Baldwin wrote in the post. "I want to be more open about the things I struggle with, and be able to be more vulnerable."
She said although her life may look amazing, she has struggles like many people, particularly with insecurity.
stepping into 2019 I want to be more open, I want to be more open about the things I struggle with, and be able to be more vulnerable. I’m a 22 years old, and the truth is no matter how amazing life may look from the outside I struggle... I’m insecure, I’m fragile, I’m hurting, I have fears, I have doubts, I have anxiety, I get sad, I get angry. I have had more days than I can count where I’ve found myself scrolling through Instagram comparing myself, comparing my looks, feeling like I’m not good enough feeling like I lack so many things and really struggling to be confident in who I am because I constantly feel like I’m just not good enough. Every single day is a confidence battle for me. I’m not writing this for a pity party or for sympathy but just to simply say, I’m a human.. I’m a young woman, I’m learning who I am and, it’s REALLY FREAKING HARD. It’s hard finding who you are, but what’s even harder is being picked apart and compared to other women while trying to do that. There are days that I’m simply broken because of it. It would be incredible if other young girls and women could find it in themselves to lift each other up, to stop making other women who are struggling JUST LIKE THEM, feel incompetent and less than. We ALL have flaws, and that will never change. What I do know is, God made us individuals for a reason, with our own beauty, our own personalities, and our own story because there’s a specific plan and purpose for each and every human created and he makes no mistakes!! So this year I’m gonna do my very best to just be ME and be confident with who I am. Cause I am enough, and I’m loved, and you are enough and you’re loved.
"I'm fragile, I'm hurting, I have fears, I have doubts, I have anxiety, I get sad, I get angry," she wrote.
"I have had more days than I can count where I've found myself scrolling through Instagram comparing myself, comparing my looks, feeling like I'm not good enough feeling like I lack so many things and really struggling to be confident in who I am because I constantly feel like I'm just not good enough."
Rather than writing the post for sympathy, Baldwin said she wanted to show that she is human, and how the process of learning who she is is really hard. She added that it would be "incredible" if other girls and women could find it in themselves to lift each other up, rather than put each other down.
"We ALL have flaws, and that will never change," she wrote. "What I do know is, God made us individuals for a reason, with our own beauty, our own personalities, and our own story because there's a specific plan and purpose for each and every human created and he makes no mistakes!!"
Baldwin vowed this year to do her best just to be her and find confidence in who she is, and she urged her fans to do the same.
"Cause I am enough, and I'm loved, and you are enough and you're loved," she wrote.
In response, Baldwin's husband Justin Bieber wrote "this is beautiful hun."
She also received messages of support from other celebrities like Patrick Schwarzenegger who said "Great caption" with a heart emoji, and Millie Bobbie Brown who wrote "couldn't agree more! [heart emoji] you shouldn't compare your life to controlled content. everyone is human. sending my love and kisses to you x".
Amazon has removed multiple products featuring verses from the Quran after a complaint from a Muslim civil liberties union.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) released a statement on Thursday asking Amazon to remove doormats and bath mats printed with Islamic scripture. CAIR said the mats were offensive because they would be "stepped-on or otherwise disrespected by customers."
Amazon removed the products which were available through third-party seller, Emvency, and CAIR welcomed the decision on Friday.
An Amazon spokesman confirmed the products' removal to Business Insider, adding: "All sellers must follow our selling guidelines and those who do not will be subject to action including potential removal of their account."
CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper told CNN that since the press release went out, CAIR has received more complaints about similar products on Amazon, including toilet covers.
Hooper said in some instances, he didn't believe the use of Quranic verse was malicious.
"My gut feeling is that at least for the bath mats, shower curtains, and stuff like that, it's these companies just slapping these designs on everything without even thinking about it," he told CNN.
"But there are others crossing the line into intentional Islamophobia. Some of the companies have things like toilet seats. I mean come on, why else would you do that?"
Do you work at Amazon? Got a tip? Contact this reporter via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.
Just as everyone expected the stock market to ease quietly into the end of 2018, chaos reigned supreme over the final week of the year.
Which is why it's that much more impressive that Kyle Weaver — who oversees $5 billion as lead manager of the Fidelity Advisor Growth Opportunities Fund— has been able to remain atop Wall Street fund manager rankings. He was in the 99th percentile through the end of November, and remained there as of Jan. 4, even following the market's turbulent December.
It's no mistake that Weaver stayed relatively insulated from the widespread damage that took stocks by storm. His entire strategy is built around stable, standalone businesses that are largely immune to macro conditions and negative external forces.
Beyond that, Weaver picks stocks based on what he calls a "deep value" approach. That means he looks for companies trading at inexpensive valuations right now — perhaps at two to three times earnings — that also possess massive upside over a five- to 10-year period.
To that end, Weaver shared with Business Insider three of his top stock picks for 2019. They are as follows. All quotes attributable to Weaver.
"What’s amazing about Wayfair is watching someone beating Amazon at its own game. In e-commerce and home furnishings, Wayfair is the 800-pound gorilla. It’s a really big market in the US and Europe, and it's a very different kind than the books and CDs and groceries that you may think of as Amazon's core franchise."
"Wayfair divides its delivery network into small and large parcels. A Wayfair small parcel would be considered a very large one for Amazon. That requires a very different distribution network. These are large packages that are easy to damage and hard to deliver."
"In some ways they're following the Amazon playbook by investing in growth and being customer-focused. They own the process end to end, to make the experience better and better. As they do that, it’s been dampening their current levels of profitability, but amplifying their long-term earnings power."
"When dollars and industries move to the internet, market concentration increases. The internet is much more of a winner-takes-most environment. Wayfair is in a nice position as the current largest company in that niche, even though it’s huge."
The Trade Desk (TTD)
"Usually when you talk about internet advertising, the discussion is dominated by Google and Facebook, who have taken the vast majority of the ad dollars that have flowed to online advertising. What made Trade Desk controversial — and what created opportunity for a stock that was overlooked a year ago — was that there is a lot of internet left out there outside of Google and Facebook."
"There are a lot of advertisers who really want to figure out how to stop guessing, and start making data-driven insights to make sure their ad dollars aren't wasted. The Trade Desk was pretty much founded on that vision. It’s founder-led and has been profitable since day one. They’re just extremely customer-focused. One of their biggest innovations wasn’t actually their technology."
"Instead of trying to disrupt the traditional ad agency model, they aligned with them and became their tool for serving digital advertising to their customers. They built a great tool with great technology, and had the correct vision. It was a unique model. At a time when people were trying to disrupt the ad industry, they kind of enabled it. It's proven to be a really winning value proposition."
"They're still a $400-500 million revenue company in a $700 billion global advertising industry. The fact that they're taking share in programmatic advertising — which is the fastest-growing part of the online market, which is taking share from the traditional market — gives them a lot of tailwinds to benefit from over the next several years.
American Tower (AMT)
"It kind of proves how boring is beautiful. The tower business model hasn't changed in the multiple decades it's existed."
"The company's business model is simply to collect rent from telecom carriers that need to put equipment on those towers in order to get signal to their customers. The contracts are 5-10 years long, and they come with 2-3% price increases every year."
"Each tower is like its own tiny local monopoly. For that area of your neighborhood, there probably isn't another spot to put that equipment, which gives the tower companies a pretty unique advantage. And nobody wants new towers built in their area."
"Ten years ago, you could sit back and say wireless data would be a huge demand driver for carriers. Understanding the business model for the tower stocks, you could look out and see it was only trading at 3 to 4 times earnings 8 to 10 years out, and that's been what's come to pass. The stock is $160 instead of $30 now as it’s traveled up with earnings growth."
"AMT has differentiated itself from other tower companies in the US by investing abroad in emerging markets like India and Nigeria, where wireless data growth is on an even steeper growth trajectory. That comes with some risks, but they're a very long-term focused company. They're aligned with us as long-term shareholders."
Click here to read our full story, featuring exclusive interviews with Wall Street's top 8 fund managers
Steve Eisman, the hedge fund manager famous for betting against the US housing market ahead of the 2008 crash, is sounding the alarm on the spectacular rise of poorly rated debt among corporations.
Eisman — who was a central figure in the book, and subsequent film, 'The Big Short' — told the Financial Times that the rising stock of corporate debt rated at BBB, just one notch above junk status, is a cause for serious concern.
Stocks of such debt have more than quadrupled since the financial crisis, standing at around $2.7 trillion, according to the Bloomberg Barclays index, which tracks corporate debt issuance.
According to the FT, Eisman's concern is not with the actual amount of debt, but with the fact that major banks have cut the amount of trading capacity they have for BBB rated debt. As a result, he says, when the next recession does come, the only way to sell such debt will be to do so at a big discount, costing funds and asset managers.
Rising stocks of risky and badly-rated corporate debt have become a major worry for many in the markets, with the growth of leveraged loans a particular concern.
The major surge in debt issuance by US corporations through highly levered buyouts and low-interest-rate acquisitions could be a major part of the next financial crisis, research firm CLSA said in a note last week.
Eisman, however, is marginally less concerned, saying that he does not see a recession on the horizon imminently.
"You can’t have a recession when consumer credit quality is as good as I’ve seen it in my whole career," Eisman, who is now a portfolio manager at Neuberger Berman in New York, told the FT.
Since gaining recognition beyond the financial sphere after the book's publication, Eisman has been a vocal market commentator, and in the past couple of years in particular he has warned frequently about the health of European banks, particularly those in Italy and Germany's biggest lender, Deutsche Bank.
In November last year Eisman said he is shorting two British bank stocks in anticipation that the UK falls out of the European Union without securing an exit deal.
The latest salvo against the US ad agency holding company model is being fired from Down Under.
Bastion Collective, a private marketing and communications company in Australia, is buying regional agencies around the US to form an alternative to the holding company model.
Bastion’s pitch goes like this: It’s not a holding company, but rather a collective of regional agencies specializing in engagement and experiential work. Being small, each agency will be able to give clients personalized service, but be able to tap into other agencies in the collective that offer different services.
The other difference with holding companies is that the agencies in the collective retain at least 20% ownership and run their businesses independently, so there’s not massive turnover. At the same time, they’ll gain efficiencies by sharing back-office functions like HR and finance across the collective.
This charge is being led by Dax Cornelius, who is CEO of Bastion Collective’s US arm. He said the company built this model in Australia 10 years ago and that it’s helped make the company a leading private marketing company. He said the holding companies haven’t kept up with consumers' increasing intolerance for ads and clients’ demand for lower marketing costs.
Bastion is focusing on engagement and experiential work
“We built this model because the conglomerates have become too unwieldy, and they’ve become sitting ducks for nimble competitors like us,” he said. “The conglomerates target [consumers] with constant disruption. Our approach is, it needs to be not reach but engagement, experiential.”
To accomplish this, Bastion is buying regional agencies — since setting up shop in Irvine, California, in October 2017, it’s already bought three in Southern California, called Rare Branding, Digital Brand Group (combining and rebranding them as Bastion Rare), and LFPR (rebranded Bastion Elevate). It’s looking to acquire research, content, and experiential agencies next, spending 20% of its $55 million in annual revenue on the first six acquisitions. Going forward, the plan is to do three acquisitions per year.
Among its clients in Australia and Asia are Nissan, Jeep, Target, Costco, and McDonald’s, according to Cornelius. Bastion’s US clients are smaller-scale, but it has no doubt that over time, it will have the same kind of big names on its roster in the US.
“What we’ve done in Australia in 10 years, we’ll do in the US in four to five years,” Cornelius said. “We’re already working for those brands overseas, and with the cross-pollination of our agencies, I expect we’ll be handling those clients in the US.”
The moves come as US marketers are looking for alternatives to big agencies, holding companies are consolidating their own shops, and agencies face competition from consulting companies, media companies, and new forms of holding companies.
One such venture was formed by Andrew Essex, former CEO of Droga5. He along with MT Carney formed Plan A, a collection of boutique agencies.
Essex expressed skepticism of Bastion’s ambitions, coming from outside the US. “They’re not known as operators in the US, so be careful what you wish for when you try to penetrate the US. The people who are putting together new model holding companies, present company included, have operating experience and track record.”
Cornelius also is hardly a household name in agency circles — he’s spent half his career in the US Air Force and describes himself as an M&A expert — but he said that lack of agency operating experience is actually an asset.
“My mind is not cluttered with some of the bureaucracy and red tape of agency life,” he said. “I was a demo pilot. I was using all these assets to deliver on a mission. The difference is, lives were at stake. I’m doing the exact same thing when you think about it. I wouldn’t say lives are at stake, but families are at stake.”
Economists and strategists on Wall Street are increasingly asking not if, but when, a slowing global economy will accelerate into a more severe downturn.
Amid calls for slowdowns in major economies, along with lingering political uncertainty, and central banks unwinding accommodative monetary policy, some macroeconomic experts are recommending that investors bulk up on defensive assets.
Investors are gearing up to deal with volatility-inducing events like ongoing trade negotiations between the US and China, the Federal Reserve potentially scaling back its tightening, and looming Brexit uncertainty.
"Strategically, we recommend investors increase portfolio defensiveness," a team of Goldman Sachs strategists led by David Kostin told clients in a note on Monday. "Cash allocations are at or near the bottom of their 30-year historical distribution for many investors."
Investors might wonder what defensive means, especially in a challenging market like last year's when few trades worked out. Investors across markets and asset classes mostly counted 2018 as a loss, and cash became more attractive as equities around the world languished.
Kostin and his team said investors should consider stocks well-positioned to outperform in an "uncertain economic environment" and came up with a list of 30 names that would still boast an above-average valuation even if earnings were to sharply decline. They included stocks across traditionally defensive sectors like industrials and consumer staples, including the likes of FedEx, Raytheon, Kroger and Philip Morris.
Others say even as positive growth is still expected for this year, a more conservative approach is prudent.
A team of strategists at AllianceBernstein told clients Monday that while several indicators — including the flattening yield curve, a downturn in key US service sector data and Economic Surprise Index data — support the view that economic growth is indeed slowing, analysts are expecting positive earnings growth for this year.
"We face a slowing cycle with growth slowing in most regions, though the timing and pace of the slow-down differs by region," the team led by Inigo Fraser-Jenkins wrote.
"Monetary policy is also becoming less accommodative in most regions. Against this backdrop we have a somewhat defensive factor allocation, but we retain some cyclical exposure as despite the headwinds we think that growth will still be positive in 2019."
Specifically, AllianceBernstein is recommending investors buy companies with qualities like low debt-to-equity ratios, and those with high levels of free cash flow yield. Such a measurement of companies' "quality" tends to be less correlated with political risk, the strategists said.
Meanwhile, Bank of America told clients in a note that investors' exposure to "low quality" is a key risk this year.
"Managers have historically been overweight Low Quality (B or worse S&P quality rank) stocks," strategists led by Savita Subramanian wrote in a report out Monday.
"Their bias towards lower quality is a key risk in our view, particularly heading into the new year where we expect volatility to remain elevated."
Among traditionally defensive sectors, the bank said active managers last year pared their holdings in consumer staples, a traditionally defensive group, and rotated into healthcare.
But that development in and of itself could be reason enough to lighten up on defensive names. Historically, when the healthcare sector reaches 15.6% of the S&P 500, which happened in mid-December, it begins underperforming and the broader market starts bottoming out, according to an analysis from DataTrek Research.
Goldman Sachs' equity strategy team just put together its quarterly chart book, detailing the brutal final quarter — and month — of 2018, and the firm's outlook for this year.
The team, led by chief US equity strategist David Kostin, included a list of stocks with the most downside to the firm's price targets.
In other words, the strategists compiled stocks trading at the highest premium to the firm's price target, implying the stocks could fall sharply if the analysts are correct in their predictions.
Notably, of the 11 names Business Insider has listed below, most of the stocks are in the real estate or consumer staples sector. While the broader market posted a total return of -4% in 2018, real estate posted a total return of -2% in 2018, and consumer staples posted a total return of -8%.
Here's a breakdown of the stocks, in the order of largest implied drop to the smallest implied drop.
2018 performance: -6%
Current price: $27.52
Downside to target: -25.7%
Source: Goldman Sachs
Church & Dwight
Ticker: Church & Dwight
Sector: Consumer staples
2018 performance: +33%
Current price: $65.88
Downside to target: -25.5%
Source: Goldman Sachs
Sector: Consumer staples
2018 performance: +6%
Current price: $154.88
Downside to target: -25.4%
Source: Goldman Sachs
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
The US healthcare industry as it exists today is not sustainable. An aging patient population and rising burden of chronic disease have caused healthcare costs to skyrocket and left providers struggling to keep up with demand for care.
Meanwhile, digital technologies in nearly every consumer experience outside of healthcare have raised patients’ expectations for good service to be higher than ever.
One of the key mechanisms through which healthcare providers can finally evolve their outdated practices and exceed these expectations is wearable technology.
Presently, 33% of US consumers have adopted wearables, such as smartwatches and fitness trackers, to play a more active role in managing their health. In turn, insurers, providers, and employers are poised to become just as active leveraging these devices – and the data they capture – to abandon the traditional reimbursement model and improve patient outcomes with personalized, value-based care.
Adoption is going to keep climbing, as more than 80% of consumers are willing to wear tech that measures health data, according to Accenture — though they have reservations about who exactly should access it.
A new report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, follows the growing adoption of wearables and breadth of functions they offer to outline how healthcare organizations and stakeholders can overcome this challenge and add greater value with wearable technology.
For insurers, providers, and employers, wearables present three distinct opportunities:
Want to Learn More?
The Wearables in US Healthcare Report details the current and future market landscape of wearables in the US healthcare sector. It explores the key drivers behind wearable usage by insurers, healthcare providers, and employers, and the opportunities wearables afford to each of these stakeholders.
By outlining a successful case study from each stakeholder, the report highlights best practices in implementing wearables to reduce healthcare claims, improve patient outcomes, and drive insurance cost savings, as well as how the evolution of the market will create new, untapped opportunities for businesses.
President Donald Trump's controversial plan to pull US troops out of Syria is starting to fall apart already, because Turkey — which the US wants to step up when it leaves — won't agree to the White House's terms.
The cracks in the plan became evident today when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan publicly condemned National Security Advisor John Bolton, who is visiting the country to insist that Turkey fulfills the criteria for a US withdrawal.
Bolton told reporters on Sunday that he would seek Turkey's assurance that it will not attack Kurdish militants in northern Syria after the US is gone.
US forces in Syria currently fight alongside the People's Protection Units (YPG), a Kurdish militia in Syria.
Turkey considers the YPG to be terrorists, because of their connection to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a group in Turkey which Ankara considers a terrorist organization.
The US believes that its withdrawal from Syria could leave YPG fighters vulnerable to Turkish attacks.
Bolton said on Sunday, according to the BBC: "We don't think the Turks ought to undertake military action that is not fully co-ordinated with and agreed to by the United States."
He said the conditions are "at a minimum so they don't endanger our troops, but also so that they meet the President's requirement that the Syrian opposition forces that have fought with us are not endangered."
Erdogan on Tuesday refused to give such assurance, and slammed Bolton's thinking as "a serious mistake."
He told his AK Party at the Turkish parliament in Ankara, according to Reuters: "If they are terrorists, we will do what is necessary no matter where they come from."
"Bolton has made a serious mistake and whoever thinks like this has also made a mistake. It is not possible for us to make compromises on this point."
He added, according to Ragip Soylu, the Turkey correspondent at the Qatari-funded Middle East Eye: "Saying that Turkey targets Syrian Kurds, which is a lie itself, is the lowest, most dishonorable, ugliest, most banal slander ever."
Erdogan's remarks appear to have opened up a new rift between the US and Turkey.
Bolton, who is in the Middle East this week, will leave Turkey on Tuesday without meeting Erdogan at all, the Associated Press reported.
His Turkish counterpart, Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin, abruptly canceled a scheduled joint press conference after their meeting, Agence France-Presse reported.
Trump announced his decision to pull all 2,000 troops out of Syria on December 19, claiming that it was because "we have defeated ISIS in Syria"— contradicting analyses from the US-led coalition that the "mission in northeast Syria remains unchanged."
The president appeared to walk back his claim the next day, saying in a tweet: "Does the USA want to be the Policeman of the Middle East, getting NOTHING but spending precious lives and trillions of dollars protecting others who, in almost all cases, do not appreciate what we are doing? ... Time for others to finally fight."
The decision to withdraw from Syria has been controversial. Jim Mattis, the former US defense secretary, and Brett McGurk, who was the top US official leading the 79-nation fight against ISIS, both resigned over it.
Nasukawa rose to international prominence when the Asian combat sports firm Rizin held a press conference to announce an exhibition bout between the 20-year-old kickboxer and American fight veteran Floyd Mayweather last year.
Nasukawa was annihilated by Mayweather in an exhibition that lasted just 136 seconds on December 31, but even though he was knocked down three times the event still managed to capture the imagination of McGregor, who issued a come-and-fight-me plea on Twitter.
"I wish to go to Tokyo to face Tenshin Nasukawa in a mixed martial arts exhibition bout,"McGregor tweeted on Sunday.
It only took Nasukawa a day to respond but the Japanese fighter has told McGregor he has conditions that the UFC star must accept if their exhibition is to go ahead.
Here they are:
"Dear Mr. McGregor,"Nasukawa wrote on Instagram. "Thank you very much for remembering my name. I'm honored that you would even consider fighting me.
"58kg, kickboxing rules would probably get us in the ring sometime in the near future. I will fight my RISE world GP this year so please watch your diet and wait for me!"
Dear Mr. McGregor. Thank you very much for remembering my name. I’m honored that you would even consider fighting me. 58kg, kickboxing rules would probably get us in the ring sometime in the near future 👍 I will fight my RISE world GP this year so please watch your diet and wait for me! #RISE #Cygames #RIZIN #kickboxing @thenotoriousmma
By demanding McGregor weighs no more than 58kg (127.8 pounds), Nasukawa gives himself a massive advantage. This weight is closer to his natural competing weight (121 pounds) but it would also give McGregor a problematic weight-cut.
This is because McGregor currently competes as a UFC lightweight, which means his fighting weight is 70.3kg (155 pounds). Even though McGregor previously campaigned as a featherweight at 65.7kg (145 pounds), cutting further to 127 pounds would be improbable, if not impossible.
McGregor's challenge specifically referenced mixed martial arts rules in a cage and so Nasukawa's insistence on kickboxing rules in a ring further distances himself from the Irishman's original offer.
Nasukawa stressed that the upcoming RISE kickboxing grand prix is a more important competition for him than any exhibition against McGregor, and McGregor himself has potential big-money rematches against Khabib Nurmagomedov and Nate Diaz to campaign for.
So, for now, it is likely this event could remain the talk of social media, rather than the talk of any negotiating room.
Consumers having been “cutting the cord,” or canceling their pay-TV subscriptions in favor of internet-delivered alternatives, for years now, but the trend reached new heights in 2017.
There’s little reason to believe that this phenomenon will slow down any time soon either, so pay-tv providers will have to find new ways to generate revenue as their primary source continues to erode.
One of the most prominent ways media companies are recuperating cord-cutting losses is by launching their own direct-to-consumer streaming services.
But what makes for a successful streaming video service?
The Business Insider Intelligence Digital Media research team has written a note breaking down the evolving landscape of streaming video on-demand (SVOD). The note looks at which characteristics consumers care about most in a streaming service and which are just "nice to have."
To get your FREE copy, click here.
Back in 2015 and 2016, Taylor Swift was the reigning queen of the "squad." Swift and her crew of (mostly) gal pals graced headlines for years and had some seriously enviable moments. Swift brought her gang of best friends onstage at her 1989 tour, celebrated with them at her annual July 4th parties, and even cast most of them in her "Bad Blood" music video.
This group of individuals became known as Taylor Swift's "squad," but in the last two years, the squad has gone seemingly silent on social media.
Here's what Taylor Swift's "squad" is up to now.
Karlie Kloss was once considered Swift's best friend.
Karlie Kloss was once famously considered Swift's "best friend" and the highest ranking member of "the squad." At the time they met, Kloss was the buzziest new model on the scene and she and Swift solidified their new friendship with a well-documented road trip to Big Sur.
Kloss recently got married and confirmed that she and Swift are still close.
Over the years the tabloids liked to speculate that the two had a falling out, but Kloss revealed to Vogue in October 2018 that "Taylor and I are still really good friends." Kloss is still modeling, still coding, still an entrepreneur, and most recently — a wife. She married Joshua Kushner this year, though it's unclear if Swift attended the wedding.
Cara Delevingne met Swift at the 2013 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.
Like a lot of Swift's model friends, Cara Delevingne and Swift seemed to link up after Swift performed at the 2013 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. Soon after they were often spotted hanging out in New York City. Delevingne was another of the friends to appear in the "Bad Blood" music video.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
It's certainly no secret that the British royal family has a tremendous amount of money. In fact, they probably have even more than you thought they did — in previous reports, Forbes has said that the family, as a whole, is worth at least $88 billion. But what does this mean for the individual net worths of each member of the family?
Prince William and Middleton are older than Harry and Markle, have three children, and are in line to become the King and Queen of England one day, so it makes sense that their net worth would be higher. But how much higher?
Kate Middleton herself is worth at least a reported $7 million, and not all of her money is from the royal family.
Time reported that, according to global wealth-tracking firm Wealth-X, Middleton is worth at least £5 million, which comes out to about $6.5 million (it's worth noting that some estimates put her closer to $10 million). Most of her money, however, didn't come from the fact that she's a member of the royal family — it came from her own family.
Middleton's parents started a company called Party Pieces, an online party supplies business. Royal expert Marlene Koenig told Time that the company is estimated to be worth around £30 million, or $40 million. Before marrying William and becoming a duchess, Middleton worked for the business and was also a part-time accessories buyer for a retailer called Jigsaw, where she made some of her own money.
And, of course, as his wife, Middleton has William's fortune as well.
Prince William is reportedly worth between $30 and $40 million, and a lot of that is in cash.
According to Wealth-X's evaluation reported in Time, William is worth at least $30 million, and $19 million of it is in cash. When his mother Princess Diana passed away, she left William (and Harry) a large inheritance at the lump sum of a reported £10 million (which is roughly $13 million), which William received when he turned 30-years-old.
He had also received an inheritance from the Queen. According to BBC, she put most of her estimated $89 million fortune into a trust fund for her great-grandchildren back in 1994. In 2002, BBC reported that William and Harry would share about $17.9 million from that estate.
Most of what William does in his life is covered by the Duchy of Cornwall. To get an idea of how much that would be, a 2017 report said that the Duchy spent $4.9 million total to cover the duties of William, Middleton, Harry, and Markle.
When William worked as an East Anglian Air Ambulance pilot, he received an annual salary of $62,000, which he actually used to donate to charity, according to CNBC.
On top of that, William will receive the Duchy when Prince Charles becomes King. As King, he'll be making a lot more than he does now — to get an idea of how much, consider the fact that Queen Elizabeth II is worth at least a repored $530 million.
The royal kids have some net worth as well.
Middleton and William have three kids, all of which are going to amass their own small fortunes. Prince George, at 4 years old, is third in line for the throne, which means he has some big money coming to him. His net worth at the moment, according to Romper, is about £1.7 billion, or $2.4 billion.
Much of this comes from something that has been deemed the "Prince George Effect," which basically means that eldest royal child has a significant economic impact. Parents around the world spend money buying the clothes George wears, even pushing up the demand for lentils after he was seen eating them.
Although younger, Princess Charlotte is already worth more than her brother. E! News reported that London-based branded business valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance Group estimates the net worth of the toddler to be about £3 billion, or $3.9 billion. Again, this net worth is calculated based on the estimated economic influence Charlotte will have over her lifetime, not real dollars. The "Princess Charlotte effect" is even stronger than the "Prince George effect," as many more parents are spending money to buy what Charlotte wears for their children.
According to Marie Claire, the youngest child, Prince Louis, was said to be worth at least $1 billion the day he was born. Cosmopolitan UK reported that Louis would add almost $70 million to the British economy. This money would be coming from sales of souvenirs and memorabilia commemorating his birth — and, of course, there would be a "Prince Louis effect" as well.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
The battle to subpoena Azealia Banks in a lawsuit against Elon Musk and Tesla is heating up.
Last week, Dean Kristy of Fenwick & West, an attorney representing Musk, filed an opposition arguing against the allowance of a subpoena of Azealia Banks, as well as those of Grimes, Business Insider, Gizmodo, and The New York Times. Kristy argued that the motion for leave to serve preservation subpoenas was primarily an attempt to "sensationalize" proceedings.
On Monday, Adam M. Apton of Levi & Korsinsky, the firm representing the investors, fired back.
Apton told Business Insider that the firm is seeking to subpoena Banks in part due to concerns that Musk, Tesla, or others connected to them could pressure the rapper to destroy information that could be relevant in the case.
"Granting the motion would allow the plaintiffs to preserve this evidence and help provide a fair opportunity to take discovery for all parties," Apton said in an email on Monday.
Citing a now-deleted tweet that Banks posted to her private Twitter account on Friday, Apton added a further concern that "lawyers seem to be pressuring Ms. Banks to conceal and/or destroy evidence." The tweet said that Musk's lawyers had previously taken her phone and suggested they tried tampering with information.
Kristy and a representative for Musk did not respond to Business Insider's request for comment. Tesla declined to comment.
The investors are suing Tesla and Musk in a class-action lawsuit, claiming that Musk made false and misleading statements when he tweeted about plans to take the company private at $420 a share. These tweets, the complaint alleges, negatively impacted people who purchased Tesla stock soon after Musk tweeted about his plans, as they falsely believed that he had funding secured to take the company private.
Banks, for her part, told Business Insider on Monday that she was no longer interested in testifying in the case, a reversal from the previous excitement she expressed on the topic. Banks said that she had told Musk's lawyers about her reticence earlier in the day on Monday.
"I never TRULY wanted to go to court, it was just something to joke about," she said in an Instagram DM. "I'm not getting paid to be a prosecutor so it's ultimately a waste of time for a musician to be in court."
The problems caused by 'funding secured'
The motion asking the court for permission to serve preservation subpoenas is related to a lawsuit filed against Tesla and the company's CEO, Elon Musk, in August, after Musk tweeted that funding was "secured" to take Tesla private at $420 a share. Banks was staying at one of Musk's Los Angeles properties soon after he posted the tweet, and told Business Insidershe saw Musk "scrounging for investors" when she stayed at his house.
In December, attorneys representing the investors led by Apton moved for permission to subpoena Banks and Grimes, the singer and songwriter whose real name is Claire Boucher, who was dating Musk at the time. The motion also proposes subpoenaing Business Insider — which interviewed Banks regarding her time at Musk's property — as well as Gizmodo and The New York Times, which interviewed Musk.
"Ms. Boucher and Ms. Banks were in close contact with Mr. Musk before and after the tweet and are believed to be in possession of relevant evidence concerning Mr. Musk’s motives," Apton told Business Insider on Monday. "Business Insider also appears to have relevant evidence in light of its relationship with Ms. Banks."
The motion to serve subpoenas seeks to require the parties to preserve information, such as Twitter and Instagram messages, that could be relevant to the case. The filing argues messages posted on social media and shared via text message are "highly susceptible to deletion."
On Friday, Banks had said she would be happy to share whatever information attorneys are seeking.
"Since I will be under oath, I have no choice but to tell the exact same honest truth I told in the past — except this time it won't be vulgar," Banks said at the time.
"The courthouse isn't the internet, so if investors are looking to me to give them the iconic, succinct, truthful, legendary, dramatic-pop-culture-courthouse monologue ... they will absolutely get it."
However, on Monday, Banks told Business Insider she had changed her mind and told Musk's lawyers she no longer wished to testify.
"I don't have any relevant information to add tbh," she said on Monday. "I'm not a stock analyst."
Banks declined to say whether Musk's lawyers reached out to her over the weekend. She also declined to answer a question on the validity of Apton's concerns. Banks said she plans to wait until the court decides to grant or decline permission to serve the subpoenas to speak on the topic further.
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