Looking for a great gift? We have the best ideas for every holiday, budget, and type of person in your life. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. To help you pick thoughtful, unique gifts without the stress, we rounded up all the gift guides we've written over the years. Gilbert Espinoza/Business Insider Giving gifts is supposed to be joyful - a way to show someone you care. We rounded up all the gift guides we've written over the years to make gift shopping less stressful. Bookmark this page for easy access to great gift ideas whenever you need them. Table of Contents: Masthead StickyGifts are normally associated with the holidays, but there are many reasons to give a gift at any time of year. From birthdays to graduation to "just checking in," there are so many moments that call for great gifts.As product experts, we spend a lot of time testing and researching the best gifts for all sorts of occasions. Now, we're making it easy for you to access all of our gift guides in one place, so you always have some ideas up your sleeve. Consider this your ultimate gift-giving cheat sheet We've covered gifts for every occasion, holiday, budget, and just about every person in your life - all organized into different categories, which you can find below.Keep scrolling, or click on a link below to jump directly to the category you're looking for. Be sure to bookmark this page as well, so you can always have it on hand when searching for specific gifting needs.And if you're still stumped after taking a look, check out our list of the all-time best products we've ever tested.Below is a full list of all of our gift guides, plus a few of our favorite gifts of all time: Our favorite gifts Fallen Fir Candle (small)Women's Wool Runners (small)Monthly Subscription Service (small)Custom Map (small)Hiking Socks (small)Carry-On (small)Coffee Club (small)Cakes (small)Personalized Gift Box (small) Gifts under $25 Clever gifts under $25 that won't end up getting regiftedThoughtful Father's Day gifts under $25Inexpensive, but thoughtful Mother's Day gifts under $25Thoughtful Valentine's Day gifts from Target — all under $25Affordable tech gifts under $25Last-minute Secret Santa gifts they'll actually want to keep — all under $25Prime-eligible Mother's Day gifts on Amazon that are all under $25Thoughtful Valentine's Day gifts that aren't chocolate and a card — all under $25Beauty gifts under $25 Gifts under $50 Last-minute gift ideas for everyone on your list — all under $50Father's Day gifts under $50Father's Day gifts you can get on Amazon Prime for $50 or lessUnique kitchen gifts under $50Affordable gifts to congratulate the recently engaged couple — all under $50Creative and affordable last-minute gifts for her that are all under $50Affordable tech gifts under $50 — ideas from Amazon, Google, Roku, and moreAffordable housewarming gifts that won't cost you more than $50Clever gifts from Amazon — all under $50Perfect Mother's Day gifts that are all under $50Hilarious White Elephant gift ideas under $50Practical and unique gifts for Dad — all under $50Thoughtful gifts for mom that won't cost more than $50Unique baby shower gifts that new parents will thank you for — all under $50The best gifts you can get grads that won't cost more than $50 Gifts under $100 Last-minute gift ideas — all under $100Cool and practical 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levelsComforting pregnancy loss gifts to show love and supportGifts anyone who just moved into a new apartment will appreciateCreative and thoughtful host gifts that go beyond the classic fruit basketUnique chocolate gifts that go beyond the traditional box of sweetsFun and useful car gifts auto enthusiasts will love — according to a car collectorMakeup gift sets any beauty lover would be ecstatic to receive for the holidaysGreat gifts to buy for the gamer in your lifeAwesome anime gifts, as recommended by a huge fan of the genre Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»
Donald Trump bashes Democrats" new billionaire tax and suggests he might flee the US, but he"ll "stick it out"
"I just wonder, will I be allowed to run for president again if I move to another country?" Trump said in a statement Wednesday. Trump James Devaney Donald Trump bashed Democrats' proposal to tax billionaires to pay for their social spending bill. This comes after House Finance Chair Richard Neal said the proposal is off the table. But his Senate counterpart and author of the proposal Ron Wyden said the tax is not "dead." Former president Donald Trump assailed the new billionaire tax proposal from Democrats on Wednesday, suggesting he might flee the United States to escape taxation. But he says he'll be sticking around."I just wonder, will I be allowed to run for president again if I move to another country?" he said in a statement. "No, I guess I'll just stick it out, but most others won't!"Trump was referring to the new billionaire tax proposal that's already on life-support in the Senate only hours after it was introduced by Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon. It would levy a 23.8% capital gains tax rate on assets like stocks and bonds in an effort to compel roughly 700 billionaires to pay annual taxes on their gains, regardless if they sell or not.Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia imperiled the measure after criticizing it as both punitive to successful people and unworkable. "I don't like the connotation that we're targeting different people," he told reporters, floating a 15% "patriotic tax" without elaborating further.As Insider previously reported, this proposal would slap people like Tesla CEO Elon Musk with a $10 billion annual bill, which Musk himself spoke out against on Twitter: "Eventually, they run out of other people's money and then they come for you."An analysis from economist Gabriel Zucman found that the tax could bring in $500 billion, $275 billion of which would come from just the top 10 richest billionaires. If the proposal came to fruition, it would be a "a major structural reform to the tax system" to tax income from wealth like income from wages, according to Frank Clemente, executive director at the left-leaning advocacy group Americans for Tax Fairness.But just a day after the proposal was brought to the table, House Finance Chair Richard Neal struck it down, telling reporters on Wednesday that it's "very unlikely" the tax will be used to finance Democrats' scaled-down social-spending bill. At the same time, though, Neal's counterpart Wyden was far from throwing in the towel on the proposal he authored."I'm not saying that it's dead!" Wyden told Insider, noting that the White House still backs the proposal.This disagreement is emblematic of the negotiations Democrats are undergoing as they work to develop a framework for their scaled-down bill. Free community college, paid family and medical leave, and an extended five-year child tax credit are already reportedly on the chopping block, and a major Democratic priority to roll back Trump tax cuts were struck down by Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»
You can create a new Gmail account in a desktop browser or using the Gmail mobile app, and access all of Google's services. Having a Gmail account gives you access to all of Google's features, like Google Drive. Image Source/Getty Images When you create a Gmail account, Google automatically gives you a Google account which grants you access to dozens of apps and services. You can create a new Gmail account on a browser or using the Gmail mobile app. You can customize Gmail settings like your profile picture, inbox appearance, and vacation auto-responder. Visit Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories. While Gmail is just one of the many services you get when you create a Google account, for all intents and purposes you can think of them as the same thing. When you sign up for a Google account you automatically get Gmail, and if you have a Gmail account that means you already have a Google account. In other words, if you have one you already have the other. Your Google or Gmail account also gives you free access to a large library of other apps and services, including Google Docs, Google Drive, Google Maps, and dozens more. Here's how to set up a new Gmail account to use with all of Google's services. Quick tip: If you ever need to sign in to your Google account to access a Google product, use your Gmail username and password. How to create a Gmail accountYou can create a Gmail account using a web browser on your computer or on the mobile app. No matter where you create your account, you'll be able to access it from any of your web browsers or devices. On desktop:1. On your Mac or PC, go to Google's Create your Google Account page. You can go there directly or find it by going to Google.com, clicking Sign In, and then clicking Create account.2. Follow the instructions to complete the first page; start by entering your first and last name. It doesn't need to be your legal name, but it should be the way you want to be identified in Gmail. As you complete the form for your Google account, it will also generate your Gmail address. Dave Johnson 3. Enter the email username you'd like to use. Keep in mind that there are billions of Gmail users, so your first choice might not be available. 4. Enter your desired password and enter it a second time in the Confirm field. For safety and security, your password should be strong - use a combination of upper- and lower-case characters, numbers, and symbols that's at least 8 characters long (and preferably 12 characters).5. Click Next.6. Continue to follow the instructions to set up your account. Enter your mobile phone number - this is an optional step, but highly recommended, to help recover your account if there's a problem signing in. Likewise, you should also add a secondary email address to help in account recovery. Also enter your birthday and gender. A phone number makes it easy to recover your account if you forget your password. Dave Johnson 7. Click Next. 8. Google may ask you to verify your phone number. Click Send to receive a code at your designated mobile phone number, and then enter the code to verify the phone number is yours. 9. If you want to use this number with other Google services (like using it for video calls with Google Meet) click Yes, I'm in. Otherwise, click Skip. 10. Finally, click I agree after reviewing Google's terms of service.You're now logged into this new Google account in this browser. Once it's set up, you can access your personal contacts in Gmail, and use your Google account to find, add, and manage those contacts. On the Gmail mobile app:1. Open the Gmail app and tap the account icon at the top-right. 2. Tap Add another account. 3. On the Add account screen, tap Google. 4. On the Google Sign in screen, tap Create account and choose For myself. Follow the instructions in the Gmail app to create a new Google account. Dave Johnson 5. Enter your first and last name. It doesn't need to be your legal name, but it should be the way you want to be identified in Gmail. Tap Next.6. Enter your birthday and gender, then tap Next. 7. Choose one of the premade Gmail addresses or tap Create your own Gmail address to make your own unique address. Tap Next. Google will offer you several email addresses, or you can make your own. Dave Johnson 8. Create a strong password for your new Google account and then tap Next.9. You can add a phone number that can be used to recover your account if you forget your password, and with other Google services (like using it for video calls with Google Meet). If you want to do this, enter a mobile phone number and then click Yes, I'm in. Otherwise, click Skip. 10. If you added a phone number, enter the verification code that's texted to your number. 11. Finally, click I agree after reviewing Google's terms of service.Gmail mailbox settingsIf you regularly use Gmail, you might want to change the mail app's settings. Google gives you a lot of options for configuring Gmail. One of the first things you may want to do is change your Google profile picture; after that, you can access a wide variety of other settings from the web and your mobile device. On desktop:1. Open Gmail in a web browser and sign in if needed. 2. Click the gear-shaped Settings icon at the top-right. You should see some quick settings that let you change the overall appearance of the inbox. 3. Click See all Settings at the top of the menu. Here you'll find the Settings page. Google tends to change the organization and content of Settings often, but you should be able to find what you need with a little browsing. There are a number of tabs at the top of the page, such as General, Labels, Accounts and Import, and others. The Settings page has a lot of options for configuring your Gmail inbox. Dave Johnson Each of these tabs has its own group of settings, though you'll probably find most of the features you need in General. Here you can configure your vacation auto-responder, for example, as well as turn on and off features like grammar checking, spell check, and autocorrect. On the Gmail mobile app:1. Open the Gmail app.2. Tap the three-line icon at the top-left and tap Settings.3. Tap the Gmail account that you want to configure. If you have several Gmail accounts, there might be more than one account in the list.Here you'll find a list of all the settings you can configure. Your options will be a little different than in a web browser - the display options are very different on a mobile device, for example - and there are no tabs at the top of the page. The Gmail app gives you access to a wealth of inbox settings. Dave Johnson Even so, it's easy to browse, because you can scroll to see all the available settings. For example, instead of the Labels tab in the browser, you can tap Label Settings in the Settings menu to create folders in Gmail. How to log into your Gmail account on a computer or mobile deviceHow to clear your Google search history from your Google Account and on various web browsersHow to reverse image search on Google to find information related to a specific photoHow to send a Google Calendar invite to anyone using the desktop site or a mobile deviceRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»
North Korea has the world"s largest special-operations force. A defected spy offers hints about how they"d be used in a war.
Not much is known about North Korea's huge special-operations force, but they are believed to be well trained and highly motivated. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspecting a North Korean military special-operation forces event in a photo released April 14, 2017. STR/AFP via Getty Images Within North Korea's massive army is another massive force: some 200,000 special-operations troops. Not much is known about those troops, but they are believed to well trained and highly motivated. Pyongyang would likely deploy them before or early in a war to disrupt US and South Korean military operations. North Korea frequently taunts its rivals with a nuclear destruction, and despite its own dire economic and social situation, Pyongyang certainly has the military capabilities to instigate a war that could kill hundreds of thousands, if not millions.Nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, thousands of artillery pieces, and millions of fanatical troops are the core of the North Korean threat. But Kim Jong Un has another ace up his sleeve: potent special-operations forces.Not much is known about this force, but recent revelations by a senior North Korean spy who defected offer some insight into how Pyongyang's commandos train and fight.North Korea's commandos North Korean special-forces soldiers at a parade for the 105th birth anniversary of Kim Il Sung, in Pyongyang, April 15, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj The Korean People's Army (KPA) is one of the largest in the world, with an active-duty force of about 1.3 million. Pyongyang also has more than 200,000 special operators organized in standard formations, such as brigades, regiments, battalions, and in even smaller, more specialized outfits.The typical special-operations unit has between 3,000 and 5,000 commandos and falls under the different branches of the North Korean military and under Pyongyang's intelligence service, the Reconnaissance General Bureau.North Korean special-operations units can be divided by specialty.Reconnaissance units specialize in collecting intelligence and passing it back to headquarters. Airborne units can infiltrate by air and seize and hold targets like airfields or bridges. Maritime units can infiltrate from submarines or ships and conduct littoral raids. Commando units can conduct direct-action operations, such as raids.North Korean troops may appear very well equipped during parades in Pyongyang, but those weapons and gear aren't necessarily distributed to the rest of the force. Because of their special mission, North Korean special-operations units receive the best equipment and training.In a recent report, the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) said "North Korean SOF are highly trained and well-equipped in comparison to other units, and, if successfully infiltrated into the South, would be capable of disruptive attacks in the rear area."That gear is rudimentary compared to other countries' special-operations units, but even with technological or logistical shortcomings compared to US and South Korean special-operations units, North Korean commandos are a dedicated and dangerous foe.Crossing the line South Korean soldiers at the border between South and North Korea in Panmunjom, South Korea, July 12, 2017. Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images According to the US military, KPA doctrine and tactics for ground operations have largely remained the same since the Korean War in the 1950s. Special-operations forces play an important part in KPA's war-fighting doctrine, which seeks to attack an enemy target simultaneously from numerous angles.North Korean special-operations doctrine emphasizes speed and surprise. Pyongyang's special-operations forces have two strategic missions: to infiltrate South Korea and conduct unconventional warfare and sabotage on the US and South Korean rear lines and to defend North Korea against US or South Korean special-operations units.If a major war broke out, the North Korean play would be to swiftly cross the Demilitarized Zone and flood South Korea with troops, attempting a repeat of the early stages of the Korean War, when communist forces almost drove South Korean and UN troops into the sea.In such a scenario, North Korean heavy infantry or mechanized units would strike at South Korean and US forces' frontlines. North Korean special-operations forces, organized in commando or light infantry units, would conduct unconventional warfare to the rear or on the flanks, attacking supply lines, command-and-control centers, and other strategic facilities.By design, North Korea's commandos are aggressive and would prefer to be on the offensive, which is in line with special-operations doctrine around the around. North Korean special-operations forces during an exercise, in a photo released August 26, 2017. STR/AFP via Getty Images They "would be a fierce enemy" if a war broke out, a former Green Beret who served in South Korea told Insider.The Kim regime has cultivated a cult of personality around its leaders, with public pledges of loyalty by troops and military elites."We have the technological advantage and our planes and missiles can bomb them back to the Stone Age, but they will be fighting for their 'god,'" the former Green Beret said. "Since birth, they have been brought up in this cultish environment where the supreme leader is their 'god.' They are fanatical and tough. Korean winters are no joke, and these guys have been trained to survive and operate in such environments. They would fight to the last man."Pyongyang might also use conventional military operations to distract US and South Korean forces and allow its special-operations units to infiltrate the South successfully.In 2010, 46 sailors were killed when a South Korean vessel was sunk in a suspected North Korean submarine attack. A few months later, North Korean artillery shelled a South Korean island near the two countries' maritime boundary, killing four people.In a recent interview with the BBC, Kim Kuk-song, a senior North Korean intelligence officer who defected to South Korea, described how Kim Jong Un uses North Korea's military and intelligence resources for personal enrichment or revenge against real or perceived enemies. North Korean special-operations forces may also facilitate such "gang-style" operations. North Korean troops during a special-operations forces event, in a photo released April 14, 2017. STR/AFP via Getty Images In the event of a war with South Korea, North Korean commandos would also likely attempt a strike against South Korea's leaders and command-and-control centers, seeking to decapitate South Korean leadership and sow confusion in the initial hours of the conflict.It wouldn't be the first time North Korean commandos have tried something like that. On January 31, 1969, a North Korean special-operations assault force infiltrated into South Korea with the goal of assassinating South Korean President Park Chung-hee.The commando team moved fast and aggressively and managed to reach Park's residence in Seoul, even though they were spotted by some farmers along the way. That's when everything unraveled, however, as the North Koreans didn't know the code word to enter the residence and got into a running firefight with South Korean troops.In the end, only one North Korean commando managed to get back into North Korea, with the rest captured or killed.The threat of infiltration and of other attacks by North Korean commandos remains. North Korea may exaggerate its military capabilities regularly, but its special-operations forces are no joke.Stavros Atlamazoglou is a defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»
The sites, once termed "sensitive locations," are off-limits for immigration enforcement except in cases of national security and violent threats. Under new guidance, churches are now considered "protected areas," not just "sensitive locations," making them generally off limit to US immigration agents. Michael Siluk/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas has issued new guidance for immigration raids. Mayorkas said immigration agents must consider the societal impact of enforcement operations. The new policy goes is effective immediately. The Biden administration has formally instructed US immigration agents to refrain from carrying out arrests at schools, churches, and COVID-19 vaccination sites, with new guidance describing these sites as "protected areas."In a statement on Wednesday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said the policy would cover enforcement actions by Immigration and Customs Enforcement as well as Customs and Border Protection.Under previous guidance, issued in 2011 under former President Barack Obama, such locations were described as "sensitive," not "protected." The new rules take effect immediately and will be accompanied by updated training.According to the department, the new terminology is intended to convey that these sites are effectively off limits, with exceptions for national security threats, risks of imminent violence, and the "hot pursuit" of targets for arrest and deportation."We can accomplish our law enforcement mission without denying individuals access to needed medical care, children access to their schools, the displaced access to food and shelter, people of faith access to their places of worship," Mayorkas said in a statement.Naureen Shah, senior policy counsel at the ACLU, described the new guidance as an "important step forward." But, in a statement, she warned that it could still be "circumvented by agents whom the agency continues to rely on to unilaterally make complex, sensitive judgments about the applicability of the policy."As written, at least, the new guidance expands the number of places where enforcement actions cannot take place, with rare exception.Examples of a "protected area" include:SchoolsMedical facilitiesPlaces of worshipDaycares and recreation centersFood banks and sheltersDisaster areas, including evacuation routes, and emergency-care providersFuneralsPublic demonstrationsA five-page memo explaining the policy says immigration agents must consider the impact their actions would have "on people's willingness to be in the protected area or engage in the essential services or activities that occur there."Under the Trump administration, arrests at "sensitive" locations were relatively rare but not unheard of.In September 2020, for example, ICE agents arrested an Indonesian immigrant at Glenmont United Methodist Church in Silver Spring Maryland. As The Washington Post reported, the man, Binsar Siahaan, was a caretaker who lived on church grounds. He was released weeks later following protests from clergy and a ruling by a federal judge that he be allowed to seek religious asylum.Have a news tip? Email this reporter: firstname.lastname@example.orgRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»
He may be able to enjoy a run even more lucrative than in the social media era......»»
Capitol Report: ‘It’s not looking good’: Paid leave may be on chopping block in Democrats’ social-spending bill
Paid leave, a major part of Democrats' wide-ranging social-spending bill, may be left on the cutting-room floor as the party's moderates and progressives try to hammer out an agreement this week......»»
Sen. Bernie Sanders says "the very fabric of American democracy is in danger" if progressive priorities are left out of Biden"s social-spending bill
The Vermont senator made the remarks on Wednesday as Democrats raced to reach an agreement on the social-spending bill central to Biden's agenda. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images Sanders said progressive priorities in the "Build Back Better" plan were crucial to US democracy. If they don't pass, "the very fabric of American democracy is in danger," he told reporters. Democrats are still trying to come to an agreement over the social-spending bill. Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the progressive firebrand and chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, said on Wednesday that American democracy would be imperiled if key progressive priorities were left out of the "Build Back Better" reconciliation bill, which is central to President Joe Biden's domestic agenda.Sanders made the comments to a group of reporters at the Capitol as Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema met with White House officials in a nearby room. Following questions from reporters about the status of various provisions in the bill that are vulnerable to cuts, Sanders emphasized his stance on the issues."Let me just say a few words," Sanders said. "Sometimes, when we're inside the beltway, we lose track of reality and where the American people are."So let me repeat. The American people are very clear about what they want their government to do."He then listed progressive priorities like lowering prescription-drug costs; expanding Medicare to cover vision, hearing and dental health; taxing the rich; and addressing the climate crisis."The challenge that we face in this really unusual moment in American history is whether we have the courage to stand with the American people and take on very powerful special interests," Sanders said. "And I'm going to do everything that I can support the president's agenda and make sure that we do just that."Sanders then raised his voice."If we fail - in my view, if the American people do not believe that government can work for them and is dominated by powerful special interests, the very fabric of American democracy is in danger," he said. "People will no longer believe have faith that their government represents them. That's what this issue is about."Democrats had hoped to pass both the Build Back Better bill and the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill this week before Biden traveled to Glasgow, Scotland, on Thursday for the UN's COP26 climate-crisis conference, which appears unlikely.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»
The meme has broken out of conservative media and onto the streamer's platform of 3.58 million YouTube subscribers, shared as an in-joke with fans. Video game streamer Dr. Disrespect. Rich Fury/Getty Images The "let's go Brandon" chant has moved beyond the confines of conservative media. A new #LetsGoBrandonChallenge is giving the meme viral steam on TikTok. Dr. Disrespect, one of the most successful video game streamers of all time, said it on his channel. Over the past two weeks, the anti-Biden chant "let's go Brandon" has broken out of the confines of conservative media into new frontiers, including the otherwise apolitical realm of video game streaming.Some of the momentum for the euphemism appears to be coming from the #LetsGoBrandonChallenge hashtag on social media, with TikTok views for the tag topping 3.3 million as of Oct. 27 - not even three full weeks since its origin at the Talladega NASCAR race on Oct. 9.Dr. Disrespect, one of the most successful video game streamers of all time, broke into the chant during one of his streams on YouTube earlier this month, with a viral TikTok following shortly thereafter. The video has over 93,000 views, despite coming from an account with a following in the low hundreds. Born Herschel "Guy" Beahm IV, the 39-year-old "Call of Duty" superstar has tens of thousands of viewers tune into his hours-long play sessions on YouTube, with his all time record viewership landing at 363,980 during a stream on his former platform, Twitch, averaging around 78,000 per session. He has a YouTube following of more than 3.58 million subscribers.Beahm is suing Twitch after the platform banned him for undisclosed reasons in June 2020. Beahm and his representatives did not return Insider's request for comment.The doc - who also refers to himself as "the two-time back-to-back Blockbuster 1993-1994 video game champion" or just "the two-time" - has built a brand as an unabashedly cocky and domineering persona, showing up to award shows and festivals in-character.His mantra of "Violence. Speed. Momentum" is also the title of his memoir, published in March by Simon & Schuster. Politics has not been part of his on-camera persona, but a seemingly cryptic comment from someone in his live chat caught his attention earlier this month regarding the "let's go Brandon" meme."'It burns when I pee,' says Brandon, with a $5 donation," Beahm said during the stream, a common interaction with fans who donate to him mid-game via YouTube. "Brandon? Champs, Brandon? Come on, who's gonna be the first one to say it?"Apparently familiar with the meme, Beahm broke into the chant once the rest of the chatroom caught on.Video game streaming remains a mostly untapped venue for American political parties. Younger members of Congress such as Republican Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina and Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York have both dabbled in streaming before, with AOC garnering a top five all-time viewership of nearly 438,000 watching her play Among Us on Twitch in Oct. 2020 for a get out the vote initiative.AOC's Twitch stream is now 21st highest all-time, with her impact on the platform showing the potential for politicians to connect with voters in new ways via parasocial relationships.Around 65% of Twitch users are male, according to the best available 2021 data from Statista and StreamScheme, down from 81.5% in 2017.The heavily male viewership could give Republicans an advantage on the platform, but as AOC demonstrated last year, there is still a massive audience for games such as Among Us that draw a more diverse player base.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»
Joe Biden promised more family and medical leave for US workers during his presidential campaign. Now Democrats are stripping the benefits from his signature social spending package.
Biden's big social-spending bill keeps getting smaller as centrists Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema block most ways of paying for it. President Joe Biden. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images Democrats are removing paid family and medical leave from the social spending package, according to Politico. It's yet another big cut to the bill, which is getting whittled down as negotiations with moderates continue. However, lawmakers and advocates say the fight to implement paid leave isn't over. Senate Democrats have decided to strip paid family and medical leave benefits from Biden's social spending package, Politico reporter Eleanor Mueller said on Wednesday. Sources told Mueller that attempts to water down the bill didn't work out. In recent weeks, Democrats have scrambled for new revenue sources to pay for the "Build Back Better" bill, which was initially targeted at $4 trillion and may end up at $1.5 trillion or smaller. Key centrist Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema have variously opposed most of the new tax proposals that Democrats have suggested."It is still a little inconceivable to me that after the last 18 months - and everything we saw during the course of the pandemic - that we are hearing that Congress is going to leave paid leave for another day," Laura Narefsky, counsel on education and workplace justice at the National Women's Law Center (NWLC), told Insider.The family and medical leave benefits were a central focus of President Joe Biden during his 2020 campaign and, even if enacted, would leave Americans with some of the stingiest leave benefits in all the developed world, The New York Times' Upshot reported. The US is already an outlier when it comes to benefits. A report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) found that, out of 41 countries, the US was the only one not to mandate paid leave. The US also has no federal sick leave mandates."If the news reports are true, this is a devastating and incomprehensible blow to American families," Vicki Shabo, a paid leave expert at think tank New America, told Insider.She added: "This was a once in a generation opportunity to build on the Family and Medical Leave Act to finally bring the promise of paid leave to the US, to end its outlier status, and to make good on promises that the president ran on."Advocates for paid leave argue that it bolsters the economy, with an analysis from the University of Massachusetts Amherst finding that paid leave would increase Americans' incomes by $28.5 billion every year.Paid leave is among the latest of many cuts Democrats have reportedly made to appease Joe Manchin, including tuition-free community college and an expanded five-year child tax credit. But some lawmakers have been clear that they will keep fighting for all of their priorities until they see the final version of the bill."Until the bill is printed, I will continue working to include paid leave in the Build Back Better plan," New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who has been a leading advocate for paid leave, said in a statement on Wednesday.Other lawmakers have been making similar statements with regards to wanting to see the final bill text. Michigan Rep. Andy Levin, for example, told Insider during a Tuesday interview that he will keep fighting to get free community college in the bill "right up to the closing whistle."Democrats were hoping to pass the "Build Back Better" bill - along with a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill - this week."We cannot recover holistically unless you provide the full range of supports that working families need," Narefsky said. "It is so short-sighted to think that because we are trimming down some abstract top-line number, that that is the end goal. Paid family and medical leave is a benefit that touches everyone."This story is developing. Please check back for updates. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»
Qualys (QLYS) doesn't possess the right combination of the two key ingredients for a likely earnings beat in its upcoming report. Get prepared with the key expectations. The market expects Qualys (QLYS) to deliver a year-over-year increase in earnings on higher revenues when it reports results for the quarter ended September 2021. This widely-known consensus outlook is important in assessing the company's earnings picture, but a powerful factor that might influence its near-term stock price is how the actual results compare to these estimates.The earnings report, which is expected to be released on November 3, 2021, might help the stock move higher if these key numbers are better than expectations. On the other hand, if they miss, the stock may move lower.While management's discussion of business conditions on the earnings call will mostly determine the sustainability of the immediate price change and future earnings expectations, it's worth having a handicapping insight into the odds of a positive EPS surprise.Zacks Consensus EstimateThis maker of security-analysis software is expected to post quarterly earnings of $0.79 per share in its upcoming report, which represents a year-over-year change of +2.6%.Revenues are expected to be $103.97 million, up 11.7% from the year-ago quarter.Estimate Revisions TrendThe consensus EPS estimate for the quarter has remained unchanged over the last 30 days. This is essentially a reflection of how the covering analysts have collectively reassessed their initial estimates over this period.Investors should keep in mind that the direction of estimate revisions by each of the covering analysts may not always get reflected in the aggregate change.Price, Consensus and EPS SurpriseEarnings WhisperEstimate revisions ahead of a company's earnings release offer clues to the business conditions for the period whose results are coming out. Our proprietary surprise prediction model -- the Zacks Earnings ESP (Expected Surprise Prediction) -- has this insight at its core.The Zacks Earnings ESP compares the Most Accurate Estimate to the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter; the Most Accurate Estimate is a more recent version of the Zacks Consensus EPS estimate. The idea here is that analysts revising their estimates right before an earnings release have the latest information, which could potentially be more accurate than what they and others contributing to the consensus had predicted earlier.Thus, a positive or negative Earnings ESP reading theoretically indicates the likely deviation of the actual earnings from the consensus estimate. However, the model's predictive power is significant for positive ESP readings only.A positive Earnings ESP is a strong predictor of an earnings beat, particularly when combined with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold). Our research shows that stocks with this combination produce a positive surprise nearly 70% of the time, and a solid Zacks Rank actually increases the predictive power of Earnings ESP.Please note that a negative Earnings ESP reading is not indicative of an earnings miss. Our research shows that it is difficult to predict an earnings beat with any degree of confidence for stocks with negative Earnings ESP readings and/or Zacks Rank of 4 (Sell) or 5 (Strong Sell).How Have the Numbers Shaped Up for Qualys?For Qualys, the Most Accurate Estimate is the same as the Zacks Consensus Estimate, suggesting that there are no recent analyst views which differ from what have been considered to derive the consensus estimate. This has resulted in an Earnings ESP of 0%.On the other hand, the stock currently carries a Zacks Rank of #3.So, this combination makes it difficult to conclusively predict that Qualys will beat the consensus EPS estimate.Does Earnings Surprise History Hold Any Clue?Analysts often consider to what extent a company has been able to match consensus estimates in the past while calculating their estimates for its future earnings. So, it's worth taking a look at the surprise history for gauging its influence on the upcoming number.For the last reported quarter, it was expected that Qualys would post earnings of $0.68 per share when it actually produced earnings of $0.79, delivering a surprise of +16.18%.Over the last four quarters, the company has beaten consensus EPS estimates three times.Bottom LineAn earnings beat or miss may not be the sole basis for a stock moving higher or lower. Many stocks end up losing ground despite an earnings beat due to other factors that disappoint investors. Similarly, unforeseen catalysts help a number of stocks gain despite an earnings miss.That said, betting on stocks that are expected to beat earnings expectations does increase the odds of success. This is why it's worth checking a company's Earnings ESP and Zacks Rank ahead of its quarterly release. Make sure to utilize our Earnings ESP Filter to uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they've reported.Qualys doesn't appear a compelling earnings-beat candidate. However, investors should pay attention to other factors too for betting on this stock or staying away from it ahead of its earnings release. Breakout Biotech Stocks with Triple-Digit Profit Potential The biotech sector is projected to surge beyond $2.4 trillion by 2028 as scientists develop treatments for thousands of diseases. They’re also finding ways to edit the human genome to literally erase our vulnerability to these diseases. Zacks has just released Century of Biology: 7 Biotech Stocks to Buy Right Now to help investors profit from 7 stocks poised for outperformance. Recommendations from previous editions of this report have produced gains of +205%, +258% and +477%. The stocks in this report could perform even better.See these 7 breakthrough stocks now>>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Qualys, Inc. (QLYS): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»
Billionaires To Fund "Anti-Disinformation" Media Companies To "Restore Social Trust" Authored by Katabella Roberts via The Epoch Times, Billionaires Reid Hoffman and George Soros are backing a public benefit corporation that will provide funding to new media companies aimed at tackling disinformation online and restoring social trust. Good Information Inc. launched on Tuesday and is being led by former Democratic strategist Tara McGowan who previously ran a progressive non-profit called ACRONYM, which was backed by LinkedIn founder Hoffman. Others contributing to the multi-million seed effort include investors Ken and Jen Duda, and Incite Ventures. In a press release on Oct. 26, Good Information Inc said its aim is to “restore social trust” and “strengthen democracy” by “investing in solutions that counter disinformation and increase the flow of good information online.” “America is currently in the throes of a disinformation epidemic that is threatening public health, social trust, and democracy around the world. Good Information Inc. believes there is un-met audience demand for fact-based information, especially in local markets that have lost many of their legacy local news sources in recent years, and among audiences that are being left behind by evolving media business models,” the corporation said in a statement. Good Information Inc. will be investing in media outlets that provide customers with trusted and fact-based information, as well as local community news, particularly in markets where there are little to no local news outlets reaching online communities. The company said that an “increasingly decentralized media environment, anti-democracy forces, and networks of bad actors” have resulted in “dangerous consequences,” noting that 96 million Americans believe the election was stolen from former President Donald Trump, while 89 million Americans believe voter fraud is a major problem. Trump has maintained that there was “massive voter fraud” in the 2020 elections. “Good information that upholds the truth, common sense, and shared values of a society is the lifeblood of democracy, and orchestrated disinformation—fueled and amplified by bias-driven algorithms—is its greatest threat. The disinformation crisis we are facing in America today is increasing polarization and eroding our trust in each other, which is having a corrosive effect on our democracy, jeopardizing public health, and destabilizing our economy,” founder and CEO McGowan said in a statement. “This is no longer a political dispute about the truth, but the direct result of unregulated business models that are putting whole communities around the world at risk, and putting democracy around the world in peril.” McGowan’s former progressive non-profit, ACRONYM, ran one of the biggest digital campaigns—costing $100 million—aimed at convincing millions of Americans to vote against Donald Trump in the 2020 elections, Fast Company reports. One of the companies ACRONYM invested in, called Shadow, produced the vote tabulation app used in the Iowa caucuses and contributed to the delayed reporting of the results following a string of technical issues. McGowan later apologized for the incident, telling Axios that the Shadow team, “made an enormous mistake that has dire consequences in this election and so we want to own that.” As its first major investment, Good Information Inc. has officially acquired Courier Newsroom, a civic media company composed of eight state-based news outlets. Pat Kreitlow, who co-founded Courier’s Wisconsin news outlet UpNorthNews, said in a statement that the company is “extremely happy to be the first investment of Good Information’s portfolio.” “We are seeing unparalleled threats to our country’s democracy and a free press today—threats so grave that the long-running fight against misinformation seems almost quaint as we confront outright disinformation from people preying upon Americans fears and anxieties to push their own agenda or profit margins,” Kreitlow said. Tyler Durden Wed, 10/27/2021 - 15:46.....»»
The policy change is part of what the company says is its larger shift towards protecting younger users on its platforms. Chesnot/Getty Images Google is allowing anyone under the age of 18 to remove their images from search results. Google originally announced increased protections for children and teens in August, promoting internet safety. Google hopes this change will give younger people more control over their digital footprint. Google is allowing anyone under the age of 18, or their parent or guardian, to remove their images from search results.This policy change was enacted on Wednesday and is part of what the company says is its larger shift towards protecting younger users on its platforms. Google originally announced increased protections for children and teens in August, allowing younger internet users to have safer avenues on the internet. For example, YouTube, which is owned by Google, is making its "take a break" and bedtime reminders default for all users ages 13 to 17 and limiting the visibility of videos posted by its younger users.All requests will be reviewed by Google and its team may reach out for additional information for verification if needed. Once the image removal request is approved, it will no longer appear in the images tab or as thumbnails in any feature in Google Search and submitters will receive a notification, according to a Google blog post explaining the feature.Google did not respond to Insider's request to comment."We believe this change will help give young people more control over their digital footprint and where their images can be found on Search," the company's post said.However, images that are removed from Google search results are not fully removed from the internet, Google warns. If users need an image removed online completely, Google recommends that users contact the site's webmaster where the image is hosted for removal. Google offers other features for its younger users to protect them "from shocking or harmful content." Some of these features include SafeSearch that limits explicit and inappropriate inquiries, content filters, and educational resources.On Tuesday, lawmakers met with representatives from Snapchat, TikTok, and YouTube to discuss child safety online. The Senate Commerce subcommittee on consumer protection, product safety, and data security asked questions about how the platforms have been misused by teenagers to promote dangerous and reckless behavior. None of the tech companies committed to any legislative proposals. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»
BILOXI, Miss., Oct. 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Peoples Financial Corporation (the "Company")(OTCQX Best Market: PFBX), parent of The Peoples Bank, announced earnings for the third quarter ending September 30, 2021. Net income for the third quarter of 2021 was $1,107,000 compared to a net loss of $4,262,000 for the third quarter of 2020. The earnings per weighted average common share for the third quarter of 2021 were $0.23 compared to loss per weighted average common share of $0.87 for the third quarter of 2020. Per share figures are based on weighted average common shares outstanding of 4,878,557 and 4,882,940 for the third quarters 2021 and 2020, respectively. Net income for the first nine months of 2021 was $6,226,000 compared to a net loss of $3,416,000 for the first nine months of 2020. The earnings per weighted average common share for the first nine months of 2021 were $1.28 compared to loss per weighted average common share of $0.70 for the first nine months of 2020. Per share figures are based on weighted average common shares outstanding of 4,878,557 and 4,898,051 for the first nine months of 2021 and 2020, respectively. The improvement in net income for 2021 is primarily due to the reduction in the provision for loan losses as compared with 2020. The provision for loan losses was $4,551,000 for the third quarter of 2020 as compared with a reduction in the provision for loan losses of $173,000 for the third quarter of 2021. The provision for loan losses was $5,948,000 for the first nine months of 2020 as compared with a reduction in the provision for loan losses of $5,004,000 for the first nine months of 2021. Specific events relating to one credit resulted in the Company recording a large provision in the third quarter of 2020. The Company recorded a recovery of previously charged-off principal on this same credit during the first quarter of 2021. Based on that transaction and the on-going evaluation of the credit quality of the entire loan portfolio, Management recorded a reduction in the provision for loan losses of $4,853,000 during the first quarter of 2021. The Company's net income for the first nine months of 2021 was also impacted by an increase in non-interest expense, primarily a result of the settlement of a lawsuit of $1,125,000. "The Company continues to make progress on its financial goals," said Chevis C. Swetman, chairman and chief executive officer of the Company and the Bank. He added, "The Board of Directors charged bank management with reducing non-performing assets and improving our efficiency ratio. We have made significant strides in achieving these goals, and pledge to continue our efforts." Strength, security and stability have been hallmarks of the Company since its founding in 1985 and of The Peoples Bank since its founding in 1896. With very few exceptions, we have paid semi-annual cash dividends to our shareholders, while maintaining the strong capital position our shareholders expect. The Company's capital continues its position as one of the highest in the Southeast United States. The Company's primary capital ratio was 13.38% and 15.36% at September 30, 2021 and 2020, respectively. The Company's book value per share was $19.77 and $19.43 at September 30, 2021 and 2020, respectively. Founded in 1896, with $825 million in total assets as of September 30, 2021, The Peoples Bank operates 18 branches along the Mississippi Gulf Coast in Hancock, Harrison, Jackson and Stone counties. In addition to offering a comprehensive range of retail and commercial banking services, the Bank also operates a trust and investment services department that has provided customers with financial, estate and retirement planning services since 1936. Peoples Financial Corporation's common stock is listed on the OTCQX Best Market under the symbol PFBX. Additional information is available on the Internet at the Company's website, www.thepeoples.com, and at the website of the Securities and Exchange Commission, www.sec.gov. This news release reflects industry conditions, Company performance and financial results and contains "forward-looking statements,' which may include forecasts of our financial results and condition, expectations for our operations and businesses, and our assumptions for those forecasts and expectations. Do not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risk factors and uncertainties which could cause the Company's actual results and experience to differ materially from the anticipated results and expectation expressed in such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from our forward-looking statements are described under "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" and "Regulation and Supervision" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020, and in other documents subsequently filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission, available at the SEC's website and the Company's website, each of which are referenced above. To the extent that statements in this news release relate to future plans, objectives, financial results or performance by the Company, these statements are deemed to be forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements are generally identified by use of words such as "may," "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "intend," "will," "should," "plan," "estimate," "predict," "continue" and "potential" or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. Forward-looking statements represent management's beliefs, based upon information available at the time the statements are made, with regard to the matters addressed; they are not guarantees of future performance. Forward-looking statements are subject to numerous assumptions, risks and uncertainties that change over time ...Full story available on Benzinga.com.....»»
In one day, Elon Musk made $37 billion and slammed Democrats" plan to tax billionaires. Here"s what he meant when he said the government will "come for you."
Musk said the government could "run out of money" and "come for you." Yet the government has run a deficit for years without billionaires paying much. Elon Musk. Mario Tama/Getty Images Elon Musk railed against Democrats' "billionaires' tax" proposal, but it would still leave him as the world's richest person. Musk warned the government could "come for you" when it runs out of cash, but the US has spent more than it taxes for decades. The new tax would still allow Musk to keep $28 billion from his $37 billion surge in wealth this Monday as Tesla's market cap exploded. Elon Musk this week critiqued Democrats' latest plans to tax billionaires to pay for their social spending plans, saying on Twitter, "Eventually, they run out of other people's money and then they come for you."But who are the "other people" and the "you" here? For the majority of Americans, income taxes have long been a reality, making up nearly half of the money collected by the US government. America's wealthiest, on the other hand, have largely paid a lower rate of taxes by seeing their wealth accumulate in the form of asset worth, not an annual salary. Musk's argument plays on illogical fears that lawmakers will target everyday Americans next, when the reality is that after the rich have used loopholes for decades, some of those are starting to close.The wealthiest pay less in taxesThe US has used a progressive tax system since 1862.Tax brackets and top rates have changed over time as Americans earned more, but the top rates have grown ineffective from an explosion of loopholes. The plan from Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon doesn't mark a new era of strict taxation, it just forces billionaires to pay tax on their biggest source of income: soaring stocks.The world's richest man ripped into the tax proposal on Monday, saying it unfairly shifted wealth away from America's richest citizens. The issue comes down to "who is best at capital allocation - governments or entrepreneurs," Musk wrote in one of several tweets on tax policy. Yet the richest Americans have long paid a smaller share of their income than those who earn far less. Many billionaires shield their wealth by taking a relatively low salary and placing most of their net worth in assets like stocks, which are only taxed when they are sold and the profit is locked in, or "realized." But billionaires often hold stocks throughout their lives and pass them on after death, leaving the majority of their net worth completely untaxed, while using their wealth to get ultra-cheap loans from banks where they park their assets.Musk, for example, saw a $37 billion spike in his net worth on Monday when Tesla's stock price surged nearly 13%. Under the current system, he isn't required to pay taxes on any of those gains.Wyden's proposal would levy the usual 23.8% capital gains tax on the increased value of unsold assets, meaning billionaires like Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Bill Gates would have to pay taxes on their massive stock profits. For Musk, the initial bill on his stock gains would amount to roughly $50 billion, according to an analysis by Gabriel Zucman, a left-leaning economist at the University of California Berkeley. Wyden's proposal would allow Musk to pay that sum over a five-year period.-Gabriel Zucman (@gabriel_zucman) October 26, 2021 That would mark a stark change from the tax rates billionaires have paid for several years. Analysis of IRS tax return data published by ProPublica in June showed some of the richest Americans - including Musk - paying nothing in income taxes for a handful of years. Musk in particular paid $455 million in taxes from 2014 to 2018, just 3.27% of his wealth, according to the report.If the tax becomes law, Musk would remain the world's richest man by a healthy margin, at a net worth of roughly $202 billion, as of Tuesday's market close. Bezos would be the second-wealthiest American with a net worth of about $149 billion.Musk's Monday stock windfall would still be worth more than most Americans make in their lives. A 23.8% tax on the jump would turn the $37 billion profit into a $28.2 billion gain.If that sum made up Musk's entire net worth, he'd still be wealthier than 99.5% of Americans.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»
The Sigmund Project exclusively highlights businesses with a "triple bottom line": an emphasis on both profit and benefitting people and the planet. Insider Collaboration is the driving force behind The Sigmund Project. Courtesy of The Sigmund Project. The not-for-profit The Sigmund Project connects sustainability-focused innovators in tourism. Entrepreneurs and leaders can submit ideas or peruse projects to find an apt partnership. The site is already facilitating successful collaborations and aims to issue grants by mid-2022. This article is part of a series called "Partners for a Sustainable Future," profiling innovative alliances that are driving real progress in sustainability. The ethos behind "open source" is that the more brainpower involved in a product's evolution, the better. Things like peer production, review, critique, and collaboration are all encouraged.Recently, not-for-profit startup The Sigmund Project decided to apply this concept to tourism innovation. "The moniker we have regarding [open source] is 'nothing mentioned, nothing gained,'" founder Alan Elliott Merschen told Insider. "If you don't share the idea, it's never going to take root."Though it just launched in June 2021, The Sigmund Project has attracted thousands of unique visitors from more than 108 countries and facilitated about a dozen collaborations. For example, one Switzerland-based NGO recently connected with an ecoresort in the Solomon Islands via the platform, and the two companies are now in talks to become sustainability partners.Here's how Mershcen got The Sigmund Project off the ground, what some of the partnerships look like, and what he has planned for the future.An industry inflection point Ideas on The Sigmund Project's Website. Courtesy of The Sigmund Project Merschen has worked in the travel and tourism field for more than 30 years. He founded the travel marketing company Myriad, which specializes in international destination marketing for private and government clients across five continents. "My interest has always been the impact that tourism can have on a global economy as well as a local environment," Merschen said.When the COVID-19 crisis hit, it decimated the industry. Before the pandemic, the sector accounted for as much as 25% of all new job creation worldwide, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council. But in 2020, more than 62 million tourism-related jobs vanished virtually overnight.Merschen wanted to find a way to revitalize the industry while simultaneously addressing its sustainability problem - in 2016, the sector was responsible for about 5% of manmade carbon emissions worldwide, a number forecast to increase to 5.3% by 2030. So he began brainstorming and taking the pulse of his professional network.He found that COVID-19 was paving the way for previously unthinkable partnerships. "I saw an openness and willingness to collaborate that I had never seen before, not only among complementary products but also among competitors," Merschen said.Leaning into this observation, Merchen launched a digital platform to connect tourism industry innovators with one another. He envisioned an open-source ecosystem in which entrepreneurs with an app idea could connect with the perfect coder, for instance, or where a huge tourism company with a new product could identify niche distribution channels.Merchen saw this vision come to life recently when a multinational travel corporation found synergy with a startup called Gozee after posting about their needs on The Sigmund Project. The two organizations ended up sharing an Application Programming Interface (API) to help customers filter for sustainable travel experiences.How it worksNamed in honor of Merschen's father, The Sigmund Project went live on Father's Day 2021 and exclusively highlights businesses with a "triple bottom line": an emphasis not just on profit but also on benefitting people and the planet. Before submitting an idea, users watch a short video and take a quick quiz, which gauges if their proposed project fits into the platform's parameters. Aligning with one or more of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals is mandatory.Next, innovators can officially submit their idea to be vetted by a Sigmund Project staff member. If the proposal passes muster, the innovator is invited to a call with someone on the Sigmund team, where they talk through the idea, fine-tune its messaging, and suggest potential partners.The organization describes itself as both "high-tech and high-touch." Though the vetting process is largely manual and will remain so for the foreseeable future, the platform also has built-in automation features that will help it scale as traffic and submissions continue to increase.Travel with a side of social good Amina Mohamed, right, and Elizabeth discussing her photos at a Cameras for Girls workshop in Kampala, Uganda. Daniel Moxie Projects on the platform run the gamut when it comes to the UN's SDGs. One of the collaborators currently featured on The Sigmund Project is Amina Mohamed, an Ontario-based entrepreneur and founder of both Triple F Photo Tours and the nonprofit Cameras for Girls. Her companies align with the UN's fifth SDG around gender equality and empowering women."I designed my nonprofit to give back to my home country of Uganda and support marginalized females endeavoring to become journalists," she told Insider. To support the nonprofit work, Mohamed developed a separate for-profit company, Triple F, to lead "anti-tourist" photo tours that support local culture. About 10% of its revenue flows to Cameras for Girls, which is a registered charity in Canada as of fall 2021. Amina Mohamed riding on a boda boda with the driver on the back in Bombo, Uganda, on a Triple F Photo Tour. Courtesy of Triple F Photo Tours When COVID-19 hit, it nearly tanked her tour operation. "I had a choice to make - to let this business die, or go all in and make it work" she said. She ultimately went for option B, venturing down multiple avenues to stay afloat, including posting about Triple F and Cameras for Girls on The Sigmund Project. In Mohamed's post, she writes about looking for resources to expand her women-focused photography tours to Costa Rica.The Sigmund team connected Mohamed with a reputable, Toronto-based travel agency in the company's network. In turn, the agency connected Mohamed with resources in Costa Rica. Thanks to the introduction, Mohamed now has plans to expand Triple F's tours to the country starting in February 2022, with future trips to follow.Looking to the futureThanks to contributions from an anonymous donor, The Sigmund Project is fully funded for the next five years. "Everything that people are doing is completely free, and it will continue to be like that," Merschen said. "We like to say our only currency is collaboration."In that vein, The Sigmund Project is on the prowl for its own partnerships. The organization has forged an agreement with NYU's Tisch Center of Hospitality. Other notable institutions from Canada to Germany have expressed interest in becoming involved. One professor has already included the site in a class assignment, requiring students to collaborate on the platform with entrepreneurs from around the world.Another upcoming goal for The Sigmund Project is to provide financial support to innovators. In 2022, Merschen plans to roll out an investment grant feature to establish a healthy middle ground between micro-financing and the big-bucks world of venture capitalism."There's nobody in the middle," he said. "That's where we want to be."Another differentiating factor for the grants, Merschen explained, is that no company will be able to secure one single-handedly - innovators will need to submit proposals with at least one other entity, in line with the platform's ethos of collaboration.The Sigmund Project plans to take a small interest in companies that receive grants. "The idea is that that company will be successful/profitable, and it will share some of that back with The Sigmund Foundation," Merschen said. He clarified that all returns are immediately reinvested in Sigmund's operating expenses and future grant recipients.Merchen hopes that this tactic will enable The Sigmund Project to develop its own circular operating model. "That's how we become sustainable," he said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»
Facebook employees said its ability to detect vaccine hesitancy and misinformation is "bad in English and basically nonexistent" in other languages, reports show
Internal Facebook documents suggest the tech company struggles to identify posts containing COVID-19 vaccine misinformation and hesitancy online. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (left) and former Facebook employee Frances Haugen. Matt McClain-Pool/Getty Images/Andrew Harnik/AP Facebook is struggling to manage COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and misinformation, internal documents suggest. Facebook's "ability to detect vaccine hesitancy comments is bad in English and basically non-existent elsewhere," according to reports. Facebook claims vaccine hesitancy on the platform declined by 50%, but experts remain skeptical. Facebook is struggling to manage COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and misinformation despite previously boasting the platform as a vital pandemic resource, internal documents suggest.According to internal Facebook documents from February and March 2021, the tech company's internal systems failed to identify, remove, or prevent anti-vaccine comments from appearing on the site. The reports, which were obtained by CNN, state that Facebook's "ability to detect vaccine hesitancy comments is bad in English and basically non-existent elsewhere." "We have no idea about the scale of the [Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy] problem when it comes to comments," said a report posted to Facebook's internal site in February 2021, a year into the pandemic, according to CNN. "Our internal systems are not yet identifying, demoting and/or removing anti-vaccine comments often enough." The report is part of a set of leaked internal documents referred to as "The Facebook Papers," which were reviewed by 17 major US news organizations on Monday. The documents are part of the redacted files shared with Congress by the legal counsel of Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, who testified earlier this month after filing at least eight complaints with the Securities and Exchange Commission alleging that the company is hiding research about its shortcomings from investors and the public, according to Insider.The "most active" Facebook groups in the US "have been the hundreds of anti-quarantine groups in addition to the standard set that have been most active for months/years (Trump 2020, Tucker Carlson, etc.)," a May 2020 post to Facebook's internal site said, according to CNN.According to a Facebook spokesperson, the company has since added additional safety controls to manage groups on its platforms."There are no one-size-fits-all solutions to stopping the spread of misinformation, but we're committed to building new tools and policies that help make comments sections safer," the spokesperson told Insider.In March of 2020, at the onset of the pandemic, Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted that Facebook would work closely with the World Health Organization and local health authorities to stop "hoaxes and harmful misinformation" related to COVID-19. In his message, Zuckerberg committed Facebook to "removing false claims and conspiracy theories that have been flagged by leading global health organizations" as dangerous posts that violate the platform's community guidelines.However, data scientists at Facebook asked for resources to monitor COVID-19 misinformation on the platform, but were ignored by company leadership, according to a report from The New York Times. In July, Facebook rejected President Joe Biden's claim that the spread of misinformation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic on its platforms was "killing people.""We will not be distracted by accusations which aren't supported by the facts," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement to Insider in July. "The fact is that more than 2 billion people have viewed authoritative information about COVID-19 and vaccines on Facebook, which is more than any other place on the internet. More than 3.3 million Americans have also used our vaccine finder tool to find out where and how to get a vaccine."In a rebuttal blog post in July titled "Moving Past the Finger Pointing," Facebook Vice President of Integrity Guy Rose wrote that vaccine hesitancy on the platform declined by 50%.According to a 2020 report from the Center for Countering Digital Hate, COVID-19 misinformation communities online can easily take advantage of engagement-driven algorithms to spread their messages on social media. Less than 1 in 20 false posts were removed across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, even after users had reported the content, Insider reported. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»
Washington Watch: What’s in — and not in — Democrats’ big social-spending bill, as Biden presses for deal before Europe trip
As the Democratic party tries to reach agreement, here are key proposed categories for the spending......»»