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A Global, Digital Coup d"État

A Global, Digital Coup d'État Authored by Jeffrey Tucker via The Brownstone Institute, There was a time. What seemed to be unfolding was a huge intellectual error for the history books. A new virus had come along and everyone was freaking out and smashing all normal social functioning. The excuse turns out just to be the cover story. Still, it bears examination. Even though plenty of outside commentators said the pathogen should be handled in the normal way—with known treatment and calm while those most susceptible stayed cautious until endemicity—some people on the inside fell prey to a great fallacy. They had come to believe computer models over known realities. They thought that you could separate everyone, drive down infections, and then the virus would die out. This was never a plausible scenario, as anyone who knew something about the history of pandemics would report. All known experience stood against this cockamamie scheme. The science was very clear and widely available: lockdowns do not work. Physical interventions in general achieve nothing. But, hey, they said it was an experiment born of new thinking. They would give it a whirl. When it became clear that the lockdowners had gained sway over policy, many of us thought, truly, how long can this really last? A week, maybe two. Then we would be done. But then something strange happened. The money began to flow. And flow. The states thought that was awesome so they kept it up. The money printers got to work. And general chaos broke out: social, cultural, educational, economic, and political. It all happened so fast. The months rolled on with no break in the narrative. It became crazy after a time. There were so few critics. We didn’t know it but they were being silenced by a new machinery that had already been constructed for this purpose. Among that which was censored was criticism of the inoculation potion that was being rolled out and which would eventually be forced on populations all over the world. They said it was 95 percent effective, but it wasn’t clear what that could mean. No coronavirus had ever been controlled by any vaccination. How could this be true? It wasn’t true. Nor did the shot stop the spread. Many people said this at the time. But we couldn’t hear them. Their voices were muffled or silenced. The social media companies had already been taken over by government-connected interests working on behalf of intelligence agencies. We had believed that these tools were designed to increase our connections with others and enable free speech. Now they were being used to broadcast a preset regime narrative. Strange industrial shifts took place. Gas cars were deprecated in favor of a new experiment in electric vehicles, thanks to intense consumer demand caused by shortages owing to supply chain breakages. Digital learning platforms got a huge boost because physical classrooms were closed. Online ordering and doorstep delivery became the rage because people were told not to leave their homes and small businesses were forcibly closed. The pharma companies were riding high of course, gradually acculturating the population to a subscription model. There were attempts to convert whole countries to a health passport system. New York City tried this, along with actual physical segregation of the entire city, with the vaccinated considered clean while the unvaccinated were not allowed into restaurants, libraries, or theaters. The digital app didn’t work however, so that plan fell apart quickly. All of this happened in less than one year. What began as an intellectual error in public health ended up looking like a digital coup d’état. Coups of the past featured rebel armies from the hills storming the cities and joined by the military as they invaded the palace and the leader and his family fled in a carriage or helicopter depending on the epoch. This was different. It was organized and planned by intelligence agencies within the structure of the global state, a great reset to reject the forms of the past and replace them all with a new dystopia. Initially, the people who said this was a great reset were derided as crazed conspiracy theorists. But then it turned out that the head of the World Economic Forum (WEF), Klaus Schwab, had written a book by the very title that you could buy from Amazon. It turns out to be H.G. Wells’s “The Open Conspiracy” updated for the 21st-century technology. There turns out to be much more than that. There was an angle to all of this that impacts the mechanisms we use for democratic control of societies. Buried in the flurry of bills shoved through in March 2020 was a liberalization of balloting and voting that would never have been tolerated before. In the name of social distancing, mail-in ballots would become the norm, along with the known irregularities they introduce. Implausibly, this too was part of the plan. Researching and realizing all of this in real time has been a bit much. It has shattered the old ideological paradigms. The old theories no longer explain the world as it is unfolding. It causes all of us to revisit our priors, at least those with minds adaptable enough to pay attention. For vast swaths of the intellectual class, this is not possible. Looking back, we should have known something was up at the outset. There were too many anomalies. Were the people in charge really so stupid as to believe that you can make a virus go away by making everyone stay home? It’s absurd. You cannot control the microbial kingdom this way, and surely everyone with a modicum of intelligence knows this. Another clue: there never was an exit plan. What exactly was fourteen days of frozen activity going to achieve? What was the benchmark of success? We were never told. Instead, the elites in media and government simply encouraged fear. And then met that fear with ridiculous protocols like dousing ourselves with sanitizer, masking while walking, and presuming every other person is a disease vector. This was psychological warfare. To what end and how ambitious are these hidden plans for us? Only four years later, we are grasping the fullness of what was going down. For those of us schooled in the persistent incompetence of government to get anything right, much less deploy a plan with anything like precision, elaborate conspiracy theories of plots and schemes always seem implausible. We just don’t believe them. This is why it took us so long to see the fullness of what was deployed in March 2020, a scheme that combined a plethora of seemingly disparate governmental/industrial ambitions including: 1) rollout of subscription/platform model of Pharma distribution, 2) mass censorship, 3) election management/rigging, 4) universal basic income, 5) industrial subsidies to digital platforms, 6) mass population surveillance, 7) cartelization of industry, 8) shift in income distribution and entrenchment of administrative state power, 9) crushing of ‘populist’ movements worldwide, and 10) the centralization of power generally speaking. To top it off, all these efforts were global in scope. This whole model truly stretches the bounds of plausibility. And yet all the evidence points to exactly the above. It just goes to show that even if you don’t believe in conspiracies, conspiracies believe in you. It was a digital-age coup d’état unlike anything humanity has ever experienced. How long will it take us to process this reality? We seem to be only at the early stages of understanding, much less resisting. Tyler Durden Thu, 02/29/2024 - 21:05.....»»

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Election Embezzlement: Harris Says Administration To Pay College Students To Register Voters

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Federal Judge Blocks New Texas Law To Arrest Illegal Immigrants

Federal Judge Blocks New Texas Law To Arrest Illegal Immigrants By Jack Phillips of Epoch Times, A federal judge on Thursday temporarily blocked a Texas law that grants state police the capacity to arrest people who are suspected of illegally crossing the U.S.–Mexico border. The measure, called Senate Bill 4 and signed by Gov. Greg Abbott in December, was slated to go into effect on March 5, but U.S. District Judge David Ezra ruled that it violated the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy clause that grants the federal government sole authority over immigration matters. The judge also rejected Texas’s arguments that it was being invaded under the Constitution’s Article IV. In his order, Judge Ezra, a Reagan appointee, said the law would run afoul federal immigration laws and claimed Texas would then be able to “permanently supersede federal directives” and would “amount to nullification of federal law and authority.” According to the judge, that’s a “notion that is antithetical to the Constitution and has been unequivocally rejected by federal courts since the Civil War.” As a result, he argued, the federal government would “suffer grave irreparable harm” because other states would be inspired to pass similar measures. “SB 4 threatens the fundamental notion that the United States must regulate immigration with one voice,” he wrote. At a Feb. 15 hearing, Judge Ezra expressed skepticism as the state pleaded its case for what is known as Senate Bill 4. He also said he was somewhat sympathetic to the concerns expressed by Mr. Abbott and other state officials about the unprecedented influx of illegal aliens. Judge Ezra then added that he feared the United States could become a confederation of states enforcing their own immigration laws. “That is the same thing the Civil War said you can’t do,” he told the attorneys. A lawyer for the state of Texas argued in court that due to the deluge of illegal immigrants, enabled by drug cartels and smugglers, it is tantamount to an invasion and that Texas has the right to defend itself under the Constitution. But the judge said that while he is “sympathetic” to the state’s concerns, he appeared to be skeptical of the lawyer’s argument. “I haven’t seen, and the state of Texas can’t point me to any type of military invasion in Texas,” Judge Ezra said. “I don’t see evidence that Texas is at war.” Mr. Abbott, a Republican, has backed the law, saying that it would compliment his efforts to provide better border security, noting that his state has dealt with a surge of illegal crossings in recent years. Other measures that Mr. Abbott has implemented are a barrier in the Rio Grande, razor wire barriers at certain border crossings, and prohibiting federal agents tasked by the Biden administration with undoing these measures from accessing border areas in Texas. Other state Republicans who back the law have said it would not target immigrants already living in the U.S. because of the two-year statute of limitations on the illegal entry charge and would be enforced only along the state’s border with Mexico. Civil rights groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), as well as other groups in favor of illegal immigration, have said they oppose the measure. A director at the American Gateways group told the Texas Tribune she believes the law is “based on xenophobia and racism,” while not making “our communities safer,” without elaborating. Read the rest at The Epoch Times Tyler Durden Thu, 02/29/2024 - 18:25.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT5 hr. 44 min. ago Related News

Biden Blasted After Claiming Crime Rate Has Fallen To 50-Year-Low

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Seismic Shift: Indonesia Floods Market With Cheap Nickel, Sparking Wave Of Unprofitable Mines  

Seismic Shift: Indonesia Floods Market With Cheap Nickel, Sparking Wave Of Unprofitable Mines   The global nickel industry is experiencing a seismic shift as Indonesia emerges as a major low-cost supplier, contributing to a collapse in prices of the metal used in everything from making stainless steel to high-grade batteries.  Nickel is trading at just above $17,400 a ton, according to the London Metal Exchange, down from $48,800 a ton in early 2022.  Miners are writing down their businesses and closing mines due to a massive drop in income. At least six projects were closed in Australia last year as Indonesia flooded the world with cheap nickel. Bloomberg notes the supply of cheap nickel could mean upwards of at least half the world's mines could become unprofitable.  Christel Bories, the head of Eramet, told the Financial Times that Indonesia has the world's largest nickel reserves and could soon account for 75% of all high-grade nickel production by the end of the decade.  "It has really made a big part of the old traditional players structurally non-competitive for the future," Bories said, adding, "This is part of the industry will either disappear or be subsidized by governments."  She continued: "The uncompetitive mines elsewhere will close. I'm not sure there will be so many governments deciding to subsidize big production with a lot of money just to compete with Indonesia production." Bories' gloomy prediction for the oversupplied nickel markets is similar to other mining CEOs, like BHP chief executive Mike Henry, who recently warned that its flagship nickel business in Australia could close in the next few months. He said help from the government "may not be enough" to save the company's nickel operation in the western part of the country.  Two weeks ago, BHP wrote down the entire value of its Western Australian nickel mining operation. The firm reported a shocking 86% year-on-year plunge in net income for the second half of 2023.  Bloomberg pointed out that Indonesia's move to flood the world with cheap nickel will keep markets oversupplied through the decade's end.  "There is a serious structural challenge as a result of Indonesian nickel," said Duncan Wanblad, chief executive officer of Anglo American Plc. The miner was forced to take a $500 million writedown on its nickel business last week.  Wanblad added: "They don't seem to be letting up anytime soon." The imploding nickel market is great news for electric vehicle companies, who were once battered by skyrocketing battery material costs during Covid.  Tyler Durden Thu, 02/29/2024 - 19:25.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT5 hr. 44 min. ago Related News

Sen. Cotton Asks Pentagon Why Airman Who Self-Immolated Was Allowed To Serve

Sen. Cotton Asks Pentagon Why Airman Who Self-Immolated Was Allowed To Serve Authored by Aaron Pan via The Epoch Times, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) has questioned why the Pentagon allowed an active-duty airman, who set himself on fire in front of the Israeli embassy in Washington on Feb. 25, to serve in the U.S. Air Force. In a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin dated Feb. 28, Mr. Cotton sought answers from the Department of Defense (DOD) over the incident. “You have made it a top priority to address ‘extremism’ amongst our total force, and this act of horrific violence—in support of a terrorist group—raises serious questions about how this individual was allowed to serve on active duty,” Mr. Cotton wrote. Aaron Bushnell, 25, a member of the U.S. Air Force, self-immolated in protest against Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip that followed the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks by Hamas. Before setting himself on fire, he said he would “no longer be complicit in genocide” and would therefore “engage in an extreme act of protest,” repeating the phrase “free Palestine.” The man passed away as a result of his severe injuries. In a press release, Mr. Cotton said Mr. Bushnell’s actions show that he “obviously harbored extreme, anti-American views.” Mr. Cotton asked the DOD to provide information if its anti-extremism training program “addresses support for Islamic terrorist groups like Hamas.” He also wanted to know whether the airman showed any “extremist leanings” or “concerning behavior” before the self-immolation incident and if the DOD took any action to deal with such a concern. The senator from Arkansas also wanted to know if the Pentagon found any Islamic terrorist support groups within the department and whether any service members were involved in anti-Israeli protests that violated DOD regulations on restricted political activities. Mr. Cotton, a member of the Armed Services Committee, asked if the man had access to classified information that undermined U.S. national security. The senator set a March. 7 deadline for the DOD to answer his questions. The Epoch Times has reached out to the Pentagon for comment. The self-immolation incident comes more than four months into the Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip, which began in response to the Oct. 7 attacks in southern Israel by the Hamas terrorist group. The attack killed 1,200 Israeli civilians and security personnel. According to the U.S. Air Force, Mr. Bushnell was a cyber defense operations specialist for the 531st Intelligence Support Squadron at Joint Base San Antonio in Texas. He had been on active duty since May 2020. The Air Force sent condolences to Mr. Bushnell’s family after the incident. “When a tragedy like this occurs, every member of the Air Force feels it. We extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Senior Airman Bushnell,” Col. Celina Noyes, commander of the 70th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing, said in a statement on Monday. The incident happened as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seeks cabinet approval for a military operation in Rafah, in southern Gaza, while a temporary cease-fire deal is being negotiated. Israel’s military offensive in Gaza, however, has drawn criticism, including allegations of genocide against Palestinians. Israel has adamantly denied the genocide allegations and says it is carrying out operations in accordance with international law. It is not the first self-immolation incident related to anti-Israel protests. Last December, a man also set himself on fire outside the Israeli consulate in Atlanta. Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said at the time that it was “an act of extreme political protest” and did not believe it was connected to terrorism. Polls Show Majority of Americans Support Israel Israel is a longtime U.S. ally and receives billions of dollars in military support annually from Washington. Since the start of the war, the Biden administration has been actively engaged in diplomatic efforts to prevent the conflict from escalating into a wider regional war. A January poll by Gallup found that nearly 4 in 10 Americans—38 percent—think that Washington provides Israel with the right amount of support, 36 percent say that U.S. support is too much, and 24 percent say it’s too little. Regarding Palestinians, 31 percent of Americans think that they get the right level of support, and 33 percent say it’s too little. According to another Gallup poll in November, 50 percent of Americans approved of Israel’s military operation against Hamas, and 45 percent disapproved. A poll by the Harris Poll and HarrisX in October showed that most Americans were in favor of Israel in the war and opposed the Hamas terrorist group. Eighty-four percent of Americans sided with Israel in the war, while 16 percent sided with Hamas. Tyler Durden Thu, 02/29/2024 - 19:45.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT5 hr. 44 min. ago Related News

NASA may build giant telescopes on the moon in your lifetime. Check out the blueprints.

Astronomers want to build giant telescopes on the moon. They're already drafting blueprints and making proposals, some with cash from NASA. Two very different concepts for a radio observatory on the moon show how creative astronomers are getting.Vladimir Vustyansky; Ronald Polidan/Lunar Resources, Inc.; Business InsiderAstronomers want to build giant telescopes on the moon to see and hear the universe more clearly.Lunar telescopes could be even stronger than the James Webb Space Telescope.They may have to compete with entrepreneurs flocking to the moon for business and mining.NEW ORLEANS — Gazing at the moon, you may see a face or a round of cheese, but some astronomers see the ideal spot for their next giant telescope.They're already drafting blueprints and making proposals — some with cash from an interested NASA.One moonshot plan would build a giant radio dish spanning an entire crater on the far side of the moon.An illustration of a conceptual radio telescope within a crater on the moon.Vladimir VustyanskyAnother involves a giant triangle of lasers to detect ripples in space-time and trace them to distant collisions of black holes and massive dead stars.An illustration of the Laser Interferometer Lunar Antenna, a proposed observatory to detect gravitational waves on the moon.Vanderbilt Lunar Labs InitiativeYet another proposal would use SpaceX's Starship to build a lunar base-hotel-telescope hybrid featuring a mega-observatory stronger than the James Webb Space Telescope, the most powerful telescope ever launched into space.A concept for a lunar habitat (left) that collects sunlight for an indoor farm beside an array of telescopes (right).Dallan Porter/Roger Angel/University of Arizona"The future is the moon," astrophysicist Joseph Silk told Business Insider after he and other moon-telescope advocates met to discuss their plans during a conference of the American Astronomical Society in New Orleans.It sounds and looks like sci-fi. But these astronomers are very serious; some think they can get their hardware on the moon in the next decade.NASA even launched a miniature radio observatory aboard Intuitive Machines' Odysseus lander, which landed on the moon last week. The experiment is part of a larger plan to build a vast array of radio antennas on the far side of the moon.The view from the Intuitive Machines Odysseus lander about 35 seconds after pitching over as it descended to its landing site.Intuitive MachinesOther projects also hope to piggyback off the NASA program that produced that moon landing, called Commercial Lunar Payload Services. It's NASA's core lunar strategy for the 21st century: sponsor various private companies to develop affordable spacecraft, then hitch a ride."These things can move much more quickly than if you just rely on NASA or another space agency, a governmental agency, to do it all alone," Jack Burns, an astrophysicist and professor at the University of Colorado Boulder who is spearheading the radio observatory efforts, told Business Insider.With private companies speeding up the development of launch and landing vehicles, Burns said the next three decades could bring multiple pilot projects and, eventually, whole observatories to the moon.Silk argues that lunar telescopes would open the door to a new era of major space discoveries. For example, he said, "if you want to discover [alien] life, the way you're going to do it is on the moon."Why put a telescope (or three or four) on the moonAn illustration of the Lunar Crater Radio Telescope concept, as seen from high above the moon.Vladimir VustyanskyScientists have good reason to take their telescopes out of this world.Down here on Earth, astronomers turning their lenses and antennas toward distant galaxies, planets, or black holes are getting frustrated. They have to peer through the thick distortions of the atmosphere, squint past the streaks of more and more satellites, or listen around the radio emissions of those satellites.Even the Hubble Space Telescope orbiting Earth isn't safe from satellite interference.A satellite trail streaks in front of galaxies in this image from the Hubble Space Telescope.NASA/ESA/Kruk et al.That's just on top of regular interference from the atmosphere. Only a limited range of radio frequencies pass through Earth's atmosphere without getting garbled. That atmospheric garbling makes it difficult for Earth-based telescopes to hear radio emissions from the earliest stages of the universe.The Parkes Radio Telescope in Australia.REUTERS/Stefica Nicol BikesOn the moon, though, astronomers can escape both the atmosphere and the satellites. That opens a new world of possibilities.Ambitious blueprints show giant antenna spirals and triangles of lasersNASA has entertained a variety of moon-observatory concepts, sometimes giving researchers cash to craft a design for their idea.An artist's rendering shows how small spool-like robots could roll out miles-long tethers to make an array of radio antennas on the moon.Blue Origin/NASA JPL/CaltechSeveral proposals are for radio telescopes. That's because the far side of the moon is the most radio-quiet place in the inner solar system, according to Burns.The Earth sets from the far side of the moon just beyond NASA's Orion spacecraft during the Artemis I mission.NASAThere, the moon's bulk blocks radio emissions from human technology on Earth. Any radio telescope on the moon's back end would pick up the pure emissions of the universe.That's why Burns wants to build a 6-mile-wide windmill-shaped array of more than 100 radio antennas on the far side of the moon. The concept is called FARSIDE, short for "Farside Array for Radio Science Investigations of the Dark ages and Exoplanets."Blue Origin's Blue Moon lander could carry the whole thing there in one trip.An artist's concept shows robots rolling out tethers from the Blue Moon lander to build FARSIDE on the moon.Blue Origin/NASA JPL/CaltechA small test of this concept is on the moon now with the Intuitive Machines Odysseus lander.Another proposal, by the Houston-based company Lunar Resources, would manufacture 100,000 antennas on-site, using the metals in lunar dirt, then install them over an area of about 77 square miles to make a giant radio telescope array on the far side of the moon. NASA is funding studies of the concept, called FarView.The FarView observatory would consist of 100,000 antennas manufactured on-site on the moon.Ronald Polidan/Lunar Resources, Inc.Burns calls FarView "the ultimate radio array."Here's how the large-scale blueprints for FARSIDE and FarView compare:FarView (right) would be a much bigger project than FARSIDE (left).Jack BurnsKaran Jani, an astrophysicist at Vanderbilt University, champions another type of astronomy on the moon: the Laser Interferometer Lunar Antenna (LILA).LILA would consist of three boxes shooting lasers at each other, in a giant triangle across a lunar crater.A crosscut illustration of one of the three boxes that would make up LILA, shooting a laser at and receiving a laser from each of the others.Vanderbilt Lunar Labs InitiativeLike its L-shaped counterparts on Earth, LILA would precisely monitor its lasers so that a disturbance in them indicated the passing of gravitational waves — ripples in the fabric of space-time that travel toward us from distant collisions of black holes or neutron stars.These are the most violent events in the universe, and they forge all the gold, platinum, and silver in existence.An illustration of a neutron star collision warping space-time (represented by a grid) and creating platinum, gold, and other precious heavy elements.FermilabLILA would pick up many gravitational waves that earthquakes and human activity are drowning out for Earth-based detectors.Jani plans to get a prototype on the moon to prove the concept by 2028. That pathfinder mission would test the laser technology between a lander and a rover.Telescopes, astronauts, and space tourists could coexist on the moonOther proposals are for the types of telescopes that may be more familiar to you — the kind that look at the universe in visible, ultraviolet, and infrared light.The Crab Nebula imaged by NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, which uses infrared light.NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Tea Temim (Princeton University)Roger Angel, an astronomer at the University of Arizona, has studied the possibility of an array of 18 optical and infrared telescopes near the moon's south pole. It could be done for $10 billion, he says — the same cost as the James Webb Space Telescope, with 20 times its aperture."Each of the telescopes in the array is the size of the Webb telescope, and all their light is combined into a single image," Angel told Business Insider in an email.Engineers and technicians work on the James Webb Space Telescope under construction.Chris Gunn/NASAIt could even be combined with a long-term habitat for astronauts and tourists — like this one Angel designed with a giant rotating above-ground mirror to capture sunlight and funnel it to a 170-foot-wide indoor farm growing atop a living complex for 40 people.A concept for a giant lunar habitat with an indoor farm.Nick Woolf and Angel Roger/Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A. 2021Another rendering of the concept shows how the habitat would help staff the telescope array.A rotating dish (left arrow) would collect sunlight for an indoor habitat and farm (middle arrow) to staff a nearby array of telescopes (right arrow)Dallan Porter/Roger Angel/University of ArizonaPutting such a telescope on the far side of the moon, where it could have a clear view of the universe, could allow astronomers to peer further into the universe's history than ever before, past the first stars to the cosmic dark ages right after the Big Bang."It's all about who we are and where we come from," Burns said.Industry and astronomy might be shooting for the same moon cratersOnly a few craters are suitable for these observatories, but their permanent shadows could make them targets for future mining.That's because those shadows can shelter reserves of frozen water from the sun's unfiltered space radiation. Space agencies and companies seeking to launch from the moon's surface to more distant destinations, like Mars, will need to mine that water in order to produce fresh rocket fuel on-site.An artist's illustration depicts NASA astronauts on the moon.NASA via APObservatories, however, must be located far from the noise and vibrations of any mining operations.At the conference in New Orleans, astrophysicist Martin Elvis warned the astronomers that they may need to secure safe zones for their dream observatories."If we lose this capability, it may be a permanent loss to science," Elvis said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

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Memes about a disastrous Willy Wonka-themed event are taking over the internet

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US stocks climb after latest inflation data to end February with strong gains

The Dow hit a four-month streak of gains. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite closed at record highs to close out February. US stocks just capped off a winning February.AP Photo/Richard Drew US stocks traded higher on Thursday following the latest PCE data. The Dow hit four consecutive monthly gains, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq closed at records.  The Fed's preferred inflation gauge was in line with expectations.  US stocks climbed on Thursday, cementing a winning month for investors and continuing this year's strong rally. Major averages ended the day higher, and the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite closed at record highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average notched a four-month winning streak for the first time since May 2021, while the S&P 500 climbed more than 4.5% during the month, bringing its year-to-date gain to about 6.8%.Investors took in fresh inflation data before markets opened, with the US Department of Commerce reporting the personal consumption expenditures price index rose 0.3% month-over-month, and 2.4% year-over-year, matching consensus estimates.Core PCE also fell in line with expectations, rising 0.4% month-over-month and 2.8% compared to a year ago. Economists at Macquarie wrote in a note that the latest data suggest gradual disinflation remains likely."There is no change to our FOMC baseline call with this release," the economists wrote in a Thursday note."We continue to expect the first rate cut in July, a total of 50 bps of cuts in 2024, and a further 50 bps in 2025."Bitcoin on Thursday continued its rise back toward all-time highs. The coin traded as much as 6% higher during the day before paring gains. It spiked again late in the day after Bloomberg reported that Wells Fargo and Bank of America would begin offering clients access to the approved spot ETFs. Bitcoin traded at $62,280 late Thursday afternoon. In the housing market, new data on pending home sales showed an unexpected drop in January as mortgage rates continue to hover near 7%.Still, the US housing market is starting to show some signs of moderate easing as new listings of homes for sale climbed 12.9% compared to a year ago, good for the biggest jump in almost three years, per Redfin. Here's where US indexes stood as the market closed at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday: S&P 500: 5,095.88, up 0.52%Dow Jones Industrial Average: 38,994.29, up 0.12% (-45.27 points)Nasdaq Composite: 16,091.92, up 0.9%Here's what else is going on: The record rally in stocks hasn't yet ignited a speculative FOMO mentality among day traders.The bitcoin ETF boom marks the crypto's "IPO moment," one investment chief said.The head of the European Commission said profits from frozen Russian assets should be used to help buy weapons for Ukraine.C3.ai stock surged double-digits after its strong earnings beat.BlackRock's bitcoin ETF took in $520 million in a single day this week.In commodities, bonds, and crypto: Oil prices fell, with West Texas Intermediate down 0.37% to $78.25 a barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, traded about flat at $83.62 a barrel.Gold edged higher 0.4% to $2,052.60 per ounce.The 10-year Treasury yield slipped three basis points to 4.244%.Bitcoin climbed 3.0% to $62,084.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT9 hr. 29 min. ago Related News

Critics call "Dune: Part Two" a "sci-fi masterpiece" and one of the "greatest sequels ever"

Denis Villeneuve's epic adaptation of Frank Herbert's acclaimed book has critics hailing it as a masterwork. Timothée Chalamet in "Dune: Part Two."Warner Bros.Critics are in love with "Dune: Part Two."One of the few knocks is that there are so many characters it can be hard to keep up, some said.A critic hailed it as "the best sci-fi epic of the century."It's time to return to Arrakis for the much-anticipated sequel to Denis Villeneuve's 2021 epic "Dune."For "Dune: Part Two," in theaters on Friday, Villeneuve continues telling the story of Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet). Atreides is looking to avenge the death of his father from the first movie while fulfilling the ancient prophecy that an off-world prophet will bring prosperity to the planet of Arrakis.In the sequel, we get much more Zendaya, plus new characters played by Austin Butler, Florence Pugh, Léa Seydoux, and Christopher Walken.Critics are lauding the movie for its epic scope and powerful performances by its leads, Chalamet and Zendaya. Some are even calling it one of the greatest sequels ever made.Here's a roundup of their reactions to the movie.Timothée Chalamet in "Dune: Part Two."Warner Bros.The movie feels epicFrom the "Lawrence of Arabia"-like shots of desert vistas to the sets and costumes, critics are blown away by the movie's look."The second Dune film is superb at showing us an entire created world, a distinct and now unmistakable universe, which will probably be much imitated," wrote Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian."Villeneuve treats each shot as if it were a painting," Variety's Peter Debruge wrote. "Every design choice seems handed down through millennia of alternative human history, from arcane hieroglyphics to a slew of creative masks."Florence Pugh in "Dune: Part Two."Warner Bros.But all the new characters eat up a lot of screen timeNew characters seem to appear in almost every other scene, and critics noticed."With the expansion of the world comes more characters," wrote Therese Lacson of Collider. "If you're familiar with the 'Dune' book series, you'll know that these characters are quite important and need to have their time on screen. But if you're not familiar with the books, you might be wondering why there's a new character popping up on screen every few minutes.""The Emperor of the Known Universe decides to pay Arrakis a visit and settle the war between the houses once and for all. He's played by a badly miscast Christopher Walken, whose natural affectations distract from a movie that's in desperate need of a more grounded presence," wrote IndieWire's David Ehrlich. "Florence Pugh, by contrast, strikes the perfect balance between strength and survivalism in her brief role as the Emperor's daughter, but her character is ultimately just a series of bejeweled headpieces in search of a narrative purpose. Like so much in this film, Princess Irulan is so amazing to look at that Villeneuve can only think to pose her."Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya in "Dune: Part 2."Warner Bros.A big highlight is the love story between Paul (Timothée Chalamet) and Chani (Zendaya)Another highlight is the pairing of Chalamet and Zendaya, who finally get some meaty screentime together."Fremen society and Paul's relationship with Chani are among the threads that get more robust consideration in Villeneuve's highly anticipated sequel," Lovia Gyarkye from The Hollywood Reporter wrote."This 'Dune' is never better than when it frames its messianic spectacle as the backdrop for a star-crossed love story about a woman falling in love with the same man she doesn't trust to free her people," IndieWire's Ehrlich wrote.A dramatic desert scene in "Dune: Part 2."Warner Bros.Prepare for a cliffhanger endingLike in the first movie, you're not going to get many answers by the end."Don't expect a definitive ending," wrote The Daily Beast's Nick Schager. "It's clear that 'Dune: Part Two' is merely a prelude for a true finale.""You feel as if the storytelling wave is just beginning to crest," wrote David Fear of Rolling Stone. "We leave as we came in, knowing more is on the way, yet punch-drunk from the love triangles and the battles that will lead to even bigger fracas among fractured, warring houses. It's not a spoiler to say that the stage is set for a third movie."(L-R) Timothée Chalamet and Austin Butler in "Dune: Part Two."Niko Tavernise/Warner Bros.Some are calling it 'the best sci-fi epic of the century'Critics really like the movie.Joshua Rothkopf at The Los Angeles Times, who called it a "sci-fi masterpiece" in the headline of his review, said: "Villeneuve has made good on one of the great Hollywood gambles in recent memory, delivering a two-part epic of literary nuance, timely significance and maybe even the promise of another film or two. Like that talking baby in the womb, it speaks to what's coming more than we may know."Inverse's Hoai-Tran Bui dubbed it "the best sci-fi epic of the century" in her headline. "It's a towering feat of sci-fi cinema that will put 'Dune: Part Two' in contention for the pantheon of greatest sequels ever."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT9 hr. 29 min. ago Related News

Bitcoin will see a correction before rallying to new record highs, billionaire crypto bull Mike Novogratz says

The crypto market has become frothy as traders chase the bitcoin high on too much leverage, Galaxy's Mike Novogratz said. Lucas Jackson/Reuters Bitcoin will see a correction before hitting a new record, Mike Novogratz told Bloomberg TV. The token could fall to around $50,000 before surging higher this year. The market is too leveraged as investors chase the high, but spot bitcoin ETFs provide long-term upside. As bitcoin rockets toward its all-time record, a correction is likely before the token can settle at higher levels, Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz told Bloomberg TV."I wouldn't be surprised to see some correction and some consolidation, but I'm very loath to pick a bitcoin high because I really do believe this is price discovery," the billionaire crypto enthusiast said.A correction would see it fall to the mid-$50,000s, before surging to a new high, Novogratz added.This week, the leading crypto coin jumped 20% to surpass the $60,000 mark, as spot bitcoin ETFs continue to draw in fresh inflows. The recently approved funds — the first of their kind in the US — have pushed bitcoin into a "price discovery" phase. "So you're seeing, you know, a step function in new owners of bitcoin, which is driving, I would say, a frenzy and the whole crypto ecosystem," he said. But with that, the market has become too frothy, The ETFs have also brought in more retail investors, who are trading on an unsustainable amount of leverage. Many of those chasing the high, especially millennials and Gen Z traders, could get burned. But over the longer course, baby boomer wealth in these funds will take bitcoin much higher, with the token set to overtake its 2021 peak of around $69,000. As this retiring cohort accounts for around $85 trillion in wealth, Novogratz said, a small shift of 1% to 3% of boomers' investments into bitcoin could provide a massive tailwind."3% of that is two and a half trillion. The whole market cap of bitcoin is only a little more than 1.2 trillion," he said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT9 hr. 29 min. ago Related News

The smart ring era is here and tech companies are fighting for your finger. Will you wear one?

The smart ring era is here and tech companies are fighting for your finger. Will you wear one?.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT9 hr. 29 min. ago Related News

I"m a makeup artist who spent $360 on products this month. Here are 8 items I"d buy again and 2 I"d skip next time.

Some of the best things a makeup artist spent $360 on this month include the Fenty Skin hydrating and strengthening lip oil and Nars blush. I bought some hits and misses this February.Makeup by Mario, Saie, Hourglass, Nars, One/Size,  Fenty Skin, Abanti Chowdhury/BII'm a makeup artist who spent $360 on new products and old favorites this February.The Fenty Skin Fenty Treatz hydrating and strengthening lip oil moisturizes without being sticky.I wouldn't purchase the Patrick Ta Major Sculpt Crème contour-and-powder bronzer duo again.As a makeup artist, my job includes trying new products and repurchasing old favorites for my kit each month.This February, I spent $360 on blushes, powders, concealers, and more.Here's how each makeup product I bought stacked up.The Fenty Skin Fenty Treatz hydrating and strengthening lip oil felt so luxe.The Fenty Skin Fenty Treatz hydrating and strengthening lip oil moisturizes without being sticky.Fenty Skin, Abanti Chowdhury/BII wanted a moisturizing lip product that wasn't sticky or overly tinted to keep in my purse for no-makeup days, and I loved the Fenty Skin Fenty Treatz hydrating and strengthening lip oil.This lip oil feels like self-care in a bottle and comes with a luxe-feeling doe-foot applicator, so I'll definitely repurchase it.I paid $24 for the Fenty Skin lip oil.The Nars blush in Taj Mahal looks beautiful on the cheeks.I love the orange tones of the Nars blush in Taj Mahal.Nars, Abanti Chowdhury/BIOrange on the cheeks is always a good idea, and the Nars blush in the Taj Mahal shade is an excellent choice. Its vibrant tangerine hue and golden shimmer add a sun-kissed glow to the skin.The highly pigmented formula blends effortlessly, lasts all day, and is perfect for any occasion.I purchased the Nars blush for $32.The Saie Dew Blush gives the cheeks a beautiful pop of color.I bought the Saie Dew Blush in the Dreamy shade.Saie, Abanti Chowdhury/BIThe Saie liquid blush is super blendable and buildable and gives the cheeks a perfect pop of color, like a natural glow from within.It's made with great ingredients like elderberry and licorice-root extracts, so I feel good about what I'm putting on my skin. I purchased the shade Dreamy, which is a perfect berry hue for dark complexions.I purchased the Saie Dew blush for $25.I need the Hourglass Vanish Airbrush concealer in my makeup bag at all times.I like how easily the Hourglass Vanish Airbrush concealer covers dark circles.Hourglass, Abanti Chowdhury/BIThe Hourglass Vanish Airbrush concealer is my new go-to for effortlessly covering dark circles and blemishes.Its lightweight formula is full coverage and blends seamlessly into the skin. Plus, the large doe-foot applicator makes the product easy to apply.I bought the Hourglass Vanish Airbrush concealer for $36.The One/Size by Patrick Starrr Ultimate Blurring setting powder effortlessly smooths imperfections.The One/Size by Patrick Starrr Ultimate Blurring setting powder is lightweight but effective.One/Size, Abanti Chowdhury/BIIt took me a while, but the One/Size by Patrick Starrr Ultimate Blurring setting powder has become one of my favorite products.This powder lives up to its name and hype by effortlessly blurring imperfections and leaving the skin flawless. Its lightweight formula sets makeup without feeling heavy or cakey.The One/Size setting powder was $34.In my opinion, all eye-shadow lovers need the Makeup by Mario Ethereal Eyes palette.The shadows in the Makeup by Mario Ethereal Eyes palette blend like a dream.Makeup by Mario, Abanti Chowdhury/BIThe Makeup by Mario Ethereal Eyes eye-shadow palette is a total game changer because the shades feel like butter — so smooth and blendable.This palette can be used to create many looks, from everyday-chic to glam-nighttime makeup. Plus, the colors are incredibly pigmented.This $68 palette is a must for anyone who loves playing with makeup.I had to grab another Nars Radiant creamy liquid color corrector for my kit.The Nars Radiant creamy liquid color corrector covers blemishes perfectly.Nars, Abanti Chowdhury/BIThe Nars Radiant creamy liquid color corrector effortlessly neutralizes imperfections for a lightweight, luminous finish.Its blendability is exceptional, as it seamlessly melts into the skin. I also love how this color corrector comes in a versatile shade range.I purchased the Nars color corrector for $30.I love using the mini Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish setting powder for on-the-go touch-ups. The Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish setting powder doesn't feel heavy on the skin.Charlotte Tilbury, Abanti Chowdhury/BIA mini Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish setting powder is perfect for on-the-go touch-ups. Its finely milled texture blurs imperfections and leaves a matte yet radiant finish.The long-lasting powder controls shine without looking heavy or cakey. Its packaging is luxurious, and the velvety feel makes it a staple for those who want an airbrushed complexion.I paid $28 for the Charlotte Tilbury setting powder.On the other hand, I'd skip The Foundation Stick from Basma next time.I didn't love The Foundation stick from Basma.Basma, Abanti Chowdhury/BIThe Foundation Stick from Basma promises hydrating, buildable coverage and a natural finish.However, I'm not quite sold on foundation sticks yet. I haven't found myself reaching for this much, so I probably won't purchase it again.The Foundation Stick from Basma cost $40.The Patrick Ta Major Sculpt Crème contour-and-powder bronzer duo wasn't my favorite.I wish the Patrick Ta Major Sculpt Crème contour-and-powder bronzer duo had a better shade range.PATRICK TA, Abanti Chowdhury/BISimply put, the shade range of the Patrick Ta Major Sculpt Crème contour-and-powder bronzer duo falls short.The limited options made finding a suitable match for various skin tones challenging. I wanted to love this product, but even the darker contour shades may appear ashy or not show up well on deeper complexions.The Patrick Ta contour-and-bronzer duo cost $40.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT9 hr. 29 min. ago Related News

Amazon recommends video doorbells that can let anyone spy on you, report finds

Researchers said they've found multiple video doorbells with serious security concerns for sale on Amazon, Walmart, and more. There are brands of video doorbells that all appear connected by one big flaw, according to a report.AmazonResearchers said they've found multiple video doorbells with serious security concerns.Despite the alleged lack of safety, the doorbells are being sold by Amazon, Walmart, and more.At least one doorbell sold by a brand was marked as "Amazon's Choice" product.You might want to double-check that your video doorbell isn't vulnerable to being hacked.Researchers said they found a string of video doorbells sold by retail giants such as Amazon, Walmart, Temu, Shein, and Sears that hackers can infiltrate and gain access to footage, IP addresses, and WiFi networks, according to a Consumer Reports investigation.Test engineers at CR identified four companies that appear to sell nearly identical models of doorbell cameras, and those models all showed the same vulnerability to cyberattacks, they said.Some of the brands named in the report are Eken, Tuck, Rakeblue, and Fishbot, and their doorbells all use the Aiwit app — owned by Eken — to operate.Despite the alleged security concerns, at least one doorbell from Tuck has the "Amazon's Choice" recommendation. The model is rated at 4.3 stars and boasts over 300 sales in the past month as of February 29.The Tuck SHARKPOP doorbell uses Aiwit app, and it's marked as "Amazon's Choice"AmazonJustin Brookman, director of technology policy for CR, said it's up to the e-commerce platforms to make sure harmful products are being sold under their noses."There is more they could be doing to vet sellers and respond to complaints. Instead, it seems like they're coasting on their reputation and saddling unknowing consumers with broken products," Brookman told CR.So broken, CR alleges, that anyone can walk up to one of the doorbells they tested, hold the button long enough for it to go into pairing mode, and link the video doorbell to their account on the Aiwit app.Then, the device could be controlled from their phone if it's connected to WiFi. What's more, a hacker could continue having access even if the owner paired their device back to the doorbell by using the device's serial number (they can find it when pairing with the video doorbell), CR reported.A spokesperson for Walmart told BI that it has removed the doorbells from its marketplace and is offering refunds through its return policy."We expect these items to be safe, reliable and compliant with our standards and all legal requirements," Walmart's statement read. "Items that are identified to not meet these standards or requirements will be promptly removed from the website and remain blocked."Business Insider reached out to Amazon, Temu, Shein, and Sears, and didn't immediately receive responses.Representatives for Temu told The Verge that it would halt sales of the doorbells as it investigates the security concerns.BI also reached out to Eken for comment on these issues and details about the brand names through which it appears to sell these video doorbells, but got no response.Amazon has had a history of backlash for some of the items listed on its site for sale. In 2020, the retailer removed listings for merchandise associated with the far-right white nationalist group the Proud Boys.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT9 hr. 29 min. ago Related News

An interior designer critiqued my neutral living room. Her tips showed me easy tricks to make a space cozy and stylish.

I had an interior designer look at the living room of my home and share design tips for making it look stylish and feel more cozy and cohesive. I asked an interior designer to help me make my living room feel super cozy. Cheyenne LentzI asked an interior designer how to make my living room feel more stylish and cozy.She suggested we add black and wood accents to the room to create warmth.The designer also said rearranging the furniture can be an easy way to improve the room's ambiance.My husband and I have been enjoying our new home for months now, but it's been a huge undertaking to decorate every room.One that's been especially difficult to design is the living room. We thought we could simply move the furniture from our old place into our new space. Unfortunately, there's a major style discrepancy.Our new home's living room has a built-in wood-burning stove and a shiplap ceiling. These style choices are partly what attracted us to this house, but we have no idea how to decorate around these elements in a complementary way.To learn how to incorporate these elements better into my living room, I consulted Kim Turner, principal designer of Kim Turner Design and advancement director at Dwell with Dignity.After sharing photos and a video tour of my space, Turner shared advice on how to make my living room feel more stylish and cozy.She said replacing our accent pillows and table could completely transform the ambiance of the spaceThe fireplace stands out in the space. Cheyenne LentzThe biggest issue I've faced in decorating our living room is figuring out how to incorporate the fireplace into our design. Right now, the darker elements surrounding the fireplace feel out of place in our otherwise neutral space. To tie the room together and avoid having a lone black corner, Turner suggested bringing some of the black accents from the fireplace area to other parts of the room.We can do this by replacing our current coffee table with a darker one. This could completely transform the ambiance of the room, the designer said.The designer recommended we get a darker coffee table. Cheyenne Lentz"The current table maintains a contemporary feel from your previous home, but a change in shape and materials would add warmth," Turner said.She recommended a table with a blend of iron, wood, and glass to bring the wood from the ceiling down to help anchor the space.Additionally, Turner suggested replacing the dark pillows on the couch with textured ones in a lighter shade. She said this simple swap can help make the space feel more warm. Hiding wires and clutter can easily upgrade the roomThe designer suggested we minimize the items on our TV shelf. Cheyenne LentzTo clear visual clutter, Turner recommended we conceal any unsightly exposed TV wires and put away other random items we've collected on our TV shelf over time."To create balance, consider placing two large, identical items on either end of the shelf," Turner said. "The existing candle lantern is perfectly sized and shaped — finding a matching one for the opposite end would be ideal."We can bring the room together better with some simple rearrangementsA different light in this corner could make our space look nicer.Cheyenne LentzAnother easy fix to making the room feel more cozy is to simply rearrange some of the pieces we already own, Turner said.She said to move the small, round side table to sit between the sofa and the recliner. The tall lamp hovering over the recliner should be positioned over the coffee table and couch to avoid it feeling like a spotlight over that specific seat. Turner also suggested getting another floor lamp to go where the side table once was to provide extra light."Play with placement until it pleases your eye. Sometimes, I've found myself shifting an item to the right, then to the left, and even readjusting it by an inch to the right again," Turner said. "You'll instinctively know when it's perfectly positioned."She suggested adding a gallery wall to fill the white space and add textureA gallery wall can fill up a large empty space quickly. Cheyenne LentzTurner suggested we move our brass mirror and build a gallery wall to fill that empty space instead. She suggested adding artwork, black-and-white photography, or even macrame to incorporate texture into the space.When building a gallery wall, the designer said, always hang an odd number of items."Perhaps you start with five — three if you find something large. There's a fine line between having an interesting grouping that draws your eye and a cluttered wall," Turner said.She suggested we try out different configurations by placing the pieces on the floor and spacing them out to our liking before hanging them.We can enhance the room further with customized window treatmentsCustom window treatments can make a space feel cozy. Cheyenne LentzTo add another textural element to the space, Turner recommended adding window treatments to our bare windows.She suggested we use iron hardware and solid-color linen draperies."To create an aesthetically pleasing effect, position the rod halfway between the top of the window and the bottom of the ceiling molding," Turner said.The draperies should hang straight, which will help soften the look of the windows and add more texture to the space. Overall, I learned pulling elements and colors from the room's focal points upgrade a space Turner's tips gave me some ideas for making my living room feel warmer and more stylish.My biggest takeaway from her advice is that I should consider pulling inspiration from the colors and textures of the existing style elements in the space. In this case, that'd be the shiplap ceiling and the matte black fireplace.Currently, everything we put in our living room is pretty light in color. If we incorporate darker shades and more wood into our design, the room can feel warmer and much more chic.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT9 hr. 29 min. ago Related News

The US Army is breeding a new kind of Arctic warrior by "testing the mettle of the human" in frigid, freezing Alaska, commander says

At US Army Pacific training in Alaska, soldiers are battling in freezing and unpredictable environments unlike anything many of them have ever seen. U.S. Soldiers assigned to 1st Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 11th Airborne Division, move to their objective outside of Utqiagvik, Alaska as part of Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Training Center 24-02, Feb. 15, 2024.U.S. Army Photo by Pfc. Brandon VasquezThe US Army has been engaged in Arctic training in Alaska, preparing troops to fight in subzero temperatures.The challenging environment forces soldiers to innovate and adjust in real time while wargaming.The exercises are unlike anything else in the US Army, top generals and commanders said.In the early morning, just as the sun slowly rises up from behind the mountains, gusts of icy wind sweep across the US Army camp, whipping up snow from the ground and the trees in the surrounding forests. It's a bone-chilling cold, one felt even through any protective layers or garments.Soldiers come and go in and out of tents, some surprisingly wearing just t-shirts, seemingly unbothered by the conditions. One sits outside eating breakfast. The temperature of six degrees Fahrenheit is practically spring weather, they say. Just a week before, it was -40 degrees, temperatures many have never had to endure.Out on the snow-covered Alaskan tundra, US Army Pacific is pushing its soldiers to prepare to fight in subzero temperatures and hostile, unpredictable environments. It is a challenge unlike anything else in the Army, top generals told Business Insider, and a relatively new training experience that tests "the mettle of the human," one brigade combat team commander said.Earlier this month, USARPAC held its annual Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Center training exercise near Fairbanks, Alaska that BI was able to observe firsthand.Throughout the training, soldiers with the US Army's 11th Airborne Division and troops from over a dozen international allies and partners ran wargames in the Arctic, with one side posing as enemy forces. Troops adapt to freezing temperatures and unpredictable conditions, making adjustments to gear, kits, and equipment in real time.U.S. Army Spc. Sammantha Ohm assigned to 5th Squadron, 1st Calvary Regiment, Delta Co, 1st Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 11th Airborne Division pulls security on the M2HB .50-caliber machine gun during the Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Center 24-02 exercise at Donnelly Training Area, Alaska, Feb. 17, 2024.U.S. Army Photo by Spc. Abreanna GoodrichSome days, the temperature is well below zero, and snow piles feet-deep in fields and forests. Others, the weather is considerably "warmer" than usual — in the tens or twenties. Snow isn't as prevalent, but the ground remains frozen solid. Any warmer, and it's muddy, caking to boots and vehicles."It's a harsh environment," Maj. Gen. Brian S. Eifler told Business Insider in an in-person interview at Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks. "If something happens in those conditions, you got to have a force that's ready."On the ground, soldiers echoed similar sentiments. Some told Business Insider the Arctic was the most difficult environment to fight in, while others noted it took a specific type of mindset to survive there, let alone excel."There are not a lot of forces in our Army, or really in our military, that can operate here," Col. Sean Lucas told Business Insider, calling the JPMRC training an opportunity "to experiment with how much soldiers can endure" and "test the mettle of the human."U.S. Soldiers, attached to 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 11th Airborne Division, tasked with representing the opposing force with modified uniforms, await transit to the next battle position during Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Center 24-02 at Donnelly Training Area, Alaska, Feb. 10, 2024.U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Elijah MagañaJPMRC is the Army's newest combat training center, only a few years old. It conducts rotations in both Alaska and Hawaii every year, giving soldiers the chance to train for combat in both the wet, humid jungle and the icy, harsh Arctic.Both environments are at the ends of the pendulum of what the Indo-Pacific region has to offer in terms of battlefield conditions, and according to Gen. Charles A. Flynn, USARPAC's commanding general, they are the "environments and conditions where our forces are most likely to operate."The Pentagon has long identified China as the US' "pacing challenge" and made determined efforts to shift American military focus towards the Indo-Pacific region for a potential conflict there, but the area is also home to Russia and North Korea, presenting a host of possible threats.US Indo-Pacific Command and its forces have increased their training, particularly with allies, in order to deter enemy forces and maintain the ability to fight across the Pacific should that fail. For many in the Army, it's a major shift in focus from over two decades of counterinsurgency fighting in the Middle East. With great power competition and possible conflict on the horizon, particularly in the Pacific, there are new investments, like JPMRC, to help ensure readiness.A U.S. Army paratrooper from the 11th Airborne Division leaves Donnelly Drop Zone, dragging a new jumpable sled as part of Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Center 24-02 at Donnelly Training Area, Alaska, Feb 8, 2024.U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Michael Sword, 11th Airborne Division Public AffairsDifficulties of the JPMRC's Alaska rotation are constant and visible everywhere you look.Equipment breaks, troops have to be ready to combat threats to their health like hypothermia, artillery pieces have to be maneuvered across ever-changing ground conditions, paratroopers land hard on icy, snowy ground. Conditions change on a day-to-day basis, making everything tougher to anticipate. Many things are an experiment, being worked on in real time.One example is the new cold weather clothing gear, including several layers, or "levels." During the JPMRC exercise, troops were giving feedback on the gear, how much of it was needed on a day-to-day basis, and whether it made sense to overdress or remain "comfortably cold" so as not to wind up sweating too much in the heat of battle."Our soldiers here are encouraged to innovate," Command Sgt. Maj. Joseph Gaskin told Business Insider, explaining that "we don't have all the answers for this environment."When the 11th Airborne Division was re-activated in 2022, Army leadership specifically tasked it with developing "innovative ways of operating in this environment," which Eifler has called the "most challenging" on the planet.Without a clear guide book on how best to fight in the Arctic, a region for which the Army released its new strategy only a few years ago, troops sometimes make it up as they go.Soldiers develop new tactics and techniques, exploring what gear is needed or how to fortify a position when there's little snow on the ground. The latter seems to be solvable by chopping down trees and using the wood. And that's not even the half of it.The Arctic is tough and challenging, but Army leaders said the harsh environment and difficult training produces prepared and pioneering troops unlike any other unit. In a 2022 paper written with another Army officer called "Forging the Arctic Warrior," Eifler wrote that "it takes a special breed of Soldier to thrive in the Arctic."Lucas said that if you can handle the Arctic, you can handle anything, telling Business Insider that "if you can lead, or you can be a soldier in the extreme cold, you can lead or be a soldier anywhere."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT19 hr. 45 min. ago Related News

Russian troops are attacking Ukrainian positions at night on quad bikes, report says

Russian troops are using quad bikes for nighttime attacks, with the bikes' maneuverability making them hard to take out, Ukrainian soldiers told CNN. Russian conscripts called up for military service wait to board a train at a railway station in Omsk on November 27, 2022.REUTERS/Alexey MalgavkoRussian troops are using quad bikes in their assaults in Ukraine, according to CNN.Drone footage from the front lines shows quad bikes in use, and some on fire.Ukrainian troops say there are typically three to four Russian soldiers per bike.Russian troops are using quad bikes to attack Ukrainian positions, according to imagery and soldier testimony.Ukrainian soldiers on the front line near the village of Robotyne told CNN that Russian troops are using the four-wheeled vehicles to attack Ukrainian positions at night, typically with three or four soldiers on each bike.Kokos, a drone pilot in Ukraine's 15th National Guard unit, told CNN the quad bikes were "more maneuverable than tracked vehicles. It's hard for artillery to hit them, so we have to use drones."CNN witnessed drone footage of a quad bike traveling down a dirt track and then swerving when a grenade from a Ukrainian drone hit it.Soldiers then appeared to stagger away from the bike, with one rolling away, CNN reported.Separate footage showed the remains of quad bikes on fire, according to CNN.This isn't the first report of quad bikes in use in the war. A Ukrainian special forces commander said in 2022 that his soldiers used quad bikes to approach Russian forces under the cover of night and then ambush them.But CNN described these latest Russian efforts as "almost suicidal tactics" by a military that is "unafraid to sacrifice personnel in the pursuit of an unclear goal."Russia has been accused by Ukraine, Western intelligence, and captured Russian soldiers of using "meat wave" tactics that sacrifice soldiers in an attempt to push forward.The southeastern village of Robotyne, where these latest incidents occurred, was captured by Russia earlier in its invasion, but retaken by Ukraine in September 2023. It was one of the biggest successes of Ukraine's counteroffensive effort that started last summer.But Russian forces are now attacking the town.Ukraine said last week that it repelled multiple attacks over several days. Ukraine's commander in chief, Oleksandr Syrsky, reported fierce fighting near the village on Thursday, saying Russia is trying to take control there.Anthey, a soldier in Ukraine's 65th Mechanised Brigade, told CNN that Ukrainian troops were suffering from a lack of ammunition as funding from the US remains stalled.He said the lack of ammunition was "forcing them to underperform."His commander told CNN that the unit previously fired around 80 rounds a day, but now only fires about 10.This echoes complaints by other Ukrainian soldiers, who say they have to ration ammunition and not go after targets in their sights.The White House said earlier this month that Ukraine pulled out of the eastern town of Avdiivka — giving Russia its biggest prize in months — because "Ukrainian soldiers had to ration ammunition due to dwindling supplies as a result of congressional inaction."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT19 hr. 45 min. ago Related News

No one died in a jet plane crash in 2023, the safest year in aviation history — but 2024 is off to a rockier start for airlines

No passenger jets were damaged beyond repair in 2023. The Japan Airlines fire and Boeing blowout gave 2024 a rocky start. The wreckage of a Japan Airlines A350 which caught fire on January 2. No one died on the plane, but five people in a coast guard plane were killed.Kyodo/via REUTERS2023 was the safest year for flying, IATA found.On average, you would have to fly every day for over 100,000 years to experience a fatal incident.But this year's Japan Airlines fire and Boeing blowout show room for improvement.Last year was the "best ever" for flying safety, the International Air Transport Association said.The trade group's annual safety report, released Wednesday, affirmed that flying is the safest mode of transportation.It found that on average, a person would have to fly every day for 103,239 years before experiencing a fatal incident.There was only one fatal incident in 2023, a crash involving a domestic flight in Nepal in which 68 passengers and four crew died, according to IATA. As it was a turboprop plane, that means nobody died in a passenger-jet incident throughout the year.Even with a 17% increase in aircraft movements compared to the year before, the accident rate decreased. IATA found there was one accident for every 1.26 million flights last year, compared to a five-year rolling average of one in every 880,000.There were also no hull losses of passenger jets last year, meaning when a plane is damaged beyond repair.But hopes of repeating that this year ended just two days into 2024.A Japan Airlines Airbus A350 caught fire on the runway at Tokyo Haneda Airport on January 2. It collided with a Coast Guard plane that was delivering supplies to victims of a recent earthquake.Nobody died on the A350 as all 379 were evacuated, but five people died on the Coast Guard plane.Three days after that came the Alaska Airlines blowout. A Boeing 737 Max 9 lost its door plug in midair, resulting in an uncontrolled decompression, which meant oxygen masks were deployed. It returned to Portland International Airport after 20 minutes with nobody seriously injured.The incident has raised serious questions about Boeing's quality-control processes.In its preliminary report, the National Transportation Safety Board said the plane — delivered just 66 days earlier — left Boeing's factory without the bolts designed to secure the door plug."Two high-profile accidents in the first month of 2024 show that, even if flying is among the safest activities a person can do, there is always room to improve," said Willie Walsh, IATA's director general."This is what we have done throughout our history. And we will continue to make flying ever safer," he added.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT19 hr. 45 min. ago Related News

Ultra-processed foods have been linked to 32 health problems in a study. But experts say you don"t have to give up all your favorite snacks just yet.

Ultra-processed foods are a hot topic in health right now. A new study is the latest to link them to health problems such as cancers and heart disease. Ultra-processed food has been linked to 32 health problems in new study.Grace Cary/ GettyA study found links between 32 health problems and eating ultra-processed foods.The link was stronger for some problems than others, such as depression and type 2 diabetes.But dietitians don't recommend completely cutting out UPFs as some can benefit health.Ultra-processed foods have been linked with a higher risk of developing 32 health problems in a study. But experts say that they don't need to be cut out of our diets entirely.The research, published in The BMJ on Wednesday, was based on 45 existing studies that assessed the potential health effects of ultra-processed foods, involving over 9.8 million participants in total. The studies looked at the amount of UPFs participants ate and if they developed any health problems.This is the latest study to look at the potential health risks of UPFs, which have become a concern as they make up more and more of our diets. So far, research suggests that UPFs are not as healthy as whole foods such as vegetables, whole grains, and beans, but the US government's dietary guidelines don't recommend cutting them out.The review defined UPFs as industrially produced foods made from chemically modified ingredients and additives rather than whole foods, such as packaged snacks, carbonated soft drinks, instant noodles, and readymade meals.None of the studies were funded by or associated with ultra-processed food manufacturers.UPFs were linked to health problems such as cardiovascular disease and depressionThe review found links between consuming UPFs and 32 health issues, including a higher risk of dying in general, as well as cancer, and mental, respiratory, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and metabolic problems.According to a press release, a 10% increase in UPF consumption was tied to a 12% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.Seven studies found a direct link between eating more UPFs and the risk of colorectal cancer, and a further six studies found that the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, which include heart attacks and coronary heart disease, increased the more UPF participants consumed.Other health problems linked to eating a lot of UPFs included:Hypertension (high blood pressure)Obesity, especially abdominalDeath from any causeAnxietyDepressionSleep problemsIt also found limited evidence for associations between higher UPF consumption and asthma, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and other cancers, including breast, prostate, and pancreatic cancers, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and central nervous system tumors.Some UPFs may be beneficial for our health, so more research is neededEvangeline Mantzioris, program director of nutrition and food sciences at the University of South Australia, who was not involved in the study, said in a statement: "this research highlights the importance of people limiting their intake of UPF and replacing it with whole foods."However, the researchers categorized the associations for most health problems as "low" or "very low" in credibility.Plus, the team acknowledged that not all UPFs appear to affect health in the same way. In one study, UPFs were generally associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, but certain sub-categories of UPF were actually associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, such as ultra-processed cereals, dark/wholegrain bread, packaged sweet and savory snacks, fruit-based products and yogurt, and dairy-based desserts.The authors of the study recommended that the public should be encouraged to eat fewer UPFs, but dietitians have previously told Business Insider it's unwise to completely cut out UPFs, as they can be an easy and cheap way to get calories and nutrients.Instead, dietitian Taylor Grasso previously told BI it's best to aim for an 80:20 ratio of whole to processed foods to help people eat healthily but not obsess over food.Gunter Kuhnle, professor of nutrition and food science at the University of Reading, UK, who was also not involved in the study, said in a statement that as the results discussed in the review are based on very weak data and don't touch on the causes of the health problems mentioned, they don't justify any changes in dietary recommendations.It's unclear why UPFs are linked to so many health problemsThe review suggested several reasons why UPFs might be linked to health problems.Firstly, a person who eats a lot of UPFs may have a poor diet in general, which can lead to health problems. Or, it could be that UPFs replace nutritious foods in people's diets.The additives in UPFs, such as non-sugar sweeteners, emulsifiers, and colorants, could also cause health issues. The authors pointed out that sweeteners, for instance, have been classified as "possibly carcinogenic" by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, although at levels higher than most people would consume.It could also be that the industrial processing involved in producing UPFs or the packaging they tend to come in could contaminate the foods with harmful substances.But, the authors acknowledged that they don't know for sure why UPFs cause these issues, and that further research is needed.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYTFeb 28th, 2024Related News

Snowflake"s Frank Slootman vehemently denied a BI report in June that he may be leaving. Now he"s gone and the stock is down 20%.

Frank Slootman denied chatter that he would soon retire last year. He just announced he's leaving the company. Snowflake CEO Frank SlootmanSnowflakeSnowflake's Frank Slootman just announced his retirement. BI reported last year on rumors of Slootman's impending departure.The company's stock dropped 20% with the announcement. When Business Insider approached Snowflake CEO Frank Slootman in June to ask him if internal chatter about his impending retirement was right, Slootman said it was "completely untrue."Just eight months later, Slootman has announced he is retiring, effective immediately. His replacement is Google ad exec Sridhar Ramaswamy."You are wrong on all counts. You are regurgitating competitive FUD," Slootman wrote in an email to BI in June in his famously direct, no-nonsense style."FUD," which can stand for "fear-uncertainty-doubt" or "fear-uncertainty-disinformation," is a slang term that was a favorite old-school tech acronym among tech workers in the 1980s.Snowflake stock dropped more than 20% in the after-hours market after Slootman's announcement.Do you work at Snowflake and have insight or information to share? Contact Ellen Thomas on Signal at 646-847-9416 or ethomas@insider.com using a nonwork device.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYTFeb 28th, 2024Related News