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The latest news from Business Insider
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    USS Enterprise CV-6

    The USS Enterprise (CV-6) was the most decorated US Navy ship in World War II, receiving a Presidential Unit Citation, a Navy Unit Commendation, and 20 Battle Stars.

    Commissioned in 1938, the Enterprise took part in several naval battles, such as the Battle of the Philippine Sea and the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

    Throughout its service in World War II, the Enterprise was struck several times — but the Big E just wouldn't die.

    In fact, on three separate occasions, the Japanese mistakenly thought they had sunk the Enterprise and announced it had gone down, inspiring one of the ship's many nicknames, The Grey Ghost.

    Check out the photos below of the Enterprise's amazing survival.

    NOW READ: 9 photos of the USS Wolverine, a strange WWII aircraft carrier that was originally a luxury paddlewheel steamer

    SEE ALSO: These are the world's 7 worst aircraft carriers that are currently in service

    CHECK OUT: Photos show the Battle of Savo Island, a brutal US Navy defeat that stranded thousands of Marines on Guadalcanal

    The Enterprise in 1939, before it went through the World War II wringer.



    Japanese bombs exploding off the Enterprise's port side during the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands in October 1942.

    The carrier was hit twice during the battle, killing 44 and wounding 75.



    An F4F-4 Wildcat crash lands on the Big E's flight deck while the carrier was under aerial attack during the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Robert Mueller

    • Democrats are pushing Congress to pass legislation protecting special counsel Robert Mueller.
    • The renewed focus on such legislation comes after reports suggested that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein could soon depart his position.

    Democrats are pushing for "immediate" legislation to protect special counsel Robert Mueller after a whirlwind Monday featured reports suggesting that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein could soon depart his position.

    "We shouldn’t wait for President Trump to further obstruct justice," Rep. Eric Swalwell, a Democrat form California, told Business Insider. "The House should have a floor vote immediately on legislation to protect the Mueller investigation."

    Though Rosenstein did not resign or get fired on Monday, the White House announced that Rosenstein and President Donald Trump will meet on Thursday. Last week, The New York Times and other outlets reported that Rosenstein discussed invoking the 25th Amendment and removing Trump from office in the days the immediately followed the president firing FBI Director James Comey. Rosenstein also mentioned secretly recording Trump, The Times reported.

    Rosenstein disputed the account, saying it was inaccurate, adding that "there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment." A Justice Department spokeswoman told The Times that Rosenstein's comment about recording Trump was made sarcastically.

    Democrats, responding to news of Rosenstein's possible departure, pushed for legislation that had been passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee with Republican support earlier this year but was never brought forth before the full body for a vote.

    In April, the committee approved legislation that would protect Mueller from being fired by giving him and other special counsels the ability to challenge such a firing in court. After the Rosenstein rumors heated up on Monday, Democratic House and Senate aides told Business Insider that Democrats will push for legislation ensuring Mueller can only be fired for good cause and that any such firing is subject to judicial review.

    The April legislation passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee would do that, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — who at the time did not think Trump would consider firing Mueller — promised not to put it on the floor. Meanwhile, House Republicans and Trump are unlikely to vote for and sign such legislation.

    Additionally, some Republicans expressed concern that legislation aimed to prevent the president from firing an executive branch official would be unconstitutional.

    That bill was sponsored by Democratic Sens. Chris Coons of Delaware and Cory Booker of New Jersey and Republican Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. Four Republicans voted in favor of the bill in April — Tillis, Graham, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa, and Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona.

    Prominent Democrats — such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts — called for Congress to pass such legislation.

    SEE ALSO: If Rod Rosenstein is on his way out, exactly how it goes down could have major consequences for how Trump can proceed

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Inside the Trump 'MAGA' hat factory


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    pete davidson ariana grande may 2018

    • News first broke that engaged couple Pete Davidson and Ariana Grande were "casually dating" on May 18, 2018.
    • On Monday, however, Davidson revealed to Howard Stern that they began their romantic relationship the night of the Met Gala on May 7.
    • Although he insisted that the casual hangout was not intended to be a date, he did reveal that it was the night of their first kiss.


    When Bossip originally reported that Pete Davidson and Ariana Grande were casually dating on May 18, fans were completely baffled; both Davidson and Grande had recently ended serious relationships, with writer Cazzie David and late rapper Mac Miller, respectively.

    Davidson revealed on Monday, however, that they actually began their romance the night of the Met Gala, which took place on May 7 — before either breakup, with David or Miller, had even been confirmed.

    Davidson discussed the foundation of his relationship with Grande during an interview with Howard Stern. He revealed how he went to Grande's apartment to hang out — insisting to Stern that he did not see it as a date — and he had zero expectations.

    Davidson said he wore sweatpants and a t-shirt, while Grande was "coming from the Met [Gala]," so she was still dressed in her Sistine Chapel gown.

    I went to da met and was super Italian

    A post shared by Ariana Grande (@arianagrande) on May 7, 2018 at 10:35pm PDT on

    Grande confirmed her split from Miller on May 10, while Davidson confirmed his split from David on May 16. The now-engaged couple didn't officially confirm their relationship until May 30, though Davidson had likely already commissioned a custom-made engagement ring by that time.

    Read more: A complete timeline of Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson's relationship

    Davidson told Stern that they hit it off right away because they were both in a "similar situation," referring to their respective breakups — adding that they both happened "pretty much like the same time."

    He also admitted that during their first hangout, Grande "had to make all the moves," in Stern's words.

    "I had to ask her friend if it was OK if I stayed. I was like, 'Hey, I should leave, right? She hates me, right?' And he was like, 'No, I think you should stay,'" Davidson joked.

    He and Grande played a Mad Libs-type game called Quiplash with 10 other people for about two hours before he made his move.

    "I'm so stupid and unaware of how chemistry and all that stuff works. I literally was like, 'Hi, can I kiss you please?'" he told Stern. "We played the game, everybody left, and then it was just me and her. And I was like, 'Well, if there was ever a shot, it would be now. Go for it.'"

    i thought u into my life 💭 woah ! look at my mind 💡⚡️🙈

    A post shared by Ariana Grande (@arianagrande) on May 31, 2018 at 12:51pm PDT on

    Grande and Davidson met in March 2016, when the songstress hosted "Saturday Night Live." Grande recently told Jimmy Fallon that, at the time, she developed "the biggest crush in the whole world" on Davidson.

    The "SNL" comedian told Stern that their May 7 meet-up was thanks to a mutual connection: Grande's manager, Scooter Braun.

    "Scooter told me she was somewhat interested in me," he told Stern. "I thought that he was just full of s---."

    Grande echoed this sentiment during an August interview on Beats 1. The "God is A Woman" singer said she "reconnected" with Davidson when she was in New York doing album promo — and Braun was going to visit Davidson backstage at "SNL."

    "I said, 'Tell him I said hi,' and he texted me, 'Yo, it's Pete,' and we were inseparable," Grande said.

    Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: I woke up at 4:30 a.m. for a week like a Navy SEAL


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    Ariana Grande Pete Davidson Red Carpet MTV VMAs Getty 3

     

    Pete Davidson and Ariana Grande's whirlwind relationship shocked fans and seemingly came out of nowhere, but the "Saturday Night Live" star believes they are meant for each other. 

    "I just think some people are meant to be together and some people aren't, even if they are good people, some people just aren't good in relationships together," the 24-year-old told Sirius XM's Howard Stern during an interview on Monday. "And I just think we're supposed to be together."

    The actor also said that timing "is everything." Davidson explained that he and Grande "were in a similar situation at the same time" prior to dating.

    The comedian was referring to his relationship with Cazzie David and Grande dating rapper Mac Miller. News of both breakups was revealed in May 2018. 

    In June 2018, Grande and Davidson confirmed that they were engaged after dating for a short amount of time. Since then, the pair has spoken openly about their relationship. According to Grande, they have already started planning their wedding and are likely to tie the knot in 2019.  

    Watch the video below (Davidson says he and Grande are "supposed to be together" at 3:02).

    Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.

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    NOW WATCH: Ray Dalio says the economy looks like 1937 and a downturn is coming in about two years


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    Patrick Mahomes

    • Patrick Mahomes is the breakout star of the 2018 NFL season thus far.
    • The Chiefs quarterback, who had only made one start coming into the year, set an NFL record after throwing 13 touchdowns through the first three weeks.
    • One throw Mahomes made on Sunday encapsulated why so many are high on his future potential.


    Three weeks into the 2018 NFL season, the Kansas City Chiefs offense looks absolutely unstoppable.

    Leading the way for the Chiefs is Patrick Mahomes, who had just one NFL start under his belt before taking over for Kansas City with the departure of Alex Smith.

    The move has worked out brilliantly for the Chiefs so far, with Mahomes throwing 13 touchdowns through the first three weeks of the season — more than any other quarterback in NFL history.

    There's plenty to love about the skill that Mahomes — the 10th overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft — has shown through the early going of the season. His arm is incredible, as shown on his deep balls to Tyreek Hill, and his accuracy has been phenomenal across the board, having not given up an interception yet this year.

    But what might stand out more than anything is Mahomes' vision and escapability, both of which seem far more developed than you would expect from a player with just four NFL starts.

    During the Chiefs win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, Mahomes made one play that encapsulated why his name is already being discussed in early MVP conversations.

    On third-and-goal, the Chiefs offensive line got blown back off the snap, forcing Mahomes to retreat 20 yards behind the line of scrimmage to keep the play alive.

    Under normal circumstances, a young quarterback running risking a 20-yard loss in the red zone to save a broken play would be a risk you wouldn't want to see them take, but Mahomes pulled it off.

    After one final turn, Mahomes kept his eyes downfield and eventually found receiver Chris Conley in the corner of the end zone to extend Kansas City's lead to 21-7.

    The Chiefs would go on to win the game 38-27, and the team's offense, lead by Mahomes, is now averaging almost 40 points per game.

    Next week, Mahomes will head to Denver to face a Broncos defense that should present his toughest challenge yet in his young career, but based on what he's shown the first few weeks of the season, he shouldn't have a problem.

    SEE ALSO: Top 12 waiver-wire pickups for Week 4 in your fantasy football league

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: What it takes to be an NFL referee


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    passport

    Losing your passport when you’re traveling can quickly turn into a real-life nightmare. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to swiftly handle an unexpected obstacle while avoiding major interruption to your original itinerary and travel plans. Here’s what to do if your passport is lost or stolen while you’re abroad.

    Collect up your remaining personal documents.

    Once you realize your passport is lost or stolen, check to see that your other personal documents are still secure — you’ll need them during the passport replacement process.

    Be prepared to present a copy of your passport if you have one, a birth certificate, driver’s license or non-driver ID, and a copy of your travel itinerary. If you have plane tickets, train tickets, or hotel confirmation and/or receipts, round those up too.

    Get a new passport photo taken ASAP.

    Wondering if there’s anything you can to do speed up the process after losing or having your passport stolen while abroad? Good news: You can take action immediately by snapping a new passport photo before you visit the nearest embassy or consulate to fill out paperwork for a replacement. This will be an especially valuable step if you’re in a rush or need to get home quickly.

    Pay attention to the passport photo requirements outlined on the US Department of State website while taking new pictures. According to the information presented online, passport photos must be 2x2 inches in size and printed in color on matte or glossy photo quality paper. Your head must be between 1-13/8 inches from the bottom of your chin to the top of your head, and you may not wear glasses, a hat, or headphones.

    Find and visit the nearest embassy or consulate.

    You’ll be required to replace your passport before returning to the United States and to do so, will need to visit the closest U.S. embassy or consulate for help. You can find the nearest embassy or consulate in the digital, searchable directory.

    Once you locate and visit an embassy or consulate, ask to speak with the Consular Section to report your passport as lost or stolen; you’ll receive info about the steps you’ll need to take to get a replacement.

    If you haven’t brought a new passport photo with you, the Consular Section can help you find a place to take a new one. They can also help you understand which forms you’ll need to fill out, what the process entails, and how long you’ll need to wait for a replacement.

    If you can’t get to an embassy or consulate immediately, you can contact the Office of Overseas Citizens Services at 1-888-407-4747 for clarification about the process or answers to other questions you might have. In all instances, you’ll need to apply for a new passport in-person.



    Consider filing a police report.

    If your passport was stolen, one of your first instincts might be to file a police report. Though usually a good idea, this may not actually help you when applying for a replacement process. In fact, it may do just the opposite and slow things down.

    Andre Arriaza, the co-founder of Barcelona Eat Local, told Brit + Co, “Only if safe, report your lost or stolen passport to the local police. Be aware that in certain countries local corruption might play against you, so better get to know the pros and cons of the place you are visiting in advance.”

    Have you been a victim of a violent crime? The best thing you can do is consult with the Consulate Section during your visit for specific advice about filing reports and involving local law enforcement.



    Apply for a new passport.

    With your new passport photos in hand, you’ll be set to fill out the two forms you need to complete to replace your passport. Expect to tackle a standard application for a US passport and a statement regarding a lost or stolen passport. The second form will invalidate your old passport, which means no one else will be able to use it.

    The Consular Section will be able to help you address any questions you might have about the forms, as well as verify that your passport photos are acceptable for your new passport. Expect to pay the $140.00 replacement fee on the spot.

    Though wait times for a replacement passport in the U.S. average around six weeks, you’ll likely receive an emergency passport within 24 hours so you can return home according to your immediate travel plans. You’ll need to get a full-validity passport once you’re back on US soil.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Jimmy Butler

    • Four-time NBA All-Star Jimmy Butler requested a trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves last week. 
    • Butler listed the Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks, and Los Angeles Clippers as his desired destinations, but those teams have not made serious attempts to acquire him in a trade.
    • The Miami Heat have emerged as a favorite to land the forward, as their front office has been "aggressive" in pursuing Butler and have multiple intriguing players available to trade in return.


    Last week, four-time NBA All-Star Jimmy Butler requested a trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves after playing just one season in Minneapolis.

    Although Butler listed the Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks, and Los Angeles Clippers as the three teams he was interested in playing for next season, another team has distinguished itself as a possible landing spot for the two-time All-NBA team honoree.

    According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Miami Heat have expressed serious interest in acquiring Butler and "have been as aggressive as any team in pursuit of a Jimmy Butler trade with Minnesota."


    Heat president Pat Riley and head coach Erik Spoelstra are both fond of the star forward "not only because of his offensive game but because of his competitive nature and strong defensive skills,"according to the Miami Herald. And even though Yahoo! reports that 40 percent of the league would like to trade for Butler, Miami has distinguished itself as a front-runner because it has intriguing assets available in return.

    When asked if there was any player on his team's roster who would be considered "untouchable" in a trade for Butler, Riley was straightforward:

    "No. Show me the right name and I could be all in on everything."

    The Herald reported that the Heat informed other NBA teams that Hassan Whiteside, Tyler Johnson, and Dion Waiters were available this offseason, but it seems unlikely that those same players would be enough to move the needle on a player of Butler's caliber.

    Miami is reluctant to part ways with Josh Richardson, Bam Adebayo, and Kelly Olynyk, but they may be willing to deal away Justise Winslow. Winslow is slated to reach free agency next summer and, and with no contract extension in sight, the Heat may be interested in sending him off in their package for Butler. As a defensive-minded strategist, Timberwolves head coach and president of basketball Tom Thibodeau could be intrigued by Miami's 2015 first-round draft pick for his evident defensive prowess.

    Still, the Heat and Timberwolves are a ways away from reaching any deal for Butler, who is expected to reach free agency this summer and could command a $190 million contract extension from any team to which he is traded.

    Minnesota's front office has reportedly been conflicted regarding how best to handle Butler's situation. Thibodeau was initially reluctant to trade the team's star, steering interested teams away and shutting down trade opportunities, but owner Glen Taylor has made it abundantly clear that he is adamant about dealing Butler away as soon as possible.


    It appears as though Taylor has won out in the battle over Butler's future with the franchise, and Miami appears to be the most probable landing spot. Even though Butler requested the trade in the first place, it looks as though he may not be so happy about the final outcome:

     

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: What it takes to be an NFL referee


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    Judge Brett Kavanaugh and his wife Ashley Kavanaugh are interviewed on Fox News.

    • Judge Brett Kavanaugh and his wife, Ashley Kavanaugh, will appear in an unusual — if not unprecedented — interview, in which they'll address allegations of sexual misconduct.
    • In an attempt to reassure Republican senators and the party's voters that Kavanaugh remains the best choice for the Supreme Court, the White House and the GOP are taking the extraordinary step of green-lighting an offensive attack starring the nominee himself. 
    • Media reporters and others see the interview as White House-orchestrated propaganda effort to boost Kavanaugh days before one of his accusers testifies before the Senate. 

    Judge Brett Kavanaugh and his wife, Ashley Kavanaugh, will appear in an unusual — if not unprecedented — interview, in which they'll address the allegations of sexual misconduct the Supreme Court nominee is facing, with Fox News on Monday night. 

    In an attempt to reassure Republican senators and the party's voters that Kavanaugh remains the best choice for the nation's high court, the White House and the GOP are taking the extraordinary step of greenlighting an offensive attack starring the nominee himself. 

    Kavanaugh has forcefully denied allegations that he sexually assaulting a girl in high school and exposed himself to a female classmate in college, calling two women's claims "smears, pure and simple" and "grotesque and obvious character assassination"in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday.

    And he vowed not to withdraw his nomination, a promise he also makes in the interview with Fox host Martha MacCallum, several excerpts of which were released by Fox on Monday evening. 

    In the interview, which aired at 7 p.m. on Monday, Kavanaugh repeats his denials of the allegations ahead of the Thursday hearing in which both he and one of his accusers, Christine Blasey Ford, are scheduled to testify before the Senate committee. 

    "The truth is I've never sexually assaulted anyone, in high school or otherwise," he said on Fox. "I am not questioning and have not questioned that perhaps Dr. Ford at some point in her life was sexually assaulted by someone at some place, but what I know is I've never sexually assaulted anyone."

    Kavanaugh cited his "lifelong record of promoting dignity and equality for women starting with the women who knew me when I was 14 years old" and insisted that he never had sex throughout college and for "many years after." He added that because the drinking age was 18 at the time, seniors could and did buy beer for parties — and at times drank too much. But the judge said he never drank so much that he could not recall what happened while he was intoxicated. 

    At one point, MacCallum suggested that the second allegation — made by a college classmate in The New Yorker — was insufficiently credible or substantiated to be reported. Kavanaugh wouldn't comment on the quality of the magazine's reporting, but made some claims that the New Yorker reporters, veteran investigative journalists Jane Mayer and Ronan Farrow, disputed on Twitter. 

    Ashley Kavanaugh said that she never doubted that her husband was telling the truth and expressed sympathy for one of his accusers, Christine Blasey Ford. 

    "I don't know what happened to her and I don't even want to go there. I feel badly for her family, I feel badly for her," she said. "This process is not right."

    Journalists and others quickly pointed out that it is highly unusual for a Supreme Court nominee to conduct an interview with the media or engage in an effort to clear his own name during the confirmation process — and even more unusual for the interview to be conducted by a partisan news network. 

    "If you're not familiar with what Supreme Court nominees normally do, this is not what they normally do," HuffPost senior reporter Jeffrey Young‏ tweeted. "If you're familiar what what statist propaganda organizations normally do, however, this is what they normally do."

    Some questioned the appropriateness of a Supreme Court nominee appearing on a right-leaning network. 

    "If you wanted at least the appearance of objectivity, ie 'balls and strikes,' why not a more neutral network? Or customary morning show interview?"wrote HuffPost politics reporter Igor Bobic.

    Others argued that the interview was orchestrated to appeal to conservatives — given that Fox is the go-to network for the president and his followers — and is not an attempt to repair Kavanaugh's reputation among the broader population, with whom he is deeply unpopular

    "There's a huge difference between Sotomayor on Sesame Street or Scalia on 60 Minutes and this, of course. Choosing Fox News makes it look like an effort to reassure conservatives in particular," New Republic reporter Matt Ford tweeted Monday, referring to media appearances made by Justice Sonia Sotomayor and late Justice Antonin Scalia, both of which were conducted while two were sitting on the Supreme Court. 

    Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan argued that interview is nothing more than White House propaganda, facilitated by Bill Shine, the former Fox executive who now serves as a top communications staffer in the White House.

    "Female interviewer, check. Fox News, check. Bill Shine approved, check. When an 'exclusive interview' promises to be a challenge-free infomercial," Sullivan tweeted

    MacCallum, a veteran Fox host, notably defender Fox's late chief executive, Roger Ailes, against claims from multiple women that he sexually harassed them. Ailes was ultimately pushed out of the network over the allegations. 

    "Roger is such a terrific boss. I don't like to see anything that reflects negatively on him," MacCallum said in 2016

    Shine, who for years served as Ailes' right hand, was also forced to resign from Fox last year over his handling of sexual misconduct allegations made by several female employees against senior male anchors at the network.

    SEE ALSO: Democrats slam Republicans for pressing forward with Kavanaugh confirmation last week despite apparently knowing of then-secret allegation

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    NOW WATCH: Inside the Trump 'MAGA' hat factory


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    lebron james lakers

    • Teams around the NBA are still talking about LeBron James' move to the Los Angeles Lakers.
    • Teams in the Eastern Conference have acknowledged that their paths forward are easier with James out of the way, while teams in the West have accepted that the conference just got tougher.
    • James' Lakers will also have a tougher time getting into the playoffs because of the crowded Western Conference, but most expect them to do it.


    With the NBA season around the corner and teams reporting for media days and training camps this week, it appears one topic is still buzzing around the league — LeBron James' move to the Los Angeles Lakers.

    It's been nearly three months since James changed conferences, but around the league, there's still great interest into how that move will play out. In part, that's because of the odd team that's been assembled around James — a mix of young players and journeymen supporting cast.

    However, it is also rare to see a superstar of James' magnitude change conferences. James ruled the Eastern Conference for eight years, making the Finals from 2011 to 2018. He was the most consistent force in the league. Now, his departure (or arrival, depending on your vantage point) is set to cause a shake-up in the league.

    For instance, Eastern Conference teams are already thinking about the new opportunity that awaits them. Indiana Pacers head coach Nate McMillan described the need for a new face in the East.


    Washington Wizards head coach Scott Brooks seems refreshed.


    In a Players' Tribune conversation between Denver Nuggets point guard Isaiah Thomas and Philadelphia 76ers guard Markelle Fultz, the two players even discussed how the East was now wide open.

    "With LeBron coming west, that opens up opportunity for other teams," Thomas said.

    "Yeah, for sure, it opens up a lot," Fultz agreed.

    Even some teams in the Western Conference acknowledged their new member.


    Of course, James' Lakers team will have their hands full competing in what many consider to be the superior conference. Last season, the Nuggets missed the playoffs at 46-36. This year, the competition only figures to be tougher.

    Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard told The Athletic's Sam Amick that the move might be tougher for James, too, not just other teams.

    "So I'm sure [the Lakers will] figure it out," Lillard said. "It's just a matter of how fast can they figure it out because in the West it’' not like the Eastern Conference. If you fall behind in the West, that can be bad. It's a little tougher, so I think that's the question."

    Even if the Lakers aren't gaining attention for the right reasons, Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala said it'll make his life easier.

    Most in the NBA expect the Lakers to make the playoffs, even if they might not have a clear road to the Finals as James' Cavs teams did.

    However, former Cavs forward Richard Jefferson told The New York Times' Marc Stein that people might be underestimating just how good James can make the Lakers.

    "When he went back to Cleveland, I promise you he didn't go there thinking, 'OK, it's time to go to four straight NBA finals,'" Jefferson told Stein. "But would anyone really be surprised if the Lakers made the conference finals? He's that good. Any time LeBron steps on the court, he's the best player on the court. There's a bigger gap than I think many people would really believe."

    It's a testament to James' power that virtually the entire league can shift based on which team he plays for.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    rod rosenstein

    • The public was confused following conflicting reports about whether deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein would resign, and officials on the inside may have been just as much in the dark.
    • "DOJ officials have been shell-shocked by the public back and forth critique of Rosenstein," said a former federal prosecutor who said he's been briefed on the department's internal mood by high-level contacts.
    • "Today, they were wandering the halls wondering what's next," he added.
    • A current FBI agent said the mood was similar within the bureau.
    • "Many were on high-alert this morning," this person said.

    The public was confused for much of Monday morning following conflicting reports about whether deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein was about to resign from his position.

    And officials on the inside may have been just as much in the dark as observers on the outside.

    "DOJ officials have been shell-shocked by the back and forth public critique of Rosenstein," said Jeffrey Cramer, a 12-year DOJ veteran who says he's been briefed on the internal mood at the department by multiple high-level contacts. "Today, they were wandering the halls wondering what's next, because you need an operational [deputy attorney general]."

    Rosenstein did not ultimately resign, nor was he fired on Monday morning.

    The news website Axios first reported on Rosenstein's possible resignation, saying he had "verbally resigned" to White House chief of staff John Kelly. Rosenstein's reported move came after The New York Times published a controversial report last week saying the deputy attorney general discussed wearing a wire around President Donald Trump and invoking the 25th amendment to remove Trump from office.

    Rosenstein vehemently denied the allegations, and subsequent media reports also called into question some of the details in the original Times story.

    White House officials told The Washington Post that Rosenstein offered to resign in the wake of The Times story.

    But DOJ officials told The Post that while Rosenstein went to the White House on Monday expecting to be fired, he did not offer to resign, despite reportedly weighing the option over the weekend following The Times' report.

    White House Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Rosenstein had an "extended conversation" with the president about the news on Monday and that the two would meet again on Thursday.

    People at the FBI were on tenterhooks Monday morning, according to one current FBI agent.

    There was "no doubt that rank and file would be angry if Rod Rosenstein stepped down or got fired because of that NYT report," this person said.

    "Many were on high-alert this morning," they added.

    Axios reported on Monday evening that after it published its initial story floating Rosenstein's resignation, the DOJ drafted a statement announcing his exit, written "in the voice" of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

    After commending Rosenstein for his long career as a public servant, the draft statement reportedly went on to say Matt Whitaker, Sessions' chief of staff, would serve as deputy attorney general, and that Noel Francisco, the solicitor general, would become acting attorney general overseeing the Russia investigation and the special counsel Robert Mueller. 

    "People who are very high up at the DOJ have understandably all been reticent because they're all just looking over their shoulders," Cramer said.

    "Especially now, because as of this morning you had an [attorney general] who was impotent, you had a possibly non-existent [deputy attorney general], and the solicitor general possibly taking over," he added. "The hierarchy of the DOJ was all out of whack, as far as anyone there knew, because the [attorney general] doesn't run things, it's the [deputy attorney general] who's operational. He's the COO."

    SEE ALSO: Current FBI agents and former intel officials are breathing a sigh of relief that Rod Rosenstein still has his job after a whirlwind morning in Washington

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    NOW WATCH: Inside the Trump 'MAGA' hat factory


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    jeff bezos amazon ceo founder

    • Amazon has reportedly expressed interest in acquiring UK food delivery startup Deliveroo twice.
    • The news comes after a report that Bloomberg has also been in early talks for the company.
    • Deliveroo is a major player in the space, and would give either company's takeout delivery plans a significant boost in cities around the world — if it agreed to sell.

    It sounds like Uber isn't the only major tech firm hungry for Deliveroo.

    According to a report from The Telegraph published Monday, Amazon has expressed interest in acquiring the London-based food delivery startup twice in the past, and had made "preliminary approaches."

    The Telegraph reports that the most recent talks between Amazon and Deliveroo were nine months ago, and the two firms also spoke before Amazon launched its own take-out delivery service.

    The news comes after a report from Bloomberg on Friday that Uber, the Silicon Valley ride-hailing firm, has also engaged in early talks to try and buy Deliveroo. 

    An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment to Business Insider. Deliveroo did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Deliveroo is one of Europe's biggest startup success stories. Founded in 2013 by Americans Will Shu and Greg Orlowski, Deliveroo enlists contract employees as couriers, who deliver food from local restaurants in some 200 cities all over the UK, the European Union, Asia, and Australia.

    Last year, Deliveroo raised $482 million in venture funding, in a deal valuing the company at around $2 billion. According to the Bloomberg report, Deliveroo would not be interested in selling for any price that's not "considerably higher" than its current valuation.

    The startup is also one of the chief international rivals to UberEats, the ride-hailing giant's own food-delivery service. Under CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber has redoubled its efforts around food delivery ahead of a planned 2019 IPO.

    On the subject of IPOs, Deliveroo's Shu said earlier this year that a debut on the public markets was not in the cards for his startup. However, rumors have persisted that Deliveroo has — or, perhaps, had — IPO ambitions. At the time of its 2017 fundraise, Deliveroo was operating at gross margins of 0.7%; a figure that some pundits thought was too small. According to The Telegraph, the company has now pushed its plans for an IPO from 2019 to 2020. 

     

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    Growth Regtech Firms

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

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

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

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

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

    Here are some of the key takeaways:

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

    In full, the report:

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

       

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    Co-Founder/CEO of Spotify Daniel Ek attends the 2018 Breakthrough Prize at NASA Ames Research Center on December 3, 2017 in Mountain View, California.

    • Spotify has been making waves in the music industry by trying to sign up independent artists.
    • But don't expect the company to replace the major recording labels anytime soon, UBS analysts said in a new report.
    • The company doesn't have the money to really compete with them, and it's heavily dependent on them, they said.
    • Even if it doesn't become the Netflix of the music world, Spotify still has plenty of other opportunities ahead of it, the analysts said.

    Netflix may be trying to beat Hollywood at its own game, but don't expect Spotify to do the same in the music business.

    Unlike Netflix, which has become a major player in the video content business by moving aggressively to produce its own shows and movies, Spotify is in no position to take on the traditional labels, financial analysts from UBS said in a recent report. In fact, instead of Spotify or other streaming music "platforms" significantly cutting into the labels' business, both sides are likely to profit as streaming catches on more broadly, the analysts said.

    "Our current view is platform disintermediation is overplayed, and we see platform-label economics likely to remain broadly unchanged in the medium term," they said. They continued: "Our base case ... is the music streaming opportunity is significant enough for both platforms and labels to benefit."

    There's been growing talk in recent months of Spotify potentially trying to cut the labels out of the loop and just work with artists directly. Last week, the company announced it would allow artists to directly upload their music to its service, instead of having to go a music label as a middleman. Meanwhile, it recent months, the company has been reaching out to various managers and independent artists, offering to pay them cash up front to license their music directly to it.

    Such a move could help Spotify's bottom line. A huge portion of its costs come from licensing music from the major labels. If it licensed songs directly from artists, rather than from the recording companies, it could reduce its costs.

    Spotify is unlikely to become the music world's Netflix

    But despite the hype and the potential profit boost, Spotify's unlikely to become a real threat to the labels anytime soon, if ever, the UBS analysts wrote.

    Reed hastingsWhile streaming is opening up new opportunities for artists, labels still perform a valuable role in the industry in helping new musicians establish themselves. Some 6 million songs are released each year, the analysts estimated. The labels help their artists be heard above the noise, they said.

    The Big Three music labels that dominate the industry — Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Music Group — spend about $4 billion each year to discover, promote, and give advances to new artists each year, they estimated. Universal Music Group alone spends about $1.7 billion of that.

    That's spending that Spotify can't even come close to matching right now, given that it's likely to post an operating loss of as much as $321 million this year, they said. 

    "Spotify does not have the financials to become a label today or in the medium term," they said.

    Even if Spotify could afford to spend more to attract and promote artists, signing up exclusively with it wouldn't be in the best interests of most artists. That's because even though it's the leading streaming music provider, it still only accounts for about 16% of revenue for the recording industry. Only dealing with Spotify would mean writing off revenue from big-ticket competitors like Apple Music and YouTube, not to mention the still sizeable amount of revenue that comes from sales of CDs and other physical music products.

    "Signing up exclusively to Spotify ... would limit the size of the total market opportunity," the analysts said.

    But it's also not in Spotify's interests to be too aggressive in signing up artists, because the company is very dependent on the labels and can't afford to alienate them.

    Most well-known musicians are already on long-term contracts with particular labels, which often control the artists' albums they've produced in perpetuity. Spotify needs access to those albums. The vast majority of songs played through its service — some 64% — are songs that are at least 3-1/2 years old, which are typically controlled by the Big 3, the analysts said.

    Spotify has big opportunities in advertising and promotions

    Still, Spotify's financials can improve without it having to become a major competitor to the Big 3, the analysts said. As the leading player in the streaming business, the company is set to benefit as growing numbers of consumers sign up. UBS projects that the total number of streaming music subscribers will hit 726 million in 2027 from 176 million last year.

    But Spotify could get a boost to its bottom line sooner than that. Its contracts with the recording companies will be renegotiated next year. Right now, the labels get about 52% of the revenue Spotify generates from consumers. UBS is forecasting that amount will go down to 50% in the next contract year, which would help the company cut its losses.

    But the company has other and potentially bigger opportunities to improve its revenue and profits, the analysts said. Potentially, the company could attract a significant chunk of the $4 billion the labels spend on promoting artists by convincing them to tout new musicians on its service.

    Spotify could allow labels to sponsor songs or artists so that would appear at the top of search lists on its service, the analysts said. It could also offer advanced analytical services that the labels could use to track how their songs, artists, and promotional campaigns are faring.

    What's more, the company could expand its advertising sales effort. Spotify runs about 6 minutes of ads per hour on its free, advertising-based services. It could potentially increase the number of ads its runs significantly, the analysts said. And as it offers more video-based content through its app, it could make a more serious play for video ads, which fetch higher prices than other ads.

    "We believe the revenue opportunity [from advertising and promotions]  is sizeable," the analysts said.

    As part of the note, UBS analyst Eric Sheridan reiterated his buy rating and $242 price target on Spotify shares. The company's stock closed regular trading on Monday up $1.95, or 1%, to $176.97.

    SEE ALSO: Pandora is still alive after getting run over by Spotify and Apple, and the CEO says his comeback plan will open up another big business in music

    SEE ALSO: Spotify just proved that the streaming-music business is like a black hole — and investors may not see it until it's too late

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    brett kavanaugh

    • Judge Brett Kavanaugh, in his first television interview since two women accused the Supreme Court nominee of sexual misconduct in high school and college, Kavanaugh said he believes that Christine Blasey Ford was sexually assaulted ‘at some point in her life,' but denied that he was involved.
    • Ford accuses Kavanaugh of holding her down and groping her during a high school party in the 1980s, and putting his hand over her mouth so she couldn't scream. Kavanaugh has repeatedly denied her claims.
    • Kavanaugh said while he doesn't deny that Ford was sexually assaulted by someone in her past, it was not him.
    • Kavanaugh and Ford are set to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday 

    Judge Brett Kavanaugh said he believes that the woman accusing him of sexual assault may have been a victim of such an act "at some point" in her life, but said he didn't do it.

    Kavanaugh was talking about Christine Blasey Ford, the college professor who said Kavanaugh held her down and groped her during a high school party in the 1980s.

    In his first television interview since Ford's accusations became public and a second woman leveled additional accusations against him, Kavanaugh repeated his previous denial and said he has no plans to walk away from his Supreme Court nomination.

    “The truth is I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone, in high school or otherwise,” Kavanaugh told Fox News with his wife, Ashley, sitting by his side. “I am not questioning and have not questioned that perhaps Dr. Ford at some point in her life was sexually assaulted by someone at some place. But what I know is, I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone.”

    The interview follows new accusations from Deborah Ramirez, who claimed that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a party while the two were students at Yale.

    “I remember a penis being in front of my face,” Ramirez told the New Yorker in an story published Sunday night, “I knew that's not what I wanted, even in that state of mind.”

    Ramirez said she was heavily intoxicated the night the alleged incident happened, and cannot remember many details.

    Ford and Kavanaugh are set to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. In a letter sent from Kavanaugh to the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday, Kavanaugh said that he would “not be intimidated” by what he called “smear” accusations against him.

    "I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process. The coordinated effort to destroy my good name will not drive me out. The vile threats of violence against my family will not drive me out. The last-minute character assassination will not succeed," Kavanaugh wrote.

    President Donald Trump and the White House remain supportive of Kavanaugh.

    SEE ALSO: Kavanaugh defends himself in Fox News interview alongside his wife by claiming he never sexually assaulted anyone and didn't have sex until 'many years after' college

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    Sundar Pichai

    • Techies took to message boards, Twitter and their own blogs to debate whether changes Google made to the way people login to Chrome is a privacy threat.
    • Google quietly tucked a new feature into the latest Chrome update that automatically logs in users. 
    • For many years, Chrome allowed users to surf the web via the browser without signing in. Now, if user sign into any of Google's properties, they are signed in to Chrome.
    • Up until Matt Green wrote about the new login requirements, Google had said nothing about it. The company confirmed the change late Sunday night. 

     


    Google's surprise change to a privacy setting in Chrome, the web's No. 1 browser, is raising hackles from privacy advocates and some users of the product who say that the company has not been upfront enough.

    The change, which was little noticed until a security researcher blogged about it on Sunday night, has left the internet company fighting a familiar criticism: that its appetite for data to fuel its online ad business trumps its concerns about its users.

    Matthew Green, a security and cryptography researcher from Johns Hopkins University blogged about the change Google quietly made as part of the browser's latest update, Chrome 69. Green wrote that from now on, when people login in to YouTube, Gmail or any of the company's properties, they will automatically be logged in to Chrome at the same time.

    Matthew Green

    Late on Sunday night, Google responded to the growing controversy by confirming the login change.

    This is dramatic change and a possible threat to users' privacy, according to Green.

    “Google believes they can make these changes without consequence," said Marc Rotenberg, the president of consumer privacy advocacy group EPIC. "The privacy model is simply broken. Companies are constantly changing the rules of the game.”

    For years, Google allowed users of its Chrome browser to surf the web without logging in through a personal Google account. Chrome users didn't have to worry that their web browsing history would be included with the other personal data Google maintains about registered users of its products. For that to happen, a user would have to sign in to Chrome and to consent to a "data sync" between Chrome and the other Google products they use.

    What's all the fuss about?

    Now that Google logs people in to Chrome automatically, managers have  removed one of those steps of protection, Green wrote. What's more, he said, a new and "confusing" sync-consent page, makes it easy for users to mistakenly give up their browsing data to Google.

    Eric Lawrence, a former Google employee who worked on Chrome but is now employed by rival Microsoft, said he doesn't see any reason to be alarmed.

    "Yes, Chrome has streamlined the opt-in to the browser’s “Sync” features, such that you no longer need to individually type your username and password when enabling Sync," Lawrence wrote. "Whether you consider this “Great!” or “Terrible!” is a matter of perception and threat model." 

    Lawrence points out that when someone clicks the consent button, they will then get a pop-up that informs them of the information they are agreeing to share with Google.

    In that prompt, Google notifies users that the company will collect info from users' "bookmarks, passwords, history and more on all your devices...Google may use content on sites you visit, plus browser activity and interactions to personalize Chrome and other Google services like Translate, Search and ads." 

    Chrome owns more than 50 percent of the browser market, followed by Mozilla's FireFox (11%),  Microsoft's Internet Explorer (6.8%), and Apple's Safari (5.1%).  

    'My heart skips a beat'

    Plenty of people wrote that they don't see this as a benign change, including former Googlers. Michał Zalewski, is a computer security expert and former Google employee. He sided with Green that Google has made Chrome less safe. 

    "Don't like to pile on," Zalewski wrote on Twitter, "but I did rely on that as a visual confirmation that the browser is not doing something I didn't want. Now, my heart skips a beat every time I see the profile-switch menu or chrome://settings - and it'd only take one mis-click to actually start syncing."

    Jon von Tetzchner, cofounder and CEO of Vivaldi Technologies and the Vivaldi browser, a rival to Chrome. He is also a frequent critic of Facebook and Google's privacy practices.  In an interview with Business Insider, von Tetzchner said that it's disturbing Google has combined the logins for its properties. He said the upcoming Vivaldi version 2.0 requires users to sign in and go through a separate process before syncing data and he doesn't believe the login procedures Google has adopted are common practice across the browser business.

    "My impression is that Google and Facebook are unique," he said. "They recognize where you've been and what you've done, online and off. They are gradually collecting more and more information about you."

    Green told Business Insider on Monday that when it comes to the browser market as a whole, Google's new login requirements makes them an outlier. Green said that when it comes to the other browsers, "for the most, if you're not signed in, you're not going to have your info uploaded anywhere." 

    In tweets from Google, the company said that it made the change because of confusion caused when two Chrome users were using the same computer. Their browser data was often getting mixed up. Green outlined his skepticism about this in his blog post. 

    "Google’s reputation is hard-earned, and it can be easily lost," Green wrote. "Changes like this burn a lot of trust with users. If the change is solving an absolutely critical problem for users , then maybe a loss of trust is worth it. I wish Google could convince me that was the case."

    SEE ALSO: Facebook is being sued by an ex-content moderator who says she got PTSD from exposure to graphic and 'toxic' content on the job

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    Google Inc. CEO Sundar Pichai

     

     


    Google CEO Sundar Pichai will meet privately with Republican lawmakers on Friday, according to a report on Monday in The Wall Street Journal.

    Pichai has also agreed to testify at a public hearing later this year, the paper reported.

    The meeting Friday follows weeks of verbal attacks on Google by US President Donald Trump and his allies. Trump accused Google of "rigging" the company's Search engine to silence the voices of political conservatives, and to deliver only negative news about his administration.

    But Google has also acknowledged contemplating a re-entry into China. In 2010, Google pulled out of that communist country, saying that the government had tried to force managers into censoring information.

    More recently, Google apparently underwent a change of heart and built a search engine that would indeed censor information that the Chinese government finds objectionable. Meanwhile, Google has balked at helping the US military with some of its operations and also promised never to build AI-enhanced weapons.

    Both house of Congress have noted that while Google is squeamish at aiding the US military, it may agree to work with a Chinese government that doesn't believe in free speech or the free flow of information.

    On China, Google is politically vulnerable in the United States.  

    The meetings are Pichai's first real test in the three years he's been CEO to handle crisis management. In this area, Eric Schmidt, Pichai's predecessor was highly skilled

    SEE ALSO: Trump doubles down on slamming Google, saying it's 'taking advantage of a lot of people' — and warns Google, Facebook, and Twitter to 'be careful'

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    Screen Shot 2018 09 24 at 4.46.19 PM

    • Judge Brett Kavanaugh said he does not recall having any memorable interactions with Christine Blasey Ford, a 51-year-old research psychologist and professor who accused him of sexually assaulting her in the 1980s.
    • "I may have met her," Kavanaugh said. "We did not travel in the same social circles."
    • Kavanaugh suggested he did attend parties in high school, when the legal drinking age at the time was 18 years old, but denied having seen the sexual misconduct described by his accusers.

    Judge Brett Kavanaugh said he does not recall having any memorable interactions with Christine Blasey Ford, a 51-year-old research psychologist and professor who accused him of sexually assaulting her in the 1980s.

    "I may have met her," Kavanaugh said during an interview with Fox News host Martha MacCallum on Monday night. "We did not travel in the same social circles."

    Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court, added that Ford "was not a friend, not someone I knew," and that he "didn't remember being in any parties with her."

    Ford alleged Kavanaugh was "stumbling drunk" during a small party while the two were in high school when he sexually assaulted her. She claimed he pinned her to a bed, groped her over her clothes, and covered her mouth with his hand when she started to scream.

    Kavanaugh has categorically denied Ford's allegation, and those of others who accused him of sexual misconduct in the 1980s. Kavanaugh suggested he did attend parties in high school, when the legal drinking age at the time was 18 years old, but denied having seen or acted in a way described by his accusers.

    "Yes, there were parties and the drinking age was 18," Kavanaugh said. "And yes, the seniors were legal and had beer there. And yes, people might have had too many beers on occasion. And people generally, in high school, I think all of us have probably done things. We look back on in high school and regret or cringe a bit."

    "But that's not what we're talking about," Kavanaugh added. "We're talking about an allegation of sexual assault. I've never sexually assaulted anyone."

    Leland Ingham Keyser, a longtime friend of Ford, defended Kavanaugh's claim that he was not present at the party mentioned in the allegation. In a statement through her attorney, Keyser said she "has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without, Dr. Ford."

    Ford has passed a lie-detector test and possesses contemporaneous notes from her therapist that describe a "rape attempt" from an "elitist boys' school." 

    Kavanaugh faces more allegations ahead of his and Ford's scheduled hearing on Thursday. On Sunday, Deborah Ramirez, a former Yale University classmate, alleged that Kavanaugh had exposed himself at a party in the 1980s, according to The New Yorker.

    Kavanaugh and his wife, Ashley, said the wave of allegations against him have been "incredibly difficult" and "harder than we imagined." But the two of them expressed optimism and said they believed they were "on the right path."

    "I'm not going to let false accusations drive us out of this process," Kavanaugh said. "I'm not going anywhere."

    SEE ALSO: Brett Kavanaugh writes letter calling new accusations 'grotesque and obvious character assassination,' says he 'will not be intimidated into withdrawing'

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    mike krieger kevin systrom instagram cofounders 2012

    • Instagram's two cofounders, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, are leaving the company, they said in a statement on Monday night.
    • The duo currently serve as the Facebook-owned photo-sharing app's CEO and CTO respectively.
    • According to a report from Bloomberg, the departures come "after growing tensions with [Facebook CEO] Mark Zuckerberg over the direction of the product.
    • It comes after months of chaos and scandals for Facebook.

    Instagram's cofounders are leaving the company.

    On Monday night, Kevin Systrom, CEO of the Facebook-owned photo-sharing app, announced that he and fellow cofounder Mike Krieger were departing the social media firm. His statement came after a report from The New York Times that the duo had quit, and Bloomberg subsequently reported that the move came "after growing tensions with [Facebook's] Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg over the direction of the product."

    Krieger and Systrom together founded Instagram in 2010, and it was acquired by Facebook for $1 billion in 2012.

    The news comes following months of turmoil and scandals for Facebook, from Cambridge Analytica's misappropriation of tens of millions of Facebok users' data to sustained fallout from the spread of Russian propaganda during the 2016 election. Instagram has thus far been a bright spot in Facebook's portfolio, largely (though not entirely) untainted by controversies — but the cofounder team's departures raises questions about the direction and future of the wildly popular app. 

    Reached for comment by Business Insider, an Instagram spokesperson provided a link to a statement from Systrom in which he said they both plan "on taking some time off to explore our curiosity and creativity again." The NYT reported that the pair will leave in the "coming weeks," and will take some time off after their departure.

    Systrom is currently the CEO of Instagram, while Krieger serves as its CTO. It's not yet known who will fill their roles.

    In recent months, Facebook has integrated its executive bench more closely into Instagram. In May 2018, Facebook reshuffled its executive team, making Chris Cox — formerly the head of the core Facebook app — the company's chief product officer, responsible for Instagram and Facebook's other apps. And Adam Mosseri, formerly the VP of News Feed at Facebook, was made Instagram's new head of product. 

    Earlier this year, the cofounder of another Facebook-acquired app left the Silicon Valley tech giant. Jan Koum, cofounder of WhatsApp, the encrypted messaging app Facebook bought $19 billion, left Facebook in April 2018, reportedly due to tensions over efforts to weaken the app's security. And back in March 2018, as the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke, another WhatsApp cofounder, Brian Acton, urged his followers to "delete Facebook."

    In a statement, Zuckerberg said: "Kevin and Mike are extraordinary product leaders and Instagram reflects their combined creative talents. I've learned a lot working with them for the past six years and have really enjoyed it. I wish them all the best and I'm looking forward to seeing what they build next."

    Do you work at Instagram? Do you know more? Contact this reporter via Signal or WhatsApp at +1 (650) 636-6268 using a non-work phone, email at rprice@businessinsider.com, WeChat at robaeprice, or Twitter DM at @robaeprice. (PR pitches by email only, please.) You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

    This story is developing...

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    Chamath Palihapitiya

    • Chamath Palihapitiya, founder of Silicon Valley venture firm Social Capital, let go more than six members of his staff, including four partners, on Thursday. 
    • According to sources, the layoffs occurred shortly after a call with the firm's limited partners.
    • Despite a rift in the firm that resulted in the departures of many of the firm's founding members beginning last year, sources said that the layoffs took members of the firm by surprise. 

    On the same day that Chamath Palihapitiya , the founder of Silicon Valley venture firm Social Capital, published a post to Medium insisting that the firm was not in dire straits, he let multiple members of his staff go, according to sources familiar with the matter.

    Among the people who multiple sources confirmed were let go are partner Adam Nelson, partner Ashley Carroll, senior associate of growth Kiel Zsitvay, head of communications Kira McCroden, partner Kristin Baker Spohn, and partner Sandhya Venkatachalam.

    Still more members of the firm are said to be laid off, and Business Insider is reaching out to confirm the exact number of people who were let go. 

    A spokesperson for Social Capital declined to comment on the layoffs.

    According to people familiar with the matter, the layoffs took place as a part of what Palihapitiya described as his desire to turn Social Capital into a technology holding company in lieu of a traditional venture fund. Indeed, in an interview with The Information on ThursdayPalihapitiya noted that the new incarnation of Social Capital would have a smaller headcount of about 40 people, compared to 70 at its peak.

    Still, the layoffs took the firm's members by surprise, multiple sources told Business Insider. Palihapitiya abruptly gave several people their walking papers immediately after a conference call with the firm's limited partners advisory committee.

    "He told them that there was a team there, that everything was totally fine. And then, after that he let everybody go," one source told Business Insider. 

    The sequence of events is all the stranger in the context of an Axios report on Friday which quoted a source describing Palihapitiya as repeatedly dodging tough questions about the future of the firm and about who was managing the investors' money. 

    The firm has already experienced a talent exodus leading up to Thursday's change, with multiple departures over the course of the preceding year.

    As Business Insider previously reportedPalihapitiya's involvement in the firm has been inconsistent.

    Read more about Social Capital's meltdown:

    'Shame on the LPs': Insiders say the unraveling of Silicon Valley's hottest VC firm, Social Capital, could have been avoided

    We have new details about the VC firm being started by the Social Capital defectors — including its official name

    SEE ALSO: Chinese entrepreneurs have a completely different definition of winning than other startups, and Google's former China boss says that's a big problem for US tech companies

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    Brett Kavanaugh

    • James Roche, a man who says he was Brett Kavanaugh's roommate when the two were in college at Yale, said he remembered Kavanaugh "frequently drinking excessively and becoming incoherently drunk."
    • Roche said that he is inclined to believe the sexual misconduct allegations a second accuser, Debbie Ramirez, leveled against Kavanaugh.
    • Ramirez was another of Kavanaugh's classmates at Yale. Her alleged encounter with Kavanaugh, during which she said he exposed himself to her at a party, was published by The New Yorker on Sunday.
    • Roche described Kavanaugh as a "normally reserved" person, but a "notably heavy drinker, even by the standards at the time, and that he became aggressive and belligerent when he was very drunk."

    A man who says he was Judge Brett Kavanaugh's college roommate when the two were students at Yale said he remembered Kavanaugh as "frequently drinking excessively and becoming incoherently drunk," in a statement released on Monday.

    James Roche said he is inclined to believe the sexual misconduct allegations made by Debbie Ramirez, a fellow classmate at Yale University, who claimed Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a party.

    Roche, who lived in a two-bedroom unit with Kavanaugh during their freshman year, described Ramirez as "being exceptionally honest, with a trusting manner," and said he believed Kavanaugh may have been "capable" of behaving in the alleged manner.

    Ramirez claimed that Kavanaugh exposed himself during a dorm party in his 1983-84 freshman year, according to a New Yorker report published on Sunday. Kavanaugh is alleged to have thrust his exposed penis in front of Ramirez's face as onlookers watched, investigative journalists Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer wrote.

    "I was embarrassed and ashamed and humiliated," Ramirez said to The New Yorker. "Brett was laughing."

    Roche claims that although he did not witness the alleged incident, he was inclined to agree with Ramirez based on his experience around Kavanaugh.

    "Based on my time with Debbie, I believe her to be unusually honest and straightforward and I cannot imagine her making this up," Roche said his statement Monday night. "Based on my time with Brett, I believe that he and his social circle were capable of the actions that Debbie described."

    Roche, who runs a software company in San Francisco, made similar comments to a local Bay Area news station on Monday.

    Roche, who said he was "close friends" with Ramirez and did not interact with Kavanaugh "beyond the first few days of freshman year," described Kavanaugh as a "normally reserved" person, but a "notably heavy drinker, even by the standards at the time, and that he became aggressive and belligerent when he was very drunk."

    "We talked at night as freshman roommates do and I would see him as he returned from nights out with his friends," Roche said.

    Kavanaugh has emphatically denied Ramirez's claim, calling it a "smear, plain and simple." He also denies Christine Blasey Ford's allegation that he fondled her at a party when the two were in high school.

    Ford, a 51-year-old research psychologist and professor who accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her at a house party in the 1980s, said he was "stumbling drunk" when he sexually assaulted her.

    "Yes, there were parties and the drinking age was 18," Kavanaugh said during an interview with Fox News host Martha MacCallum on Monday night. "And yes, the seniors were legal and had beer there. And yes, people might have had too many beers on occasion. And people generally, in high school, I think all of us have probably done things. We look back on in high school and regret or cringe a bit."

    "But that's not what we're talking about," Kavanaugh added. "We're talking about an allegation of sexual assault. I've never sexually assaulted anyone."

    Kavanaugh and Ford are scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

    SEE ALSO: Christine Blasey Ford 'was not a friend': Brett Kavanaugh says he doesn't recall meeting his accuser, denies having seen sexual misconduct

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