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A tax on billionaires is up in the air as Democrats" top tax writers in House and Senate squabble over whether or not it"s dead

The proposal that would target billionaires is out, Richard Neal told Bloomberg, but Ron Wyden told Insider: "I'm not saying that it's dead!" House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021. AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal said the proposal to tax billionaires is off the table. Senate Democrats had announced the plan to target the wealthiest of the wealthy on Wednesday. But the architect of the proposal, Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden, hinted it might stick around. A proposal from the Senate that would target American billionaires is now out of the Biden administration's tax plan, House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal told Bloomberg News.The inclusion of a surtax on millionaires, however, is still under discussion, Neal said.The billionaires proposal was imperiled just hours after its announcement, when powerful centrist Sen. Joe Manchin said "I don't like the connotation that we're targeting different people."But the architect of the new hikes, Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden, pushed back against the idea that this is the end of the road. "I'm not saying that it's dead!" Wyden told Insider, noting that the White House still backs the proposal."I'm talking to senators, and nobody has said that the status quo is okay," Wyden added. "Everybody gets that this is flagrantly unfair."The plan to hit billionaires with tax hikes was revealed by Senate Democrats on Wednesday in a proposal that would tax roughly 700 of the nation's billionaires. Under the "billionaires' income tax," the most wealthy of the ultrawealthy would see the skyrocketing value of their stocks and assets taxed.Normally, assets are just taxed when they're sold - what's called a capital gain. However, the new proposal, spearheaded by Wyden, would tax "unrealized gains." That's the value that unsold stocks and assets add, and, if you're a billionaire who holds a whole lot of stocks, probably your main source of wealth."The basic problem is that for very wealthy people who get most of their income from capital gains, they can choose when to pay tax on that income, if at all," Samantha Jacoby, a senior tax legal analyst at the nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, told Insider.The tax on billionaires came after key moderate Sen. Kyrsten Sinema pushed back on raising taxes for high earners and corporations to offset infrastructure spending. Instead of rolling back Trump-era tax cuts and hiking rates for Americans who earn over $400,000, Democrats instead turned towards taxing the 700 or so billionaires in the country. 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.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 27th, 2021

The era of shortages is unraveling the old American Dream. But that"s not a bad thing.

America is running out of everything in 2021: houses, workers, and all kinds of goods. It could usher in a better economy — and a new American Dream. The postwar American Dream is coming apart at the seams, but a new one is taking its place.Shayanne Gal/Insider America is running out of everything in 2021: houses, workers, and all kinds of goods. It's caused the postwar American Dream, driven by consumerism, to come apart at the seams. It could usher in a better economy with more freedom to live where you want, better working conditions, and less spending on stuff. Insider's Economy team has spent a lot of time waiting for furniture in 2021.All 10 of us moved in the last year, and half of us bought new couches for our new pads. So far, we've spent a total of 45 weeks waiting for them to arrive. After a three-month wait, one editor's couch arrived and it was the wrong size, so she had to return it. The wait is set to get even longer.Just like us, most Americans aren't taking couch shortages sitting down. Headline after headline bemoans the fact that many Americans won't be reclining in the new couches they ordered for their pandemic digs anytime soon. This isn't just a delivery breakdown. It's also a sign of the way the American Dream is breaking down in 2021.When writer and historian James Truslow Adams coined the term in 1931, he defined the American Dream as the opportunity for a better life for all. The postwar boom of the 1950s introduced the house, white picket fence, and other consumerist trappings of the suburban idyll. The global health crisis that ushered in an era of shortages 70 years later is changing everything again.The housing shortage, the labor shortage, and the supply shortage are coalescing in 2021 to challenge every aspect of the 20th-century American Dream: The affordable house in the suburbs with a white picket fence, the job that pays well and provides meaning, and the consumer culture that meets every need and desire. Americans are at a fork in the road, so what will the next dream be?Housing has become a choose your own adventureThe American Dream home became a choose your own adventure quasi-gameshow during the pandemic.Remote work freed knowledge workers from the chains of office life, bringing the postwar dream in sight as workers snapped up nearly every suburban home. But the dream of suburbia was stronger than the market's ability to support it, as the ensuing housing shortage left America short millions of homes. It boxed aspiring first-time homeowners out of a cash-is-king seller's market.As housing prices continued their upward climb to a record highs of $386,888, the American Dream splintered into four different versions of a better life. "While considerable numbers of folks are still convinced that having the proverbial white picket fence will signify they've achieved the American Dream, many others are realizing there are other perfectly valid interpretations of the concept," Larry Samuel, the founder of Age Friendly Consulting and author of "The American Dream: A Cultural History," told Insider. A healthy 59% of Americans still aspire to be homeowners, a sign of the lingering allure of the post-World War II vision. But suburbia is now mostly attainable for the wealthy, less accessible to the 68% of millennials who have their sights set on homeownership. The housing shortage has boxed many out of the housing market.Newsday LLC/Getty ImagesAlyssa Cinami, 32, who has spent 14 months house-hunting and put in five rejected bids, described the market to Insider as "insane, and very discouraging for first-time buyers who can't compete with people with lots of cash."It prompted some 40,000 Americans in May and June alone to turn to more affordable housing in the exurbs, a rural community that is distantly commutable to a big city, or even further out to areas that urbanist Richard Florida has deemed "the rural fringe." Others are finding alternative options in a life on the go, bypassing debt-based homeownership for a more mobile lifestyle in a tiny house or a van, both of which saw a boom in sales since the pandemic began.But that doesn't mean cities are dead. Skyrocketing rents and the 60% of wealthy millennials who plan to buy a home in a big city within the next year indicates that city life still holds an allure. Now, urbanites are living there because they want to, not because they need to for work, and it's reshaping cities as a place centered around personal interaction rather than the office.As Samuel said, "The new white picket fence can be said to be the freedom and peace of mind that comes with not having to do whatever it takes to keep the fence."Power is slowly shifting from employers to workers, and leaving shortages in its wakeFor decades, the American Dream has valued the ideal of wealth through meaningful work: You want to work hard enough that you'll amass enough wealth to buy all the things you want, like a house, a TV, or a car.But the economic reality for many workers hasn't kept pace with these all-important items. Wages have been declining for five decades; the student debt meant to finance the educations that supply the American Dream has skyrocketed, trapping many in untenable cycles of debt. Meanwhile, the opportunities available to workers are increasingly low wage.The pandemic tightened the screws even further, with billionaires notching trillions in gains as low-wage workers found themselves on the frontlines — or just out of a job completely.Workers have taken advantage of the hot post-vaccine labor market. For six months, Americans have been quitting in record numbers, with 4.4 million in September alone. Meanwhile, thousands of workers have gone on strike to demand better conditions. The workers that have joined "the Great Resignation" are effectively on strike, too, many of them expressing a new philosophy of "antiwork," where they document quitting over exploitative conditions and contemplate a future where work is decentralized from life.Spirit Airlines pilots are on strike.Joe Raedle/Shutterstock"I think that it has a lot to do with Gen Z," Kade, a Gen Z antiworker in Kansas, told Insider. After reading antiwork for months, he quit his job when his boss said they would confiscate phones if they caught workers on them. Gen Z doesn't "put up with employers' crap anymore, like the abuse and the low pay," Kade said. "We're getting tired of it."These are still drops in the bucket against decades of stagnant wages and a weakened labor movement. But trends like antiwork seem to be making an impact, as employers have gone from continually bemoaning labor shortages to raising wages and offering better benefits.Businesses shifting from becoming customer-centric to employee-centric could "start a lot of healing," Steve Rowland, the host of Retail Warzone, a podcast chronicling retail workers' "horror stories," told Insider."Customers are important, but your employee base is what keeps you going," Rowland said. "The first company that does that, you'll see a huge change — that'll all of a sudden be the company that people want to work for."Supply chain shortages force a rethink of consumption It's not just couches — there's a shortage for every kind of thing. Factory shutdowns as a result of pandemic safety restrictions and labor shortages, congested shipping ports, the US-China trade war, bad weather, and global traffic jams have led to wait times for many Americans who became used to a "just-in-time economy" in the 2000s.Part of it is a snarled supply chain and part of it is that Americans are just buying more, well, stuff. As the economy reshaped to prioritize remote work and a spread-out populace, Americans had more use for gym equipment and new TVs and less need to go to restaurants and hotels. The demand has outstripped supply at the same time that the supply has broken down.The runaway spending could exacerbate the labor shortage: Rowland said that angry customers demanding their holiday goods could prompt workers to "start throwing their hands up in the air and walking out the door. They're just not going to take it." Container ships at the congested Port of Los Angeles in September 2021.Mike Blake/ReutersCanadian political scientist Krzysztof Pelc argued in the Financial Times that the key to happiness, and the next step in the evolution of our economy, is buying less stuff and more experiences. He explains that a shift toward service spending is a hallmark of developed economies, with effects on growth. Advanced societies may come to view high growth, spurred by goods consumption, not as progress, but a "necessary stage" of it. "The challenge is then to recognise when the moment has come for a shift in social purpose."Gen Z seems to agree with Pelc: Research and advisory firm Gen Z Planet recently found that the generation is saving and investing more than it's spending, and now holds $360 billion in disposable income. Coming of age amidst the greatest economic catastrophe in 100 years could shape their economic behavior for decades to come, and early signs indicate they aren't just "antiwork" — they're anti-spending and pro-thrift, too. That means companies might have to appeal to their thrifty ways and higher standards for work to survive the era of shortages.Gen Z may be saying they're thrifty while shopping just as much as older generations. But maybe, just maybe, the new American Dream is coming into view.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 21st, 2021

The Bull$hit

The Bull$hit Authored by Walter Kirn via Unbound substack (h/t Glenn Greenwald) I used to like to read the news, the middlebrow mass-market weekly news. I also used to like to write it.  Some. This was back in the 90s at Time magazine, a publication which still exists in name but whose original, defining mission – grounding the American mind in a moderate, shared reality – is dead. The whole concept seems strange now – the American mind; a cloud of ideas, opinions, and sentiments floating somewhere above the Mississippi – but at Time, in the 90s, before the internet made its approach seem sluggish and slashed its readership, it was still possible to regard our product as unifying and, in its way, definitive. Sometimes I covered tangible events such as drug epidemics and forest fires, but much of the time I stitched together interviews conducted by local stringers and reporters into feature stories on such topics as “The New Science of Happiness” and “Children of Divorce.” It was an article of faith at Time that the findings of social scientists, simplified for popular consumption, ranked with hard news as a source of public enlightenment. Until business began to suffer, requiring cut-backs, the magazine kept an in-house research library, the better for checking even the smallest facts. The burden of accuracy lay heavy on Time. Its mighty name required nothing less. Things are different now. Every morning, there it is, waiting for me on my phone. The bullshit. It resembles, in its use of phrases such as “knowledgeable sources” and “experts differ,” what I used to think of as the news, but it isn’t the news and it hasn’t been for ages. It consists of its decomposed remains in a news-shaped coffin. It does impart information, strictly speaking, but not always information about our world. Or not good information, because it’s so often wrong, particularly on matters of great import and invariably to the advantage of the same interests, which suggests it should be presumed wrong as a rule. The information it imparts, if one bothers to sift through it, is information about itself; about the purposes, beliefs, and loyalties of those who produce it: the informing class. They’re not the ruling class — not quite — but often they’re married to it or share therapists or drink with it at Yale Bowl football games. They’re cozy, these tribal cousins. They cavort. They always have. What has changed is that the press used to maintain certain boundaries in the relationship, observing the incest taboo. It kept its pants zipped, at least in public. It didn’t hire ex-CIA directors, top FBI men, NSA brass, or other past and future sources to sit beside its anchors at spot-lit news-desks that blocked our view of their lower extremities. But it gave in.  I’m stipulating these points, I’m not debating them, so log off if you find them too extreme. Go read more bullshit. Immerse yourself in news of Russian plots to counterfeit presidential children’s laptops, viruses spawned in Wuhan market stalls, vast secret legions of domestic terrorists flashing one another the OK sign in shadowy parking lots behind Bass Pro Shops experiencing “temporary” inflation, and patriotic tech conglomerates purging the commons of untruths. Comfort yourself with the thoughts that the same fortunes engaged in the building of amusement parks, the production and distribution of TV comedies, and the provision of computing services to the defense and intelligence establishments, have allied to protect your family’s health, advance the causes of equity and justice, and safeguard our democratic institutions. Dismiss as cynical the notion that you, the reader, are not their client but their product. Your data for their bullshit, that’s the deal. And Build Back Better. That’s the sermon. Pious bullshit, unceasing. But what to do?  One option, more popular each day, is to retreat to the anti-bullshit universe of alternative media sources. These are the podcasts, videos, Twitter threads, newsletters, and Facebook pages that regularly vanish from circulation for violating “community standards” and other ineffable codes of conduct, oft-times after failing “fact-checks” by the friendly people at Good Thoughtkeeping. Some of these rebel outfits are engrossing, some dull and churchy, many quite bizarre, and some, despite small staffs and tiny budgets, remarkably good and getting better. Some are Substack pages owned by writers who severed ties with established publications, drawing charges of being Russian agents, crypto-anarchists, or free-speech “absolutists.” I won’t bother to give a list. Readers who hunt and choose among such sources have their own lists, which they fiercely curate, loudly pushing their favorites on the world while accusing those they disagree with of being “controlled opposition” and running cons. It resembles the old punk-rock scene, but after it was discovered, not early on. Some of the upstart outlets earn serious money, garnering higher ratings and more page-views than the regime-approved brands Apple features on the News screen of my iPhone. (A screen I’ve disabled and don’t miss.) This wilderness of “contrarianism” – a designation easily earned these days; you merely have to mention Orwell or reside in Florida -- requires a measure of vigilance and effort from those who seek the truth there. As opposed to those who go there to relax, because they prefer alt-bullshit to mainstream bullshit. They can just kick their shoes off and wade in.  One reason to stick with the premium name-brand bullshit is to deconstruct it. What lines are the propagandists pushing now? Where will they lead? How blatant will they get? Why are the authors so weirdly fearless? The other day when Cuba erupted in protests, numerous stories explained the riots, confidently, instantly, as demands for COVID vaccines. The accompanying photos didn’t support this claim; they featured ragged American flags and homemade signs demanding freedom. One wire-service headline used the protests to raise concerns about viral spread in crowds. A puzzling message. It wasn’t meant for the defiant Cubans, who weren’t at liberty to read it and whose anger at their rulers clearly outweighed their concerns about contagion. It had to be aimed at English-speaking Americans. But to what end? American protests of the previous summer hadn’t raised such cautions from the press. To the contrary. Our riots, if one could call them that (and one could not at many companies) were framed as transcendent cries for justice whose risks to public health were negligible, almost as though moral passion enhances immunity. And maybe it does, but why not in Cuba, too? To me, the headline only made sense in the context of the offensive against domestic “vaccine hesitancy” and its alleged fascist-bumpkin leaders. The Reuters writer had seen in Cuba’s revolt a chance to glancingly editorialize against rebelliousness of another type. The type its staff abhors day in, day out, no matter what’s happening in Cuba, or, for that matter, in America. The bullshit is consistent in this way, reducing stories of every kind into nitrogen-rich soil for the same views. These views feel unusually ferocious now, reflecting the convictions of those on high that they should determine the fates of those on low with minimal backtalk and no laughter. Because science. Because Putin. Democracy. Because we’re inside your phones and know your names.  Engaging with the bullshit news-stream for defensive, deconstructive reasons has been my personal program for a while now. The game can be intellectually amusing and it confers a sense of brave revulsion. I was conditioned to seek this feeling in school, during units on “current events,” when my classmates and I were invited to deplore poverty, pollution, and prejudice. Behind these exercises was the notion that our little lives were isolated, vulnerable affairs loomed over by colossal, distant “trends.” Like bad weather, these trends might sneak up on us and harm us, especially if we ignored them, but unlike bad weather, which came from nature, these grim enormities were human-made and therefore partly our responsibility. This idea promoted magical thinking. Take our sixth-grade war on “smog,” which worsened children’s asthma and killed trees. Smog didn’t bother our Minnesota town but it smothered Los Angeles and other cities, as we learned from mock-newspapers and film strips. We cast spells against it from our desks by drawing pictures of smoky traffic jams. Our teacher called this “showing awareness” and implied it helped. I must have bought this. It explains why I thought being conscious of the bullshit actually accomplished something. The idea of ignoring it entirely raised superstitious fears in me. Unnoticed bad trends might whack me from behind. Also, dropping out seemed immature. Well-adjusted grown-up read the news, if only to curse the news. They read it because other grown-ups read it, creating a common model of the world that might be bullshit but forms a frame of reference for public debate. Then I considered the state of public debate. Judging by Twitter, it wasn’t high. One problem was no matter how well you argued, no matter how strong your evidence and logic, your foes almost never recognized they’d lost. No judges to arbitrate the matches, no rules to guide them, and no trusted sources of facts to balance them. Mostly you just called bullshit on each other, and sometimes you wondered if both of you were right.  Such arguments were sink holes. They never advanced past their own premises.  At times in my life, by happenstance, I’ve dwelled in oblivion, thoroughly news-free. In college in the early 80s I went four years without turning on TV or opening a paper. I learned that President Reagan had been shot from a pilot’s announcement on a plane, then gathered more details when I landed, from a stranger in a cowboy hat. My sense of the wider world derived from classes, books, conversations, works of art, and glimpses of newsstands and magazine racks. I don’t remember feeling deprived. Then, last year, at the height of the pandemic, when everyone else was merging with their screens, I turned my back on the bullshit for two whole months. My father was dying of ALS in his retirement cabin in Montana, out of range of cell-phone towers. It was an overwhelming situation. Disregarding all the latest rules, friends had brought him there in a motorhome from his seniors’ community near Tucson. I needed help lifting him, so I hired a health aid who flew in from Miami, another breach of quarantine. This hazard required the local hospice workers to visit wearing full protective gear and stay outside the cabin in the driveway when passing me my father’s meds and pamphlets on the stages of death. They stuck to this protocol for the first week, then abandoned it so they could see their patient’s face. I lost track of the rules, the days, the virus. I sat at his bedside before his big TV watching reruns of Murder She Wrote, his favorite show, he told me, “Because there’s never any blood.” A former patent attorney with a degree in chemical engineering, a Republican who’d ofted voted Democrat, he’d tuned out the news a few years ago, he said, because it gave him stomach aches. He forbade me to handle the remote lest I land for a moment on CNN while changing channels. He talked about family history, old friends, and had me place phone calls to banks and credit card firms, which he seemed to take pleasure in informing of his any-minute-now demise. I turned on my computer exactly once, to research a narcotic he’d been prescribed, and I peeked at a rundown of election news that curdled my brain with its lazy tropes and buzzwords. To think that people wore out their precious lives consuming and reacting to such bullshit, cycling through the emotions it unleashed, sweating out its bulletins and updates, believing, disputing, and decrying it. And ultimately, in my father’s case, avoiding it. Maybe he should have ignored it all along. Once time grew short, he didn’t mention a bit of it, with one exception: the day John F. Kennedy was shot. He spoke of it three days before he died. He said he was in Washington DC then, working as a law clerk in the same building that housed the Associated Press. He ran to its offices when he heard the news and watched paper spill from the teletype machines and pile on the floor. He told me he regretted not snatching some; those first dispatches might be worth a lot now. I thought about this. One-of-a-kind original paper documents, not identical, infinitely reproducible electronic files. No wonder there was so much bullshit now. It was content. Mere content. Ones and zeros. Lots of zeros, not so many ones. “I’ve always wondered who killed him,” my father said. “It wasn’t Oswald. Not Oswald on his own.” “Who do you think?” It seemed he’d studied the matter. New side of him. Should have spent more time together. “Maybe the Mafia, maybe LBJ. There may have been certain Cubans in the mix. All I know is we didn’t get the truth.” I’m fairly sure we often don’t. Still, it’s hard to give up hope, and today I blew half an hour on the bullshit, under which the truth lies buried. Maybe. Maybe it’s bullshit the whole way down. How much time do you have for finding out? Less than you had this morning. Fact. Tyler Durden Thu, 09/30/2021 - 16:21.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 30th, 2021

The Upshots Of The New Housing Bubble Fiasco

The Upshots Of The New Housing Bubble Fiasco Authored by MN Gordon via EconomicPrism.com, “The free market for all intents and purposes is dead in America.” - Senator Jim Bunning, September 19, 2008 House Prices Go Vertical The epic housing bubble and bust in the mid-to-late-2000s was dreadfully disruptive for many Americans.  Some never recovered.  Now the central planners have done it again… On Tuesday, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released its U.S. House Price Index (HPI) for September.  According to the FHFA HPI, U.S. house prices rose 18.5 percent from the third quarter of 2020 to the third quarter of 2021. By comparison, consumer prices have increased 6.2 from a year ago.  That’s running hot!  But 6.2 percent consumer price inflation is nothing.  House prices have inflated nearly 3 times as much over this same period. Here in the Los Angeles Basin, for example, things are so out of whack you have to be rich to afford a 1,200 square foot fixer upper in a modest area.  Yet the clever fellows in Washington have just the solution. Massive house price inflation has prompted the FHFA, and the government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) it regulates, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to jack up the limits of government backed loans to nearly a million bucks in some areas. Specifically, the baseline conforming loan limit for 2022 will be $647,000, up nearly $100,000 from last year.  In higher cost areas, conforming loans are 150 percent of baseline – or $970,800.  What gives? If you recall, ultra-low interest rates courtesy of the Federal Reserve following the dot com bubble and bust provided the initial gas for the 2000s housing bubble.  However, the housing bubble was really inflated by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  The GSEs relaxed lending standards and, thus, funneled a seemingly endless supply of credit to the mortgage market. The stated objective of these GSEs was to make housing affordable for Americans.  But their efforts did the exact opposite. The GSEs puffed up the housing bubble to a place where average Americans had no hope of ever being able to afford a place of their own.  Then, when the pool of suckers dried up, about the time rampant fraud and abuse cracked the credit market, people got destroyed. If you also recall, it wasn’t until credit markets froze over like the Alaskan tundra in late 2008 that the Fed first executed the radical monetary policies of quantitative easing (QE).  To be clear, QE had nothing to do with the last housing bubble; ultra-low interest rates and GSE intervention did the trick on their own.  QE came after. But now, in the current housing bubble incarnation, the Fed’s been buying $40 billion in mortgage backed securities per month since June 2020.  Is there any question why house prices have gone vertical over this time? The Fed is now tapering back its mortgage and treasury purchases.  This comes too little too late.  And with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac now jacking up their conforming loan limits, house prices could really jump off the charts. We’ll have more on the current intervention efforts of these GSEs in just a moment.  But first, to fully appreciate what they are up to, we must revisit the not too distant past… Socialized Losses A moral hazard is the idea that a person or party shielded from risk will behave differently than if they were fully exposed to the risk.  A person who has automobile theft insurance, for instance, may be less careful about securing their car because the financial consequence of a stolen car would be endured by the insurance company. Financial bail-outs, of both lenders and borrowers, by governments, central bankers, or other institutions, produce moral hazards; they encourage risky lending and risky speculation in the future because borrowers and lenders believe they will not carry the full burden of losses. Do you remember the Savings and Loan crisis of the 1980s? The U.S. Government picked up the tab –  about $125 billion (a hefty amount at the time) – when over 1,000 savings and loan institutions failed.  What you may not know is the seeds of crisis were propagated by Franklin Delano Roosevelt during the Great Depression when he established the Federal Deposit Insurance Company (FDIC) and the Federal Saving and Loan Insurance Company (FSLIC). From then on, borrowers and bank lenders no longer had concern for losses – for they would be covered by the government.  The Savings and Loan crisis confirmed this, and further propagated the moral hazard culminating in the subprime lending meltdown. Obama’s big bank bailout of 2008-09 socialized the losses.  Then the Fed’s QE and ultra-low interest rates furthered the moral hazard.  These are now the origins of the current housing and mortgage market bubble…and future bust. By guaranteeing mortgage securities up to nearly $1 million in some areas the government encourages risky lending by banks and speculation by investors.  Banks are less prudent about who they loan money to because the loans will be securitized and sold to investors.  Similarly, investors speculate on these securities because they are guaranteed by the government. Once again, the government is promoting a “heads, I win…tails, you lose” milieu where banks and investors reap big profits taking on big risks and where the losses are socialized by tax payers.  It also sets the stage for massive grift… The Anatomy of a Swindler FDR – the thirty-second U.S. President – was responsible for setting up Fannie Mae.  But another FDR – Franklin Delano Raines – was responsible for running it into the ground. The son of a Seattle janitor, FDR grew up knowing what it was like to have not.  He concluded at a young age it was better to have. Yet it was while mixing with Ivy Leaguers at Harvard University and Harvard Law School where he really refined his thinking.  He came to believe the government should be responsible for supplying the have nots with tax payer sponsored philanthropy. FDR came out of school with the wide eyed ambition of a lab rat.  He was determined to sniff out his way to wealth…and once and for all, find that ever illusive cheese at the end of the maze. The first corner he peered around smelled remarkably prospective.  But he came up empty.  Three years in the Carter Administration didn’t offer the compensation he’d dreamed of. To have was better, remember.  The next corner FDR peered around was much more lucrative.  He did an 11 year stint at an investment bank. But it was in 1991 when FDR got his big break.  For it was then that he became Fannie Mae’s Vice Chairman.  And it was then that he garnered hands on access to muck with the lives of millions.  Still, he wasn’t quite sure how to go about it. To learn such tips and tricks, FDR studied one of the true masters of our time…Bill Clinton.  From 1996 to 1998, he was the Clinton Administration’s Director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.  There he discovered you must have a vision…a mission…a delusion that is so grand and so absurd, the world will love you for it. One evening, in the autumn of 1997, it came to him in a flash.  Staring deep into the pot of his chicken soup, just as it approached boil, he hallucinated an image of a house.  Suddenly a small part of the grey matter of his brain opened up… For where Hoover had foreseen a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage, FDR now foresaw much, much more.  A chicken and a car were not good enough.  In FDR’s world, everyone should also get a house with a pot to cook the chicken in and a garage to park the car in.  And he knew just how to give it to them. Yet best of all, FDR also knew he could become remarkably rich pawning houses to the downtrodden.  So in 1999, he returned to Fannie Mae as CEO and got to work on his master plan… Fraudulent Earnings Statements It was a pretty simple four point plan… If low interest rates make housing more affordable, then even lower interest rates make housing even more affordable. So, too, if 20 percent down put housing out of reach for some, then 10 percent down was better. And zero percent down was optimal. Similarly, if a borrower’s credit score doesn’t meet the requisite credit standard, just relax the standard. And lastly, if a borrower’s income is too low to qualify for a loan, just let them state what ever income it is that they must have to get the loan. With the ground rules in place by 1999, FDR began the pilot program that would ultimately ruin the finances of the western world.  It involved issuing bank loans to low to moderate income earners, and to ease credit requirements on loans that Fannie Mae purchased from banks. FDR promoted the program stating that it would allow consumers who were, “A notch below what our current underwriting has required,” get a home. Here’s how it worked… Banks made loans to people to buy houses they really couldn’t afford.  Fannie Mae bought the bad loans and bundled them together with good ones as mortgage backed securities.  Wall Street then bought these mortgage backed securities, rated them AAA, and then sold them the world over…taking a nice cut for their services. FDR had a heavy hand in the action too.  By overstating earnings, and shifting losses, he pocketed the large bonuses a janitor’s son could only dream of.  According to a September 19, 2008 article by Jonah Goldberg, titled, Washington Brewed the Poison, FDR “…made $52 million of his $90 million compensation package thanks in part to fraudulent earnings statements.” Efforts to reform the scheme were stopped by the Democrats in Congress, who weren’t ready to give up the gravy train of money that flowed from Fannie Mae to their campaigns.   “Barack Obama, the Senate’s second-greatest recipient of donations from Fannie and Freddie after [Christopher] Dodd, did nothing.” Now, just 13 years later, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are at it again… Here We Go Again On June 23, 2021, in Collins v. Yellen, the Supreme Court decided the President could remove the FHFA director without cause.  The next day, President Biden replaced Trump’s director of the FHFA, Mark Calabria, with a temporary appointment. FHFA, as noted above, regulates government-backed housing lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  Prior to getting his pink slip, Calabria had been working to reduce the harm these GSEs could do to the economy. Biden’s replacement immediately reversed course, reinstituting the social engineering policies that brought down the housing market in 2008.  Acting Director Sandra Thomas: “There is a widespread lack of affordable housing and access to credit, especially in communities of color.  It is FHFA’s duty through our regulated entities to ensure that all Americans have equal access to safe, decent, and affordable housing.”  One could mistake these words for those of Franklin Delano Raines.  Certainly, the madness it fosters will be Raines like.  The Wall Street Journal reports: “The problem the [Biden] administration sees is that housing and rental prices are too high.  The fact that the administration’s own policies have caused an inflationary trend in housing along with food, energy and gasoline, among others, is no deterrent. “[…] the administration wants people who would otherwise rent to become homeowners.  These young families would take on the risk and the burden of a mortgage, which the government—through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—will make much cheaper.  Investors, of course, will buy these risky mortgages from Fannie and Freddie because they are backed by the government.  “Here we go again.  The only difference between what the administration is proposing, and what brought about the 2008 financial crisis is that the economy is already in an inflationary period, induced by the administration’s other policies.  This will make homeownership even riskier.  In addition, Fannie and Freddie will be buying mortgages of up to $1 million, instead of $450,000. “But the government’s lower underwriting standards drive down standards for private lenders, too.  Banks and other mortgage lenders—if they want to stay in the business—have to offer their mortgages on similar terms.  People who own homes then dive into the market to take advantage of the low down payments, and housing prices rise even faster. This encourages cash-out mortgages, in which homeowners reduce the equity in their homes, sometimes to buy a boat.  “The process goes on for years until prices are so high that sales growth falls and homeowners can’t sell their homes to pay off their mortgages.  Housing prices then collapse, mortgages go unpaid.  Banks, other lenders, and even Fannie and Freddie incur losses and another financial crisis begins.” But wait, there’s more… The Upshots of the New Housing Bubble Fiasco House prices are already in bubble territory in many places across the county.  At these prices, who’s buying? Wall Street.  Pension funds.  BlackRock Inc.  And many, many others… Institutional investors have securitized the residential real estate market.  Hundreds of firms are competing with regular house buyers.  They’re also bidding up house prices. Invitation Homes, for example, is a publicly traded company that was spun off from BlackRock in 2017.  Invitation Homes gets billion dollar loans at interest rates around 1.4 percent – about half the rate of what regular house buyers get.  Often times they just pay in cash. According to a recent SEC disclosure, Invitation Homes’ portfolio of houses is worth $16 billion.  The company collects about $1.9 billion in rent per year.  Thus it takes only about eight years of rental payments to pay back a typical house that Invitation Homes has bought. Invitation Homes now owns over 80,000 rental houses and has a market capitalization of $24.6 billion.  The company has deep pockets.  Regular house buyers cannot compete. No doubt, this is an ugly situation.  The ugliness hasn’t been created by institutional investors.  They’re merely scratching for yield in a world where capital markets have been destroyed by the Fed.  Of course, there’s no situation that’s too ugly for Washington to not make even uglier. According to a recent White House fact sheet: “As supply constraints have intensified, large investors have stepped up their real-estate purchases, including of single-family homes in urban and suburban areas. […].  Large investor purchases of single-family homes and conversion into rental properties speeds the transition of neighborhoods from homeownership to rental and drives up home prices for lower cost homes, making it harder for aspiring first-time and first-generation home buyers, among others, to buy a home. […] “President Biden is committed to using every tool available in government to produce more affordable housing supply as quickly as possible, and to make supply available to families in need of affordable, quality housing – rather than to large investors.” This logic validates FHFA jacking up the limits for conforming loans.  Indeed, the clever fellows in Washington want to make housing more affordable by allowing more and more people to take on massive subsidized mortgages.  The logic makes perfect sense…so long as you have the intelligence of a box of rocks. We all know where this goes.  We all know where this leads. First time house buyers, competing with institutional investors, will use the government’s relaxed lending standards to chase prices higher and higher.  Then, once the mortgage market is sufficiently riddled with fraud and corruption and tens of millions of Americans are tied into loans they cannot repay, the impossible will happen… House prices will go down! …along with the hopes and dreams of those that got sucked into this wickedness. Sandra Thomas will be flummoxed.  Congress will socialize the losses once again.  And populace rage will be channeled into some new Occupy Wall Street movement.  Then things will really get ugly. These – and many more – are the upshots of the new housing bubble fiasco. Tyler Durden Sat, 12/04/2021 - 09:20.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nyt4 hr. 24 min. ago

A 25-year-old private-equity associate died in midtown Manhattan on Monday. His father said that the cause of death was suicide.

The police found Drew Miller's body outside a large apartment complex in midtown on Monday. His father said he died by suicide. Drew Miller, a 25-year-old private-equity associate, died after he fell from Windsor Court, a New York City high-rise apartment building, on Monday.Tim Drivas Photography/Getty Images A young man who worked in private equity was found dead outside an apartment complex in New York City on Monday. The man, 25-year-old Drew Miller, died by suicide, his father said. Miller worked in financial services. He had been employed by GreyLion Capital since April. Drew Miller, a 25-year-old private-equity associate from Warren, New Jersey, was found dead outside of a high-rise apartment complex in New York City on Monday. The cause of death was suicide, his father, Andrew Miller, told Insider by phone on Wednesday."Suicide is not a rational act. We're all devastated," Andrew Miller said, speaking on behalf of his family.Miller fell from the high-rise building Windsor Court, which is located on Lexington Avenue between East 31st and 32nd Streets. His body was found by police after they responded to 911 calls shortly after about 8 a.m. Monday morning.  Emergency-medical-services personnel pronounced Miller dead at the scene, according to Annette Shelton, a spokesperson for the New York Police Department. Shelton confirmed Miller's identity in an email to Insider on Tuesday afternoon, and added that an investigation was underway.Since April, Miller had been working as an associate at GreyLion Capital, a New York firm focused on growth-stage investments. GreyLion was spun out from the asset-management arm of Perella Weinberg Partners last year."Drew was an incredibly bright and talented individual who was well liked and highly regarded by all who had the pleasure of working with him," Jody Shechtman, a partner and the head of marketing and business development at GreyLion, wrote in an emailed statement to Insider on Tuesday afternoon."We are incredibly saddened by his passing. Our deepest sympathies are with Drew's family and loved ones during this difficult time," Shechtman added.Andrew Miller added that senior executives from GreyLion had been in touch with the Miller family to express their condolences.AM New York, a local publication, reported the death of an unnamed man on Monday but did not identify him in its article. Miller's body was found with several personal effects, AMNY reported. Among them were a backpack and duffel bag, a laptop computer, a tablet, medication, and house keys, the outlet said.Before joining GreyLion, Miller was an investment-banking analyst at Cain Brothers, an independent healthcare-focused investment bank that was acquired by KeyBanc in 2017. Cain Brothers CEO Robert Fraiman and Chief Administrative Officer Danielle LeBenger did not immediately return Insider's request for comment on Tuesday afternoon.Miller worked at Cain Brothers from 2018 to 2021. He attended Indiana University's Kelley School of Business from 2014 to 2018 and obtained a bachelor's degree in finance, according to his LinkedIn page.Suicide is complex, and the reasons behind a suicide are not always immediately clear. Risk factors include mental illness or a history of trauma, and many people considering suicide exhibit warning signs. Treatment is available to help people overcome suicidal thoughts and better cope.Editor's note: This story was originally published on Tuesday and has been updated on Wednesday, after Andrew Miller told Insider that his son Drew died by suicide.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 1st, 2021

The 5 best roach killers in 2021

Cockroaches are a fact of life in some places. We interviewed experts to find the best roach killers and traps for fighting the pests on your own. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Target; Amazon; Home Depot; Alyssa Powell/Insider Cockroaches can be a relentless problem, but we interviewed experts to find the best solutions. The best overall option is Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer, which is effective for several months. Read more about how we research and test home products and services at Insider Reviews. No matter how hard you try, you'll never rid the world of cockroaches. But if you're trying to keep your home or business roach-free, then we can help.We queried experts at the National Pest Management Association to learn what chemicals and traps to use and when it's time to call in the professionals. (Read more about our methodology here.) The best solution for your infestation will probably be a combination of two or three of the products we recommend below, considering the resilience of your foes. Even though they outlived the dinosaurs, we've got the chemicals and the technology.Below are our picks for the most effective and expert-approved weapons in cockroach warfare. Some of these roach killers and traps get the job done on contact, while others allow a roach to transport poison back to the nest and spread it to the lot.Here are the best roach killer and traps you can buy in 2021Best roach killer overall: Ortho Home Defense Insect KillerBest contact spray roach killer: Raid's Ant & Roach Killer Insecticide SprayBest gel roach killer: Advion Cockroach Gel BaitBest roach trap: Black Flag Roach Motel Insect TrapBest roach bait: Combat Max 12-Month Roach-Killing BaitBest roach killer overallAmazonUse Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer around the periphery of your house every few months, and roaches stand little chance of breaching its interior.Sizes: 26 ounces or 1 gallonEffective against: Ants, aphids, armyworms, beetles, black widow spiders, brown recluse spiders, caterpillars, carpenter ants, chinch bugs, crickets, earwigs, fleas, harvester ants, hobo spiders, millipedes, mole crickets, mosquitoes, roaches, whitefliesChemicals: Bifenthrin (.05%) and Zeta-Cypermethrin (.01%)Pet-safe: Yes (but avoid contact)Best use: Long-term, preventativePros: Long-term preventative solution, suited for outdoor and indoor use, also works for spot-killingCons: Labor-intensive, spray nozzle can be finicky, poses a threat to aquatic habitatsA preventative spray, Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer is effective for about three months at keeping roaches and plenty of other six-legged creatures at bay.Whether you're neck-deep in cockroaches or you're just preparing for or anticipating the worst, a perimeter spray is a great measure to take both inside and out. It also keeps far more than roaches out of your house and creates a buffer against an impressively diverse list of potentially more harmful critters.Wearing a mask, use the electric spray gun (included with the gallon-size jug), slightly dampen a four-inch perimeter around your house and make sure to keep children and animals away from it until it's dry (same goes for indoor application, though you'll want to apply less liberally).The main thing you want to keep in mind is thoroughness. You're essentially building a fence, so lay the stuff on thick. Coat window and door frames, crawlspaces, garage doors, and all crevices. Fortunately, you'll only have to do this once a season. One final note: because this product contains Bifenthrin, which is toxic to certain aquatic creatures, including fish, consider avoiding using it if your property borders a body of water.$6.82 FROM HOME DEPOT$14.49 FROM AMAZONOriginally $17.98 | Save 19%Best roach-killing sprayTargetWhen you're coming face to face with roaches, Raid Ant & Roach Killer is an on-the-spot spray that will make short work of your adversaries — at least the ones you can see.Size: 20 ouncesNumber: Two cansEffective against: Cockroaches, waterbugs, palmetto bugs, ants, silverfish, carpet beetles, crickets, earwigs, household spiders, multicolored Asian lady beetles, stinkbugs, scorpions, black widow spidersChemicals: Cypermethrin and ImiprothrinPet-safe: Yes (but avoid contact)Best use: Spot-killingPros: Instantly effective, effective against most insectsCons: Only effective upon sight, not a long-term solution, relatively toxicKill-on-contact spray is important to have for visible infestations. Keep in mind that it contains a cocktail of Cypermethrin and Imiprothrin, among others, all of which are somewhat toxic to humans. Raid's Ant & Roach Killer Insecticide Spray is also handy when you have a clear idea of where the roaches are traveling. It remains temporarily lethal enough that if you spray their trail before shutting out the lights and heading off to bed, it will still harm them.Complete eradication requires a combination of approaches, and sprays like this won't kill the roaches you can't see and trace. A perimeter spray and bait stations will pick up most of your slack, though. Raid Ant & Roach Killer Insecticide Spray is great to have on hand for pretty much any bug infestation.$9.99 FROM TARGETBest roach-killing gelAmazonAdvion Cockroach Gel Bait applies invisibly wherever you need it and then makes its way back to the nest to wreak havoc.Size: 30 gramsNumber: 4 tubesEffective against: Ants, roaches, mole crickets, and most insects found in householdsChemicals: IndoxacarbPet-safe: Some contact is okay, but oral ingestion can be mildly dangerousBest use: Mid-termPros: Long-lasting, placement is highly customizable, also attracts and takes care of crickets (field and house), silverfish, and antsCons: Labor-intensive to apply, not pet-safeWhen you have a serious infestation and can't pinpoint the source or the nest, a spreadable gel is a great option. You can smear it into any suspect cracks, corners, and crevices. As hermetically sealed as your domicile may be, there are almost always cracks, and that is indeed how the roaches get in.Advion's Cockroach Gel Bait, with Indoxacarb as its active ingredient, mercilessly attacks the pests' nervous systems and spreads throughout the nest. Before long, the whole colony is wiped out.While application is more involved than opening a box and dispersing a few traps throughout the house, Advion's Cockroach Gel Bait comes with applicator tips so that it's not a horribly messy chore.Squeeze it into cracks and create a bead or dots around baseboards, near trash cans, and anywhere else the vermin may be finding their way into your living space. However, it's not good for pets.This formula is also approved for boats, planes, and other vehicles, including your car.$30.08 FROM AMAZONBest roach trapAmazonThe Black Flag Roach Motel Insect Trap kills cockroaches and keeps the dead ones contained and out of sight.Size: Each trap is 1.67" x 5.87" x 5.12"Number: 2 traps per boxEffective against: Cockroaches, crickets, palmetto bugs, scorpions, spiders, and moreChemicals:  Pesticide-free (just a sticky gel)Pet-safe: Mostly (if your pets don't get their paws stuck inside)Best use: Short- mid-termPros: You won't wake up to dead bugs on your floor, odor-free, pesticide-freeCons: Traps become tattered over time, might also trap smaller rodents (e.g., mice) that could render the trap uselessA self-contained trap like Black Flag's Roach Motel is often the most practical and comfortable approach. Cleanup is much less involved: Just pick it up and toss it once it's full or too tattered to perform its job any longer. It also entices and contains spiders, scorpions, crickets, and other insects.This is a great option for households with pets and small children. The active ingredient in these traps isn't a pesticide but merely sticky tape. Even if their fingers or paws do find their way in, it's nontoxic.Roach Motels come two to a pack. The way they work is simple: Black Flag's sweet proprietary concoction lures in the roaches (and other pests). Once inside the trap, they find themselves attached to a sticky tape.While this is arguably cruel, keep in mind that roaches probably aren't capable of experiencing pain like we are. However, smaller rodents might also find their way in, at which point they will be trapped and left to suffer (as they do in traps like these).$2.97 FROM HOME DEPOT$6.77 FROM AMAZONBest roach baitAmazonCommon, small roaches don't require anything too pernicious, and Combat Max 12-Month Bait Stations are plenty effective and discreet.Size: Each trap is 1.8" x 1.8" x 0.5"Number: 18 per packEffective against: Small roach speciesChemicals: FipronilPet-safe: Yes, but store the stations out of reach to prevent consumptionBest use: Long-term, amidst infestationPros: Long-term efficacy, discreetCons: Doesn't work on larger species (stations for larger species are prohibited in some places)The heavy sprays and gels aren't necessary for the common, small roach. An insecticide with Fipronil, like Combat's Max 12-Month Roach Killing Bait Stations, is more than adequate.The beauty of these contraptions is threefold: They're affordable; they last for a whole year as the packaging suggests; and the domino effect they have on the nest, and potentially the entire local population, is underway the second one individual roach takes the bait.We also particularly like how nondescript these bait stations are. Toss them under the fridge or in the back of the kitchen cabinet, and guests will never see them. Far and away, this is the easiest and cheapest solution to start with, but generally, you'll also have to take other measures.$10.94 FROM AMAZONOriginally $18.00 | Save 39%Our methodologyWe spoke with waste management professionals at Organic Pest Control NYC and Cindy Mannes, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA, to learn the most effective chemicals and approaches to cockroach management. We also found out the necessary concentrations of active ingredients to get the job done.One rule to ridding a space of roaches supersedes all measures: Proper food storage and waste disposal are your first (and most effective) line of defense. Cindy Mannes, vice president of public affairs for the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), told Insider that the best way to control a cockroach problem is, essentially, not to let them in in the first place. That means removing anything that the insects find attractive — food, water, and clutter, which offers warmth and a place to hide."Cockroaches are some of the most resilient pests in the world, making getting rid of them a difficult task for consumers to do themselves," Mannes said. "People can take steps, however, to mitigate cockroach problems through barrier exclusion and cleanliness."Other specific considerations were:Ease of use: Is it something as simple as opening a cartridge and slipping it under the sink, or do you have to crawl around on your hands and knees with protective gear on? We offer recommendations across the spectrum, so choose what is most practical (and realistic) for you and your household.Toxicity: We considered whether active ingredients were toxic to humans and pets. Essentially, everything is at the very least mildly toxic, but some options, like the Fipronil found in Raid's Bait Stations, were considerably less problematic for pets.Effectiveness: Effectiveness is without a doubt the most important feature of a roach killer or trap. We considered the active chemicals, our experts' recommendations, and user reviews.FAQsWhat are the most effective chemicals to look for in a roach killer?Chemicals that affect the central nervous system of insects work best, especially because they're so effective with roaches but don't tend to affect mammals (specifically pets and humans) to the same degree. Cypermethrin, Imiprothrin, Fipronil, and Indoxacarb are the more common EPA-approved ones and the active ingredients found in the products we recommend above.Does bleach kill roaches?Yes, but it's not as safe or as effective as specifically designed insecticides.Does boric acid kill roaches?Yes, boric acid can work very well, entering either through digestion or basic contact, but being a powder, it's messy. It also tends to lose potency quickly.Does dichotomous earth kill roaches?Yes. Diatomaceous earth is a potent but pet- and human-safe implement for killing cockroaches. It breaks down their exoskeletons, and roaches also bring it back to the nest, so the domino effect can work extremely well within a few weeks.You'll just need to continuously spread a dusting of it in the problematic area, which, as with boric acid, can become messy.What type of roach killer or trap is right for me?Depending on the degree of your infestation and the amount of effort you are willing to do on your own (before you call an expert extermination service), any of our recommendations are applicable. But here's the basic run-down of application and effectiveness of each type of trap and poison:Bait stations: Bait stations lure roaches in for poisonous bait, which they'll then take back to the nest. Dead roaches will be scattered about, but application is as easy as dropping the little plastic discs here and there and replacing them every 12 months. This is about as easy as it gets, but there will be cleanup.Gel baits: Gel baits are second only to preventative sprays because while they're thoroughly effective, they leave behind a trail of dead bugs. Still, this is a great way to stop roaches from developing regular trails through kitchen cabinets, cracks in the wall, and other tight crevices.Preventative sprays: Preventative sprays are somewhat labor-intensive. You have to thoroughly and carefully spray them around your house's inner and outer perimeters and let it dry (for about four hours) before going near the sprayed areas. In our experience and based on our experts' recommendations, this is the most effective option.Spot-killing sprays: If you're coming face to face with roaches in your home, a spray will get the job done on the spot. You'll have to clean up afterward, though. Plus, depending on how much you spray, you can really foul the air in your house for a while.Sticky traps: Sticky traps can be effective. While they're pesticide-free, they're a little cruel because whatever gets stuck in there will die of exhaustion or starvation. These traps also tend to be on the larger side, so they're harder to hide.How do I prevent roaches from returning?No matter what type of poison you use, effectiveness is going to be relative to cleanliness. If your house is a sty, you'll just keep inviting in roaches (and other pests). Keep counters and floors clean; keep your sink free of dishes; store food in airtight containers; vacuum weekly; ventilate crawl spaces; and prevent moisture from building up, especially due to leaky pipes and faucets.Toxicity in roach killersRoach killers are toxic by nature, but plenty of chemicals will exterminate without being toxic to pets and humans. Here's more about the toxicity in the active ingredients found within the products we recommend: Cypermethrin: A fast-acting neurotoxin in insects, Cypermethrin is generally only a mild irritant to humans and mammals, as it's 1,000 times more potent to insects. Still, it's best to avoid skin contact when handling it. (Note, Ortho's Home Defense Insect Killer includes Cypermethrin but also features a small concentration of Bifenthrin, which is harmful to aquatic insects and finfish, and it's best to avoid letting it leak into bodies of water.)Fipronil: Also used for killing fleas and ticks on dogs, Fipronil affects the central nervous system of insects. While studies show that it's heavily toxic to rodents, it will only cause mild skin irritation in humans. If consumed, health effects become much more serious, though not necessarily life-threatening.Imiprothrin: Categorized by the EPA as having a "low order of toxicity" in humans (and mammals), Imiprothrin exposure manifests as a mild skin and eye irritant and is considered suitable for indoor applications.Indoxacarb: Classified by the United States EPA as a "not likely" human carcinogen, Indoxacarb is a pyrethroid also used to prevent the transmission of pathogenic microorganisms from insects to humans and other animals. Still, it has caused neurotoxicity in several studies of both mice and rats, and you'll want to seek medical attention if ingested. Read more about pesticide toxicity assessment at the EPA.Check out more cleaning and pest-control guidesAmazonTop-rated products to clean every room in your houseThe best floor cleanersThe best disinfecting cleanersThe best ant traps, killers, and repellentsRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 1st, 2021

A 25-year-old private-equity associate was found dead in New York City after falling from a high-rise apartment complex

Drew Miller died on Monday after his body was found by police lying in front of a large apartment complex on Lexington Avenue, between East 31st and 32nd Streets. Drew Miller, a 25-year-old private-equity associate, died after he fell from Windsor Court, a New York City high-rise apartment building, on Monday.Tim Drivas Photography/Getty Images A young man died when he fell from a New York City high-rise on Monday. The individual, 25-year-old Drew Miller, fell from the Windsor Court apartment complex. Miller worked in financial services. Since April, he was employed by private-equity firm GreyLion Capital. A young man died after falling from a high-rise building in New York City. The man had been working for a New York-based private-equity firm since April. Drew Miller of Warren, New Jersey, died on Monday in midtown Manhattan. His body was found by police lying in front of Windsor Court, a large apartment complex on Lexington Avenue, between East 31st and 32nd Streets.On Tuesday, a spokesperson for the New York Police Department confirmed Miller's identity in an email to Insider. The spokesperson, Annette Shelton, added that Miller's body was found when police responded to 911 calls at approximately 8 a.m. on Monday. Emergency medical services pronounced the individual dead at the scene, Shelton said.Miller, 25 years old, had been an associate at New York-based private-equity firm GreyLion Capital since April, according to his LinkedIn page. GreyLion, which spun out from the asset-management arm of Perella Weinberg Partners last year, is focused on middle-market growth-equity investments. "Drew was an incredibly bright and talented individual who was well liked and highly regarded by all who had the pleasure of working with him," Jody Shechtman, a partner and head of marketing and business development at GreyLion, wrote in an emailed statement to Insider on Tuesday afternoon."We are incredibly saddened by his passing. Our deepest sympathies are with Drew's family and loved ones during this difficult time," Shechtman added.amNY, a local publication based in New York, reported the news of the death of an unnamed male on Monday, but did not identify the deceased individual in its article. The publication cited unnamed "police sources" as indicating that Miller had appeared to have jumped from the 31st floor of the high-rise.Multiple comment requests from Insider to the New York Medical Examiner's Office went unreturned on Tuesday. Shelton, the NYPD spokesperson, said an investigation is underway and that the Medical Examiner is in the process of determining Miller's cause of death.Miller's body was reportedly found with several personal effects, according to amNY. Among them were a backpack and duffel bag, a laptop computer, tablet, medication, and house keys, the outlet said.Prior to joining GreyLion, Miller was an investment banking analyst at Cain Brothers, an independent healthcare-focused investment bank which was acquired by KeyBanc in 2017. An emailed comment request to Cain Brothers' CEO Robert Fraiman and chief administrative officer Danielle LeBenger was unreturned on Tuesday afternoon. Miller worked at Cain Brothers from 2018 to 2021. He attended Indiana University's Kelley School of Business, where he obtained a bachelor's degree in finance, from 2014 to 2018, his LinkedIn page indicated.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 30th, 2021

Victim Hopes For Justice In Ghislaine Maxwell Trial

Victim Hopes For Justice In Ghislaine Maxwell Trial Authored by Charlotte Cuthbertson via The Epoch Times, Jeffrey Epstein molested her and she didn’t tell a soul for 17 years. Teresa Helm was 22, and she had already patched her life back together after being sexually abused by a close family member, starting at age 8. “I really suffered in silence,” Helm told The Epoch Times’ “Insight” magazine. As a child, she had told her mother about the abuse in the hope that she’d make it stop. Instead, her mother told her not to tell anyone, and it continued for 3 1/2 years. “I just didn’t get help, even though I kept asking for it. And so after what happened with Jeffrey, I suffered in silence, just like I had always kind of done,” she said. In 2002, Helm had moved to California from Ohio and was attending a massage therapy school, positive of a bright future. It became even more exciting when a fellow student, a year ahead of her, approached her about an opportunity for a traveling massage therapist job. Helm was interested and was connected with another young woman, whom she subsequently met at Santa Monica to discuss the potential job. “We looked similar, we were at a similar age, so I connected with her,” Helm said. “I never felt like anything she was saying to me wasn’t legitimate, or I never felt fearful.” Teresa Helm at age 21. (Courtesy of Teresa Helm) Helm said the woman painted a phenomenal picture of what life would be like as “Miss Maxwell’s” personal traveling massage therapist—private jets, top chefs, access to the best education all over the world. “So I’d say that she did her job very well. Because in an hour or so of walking around the boardwalk, I was like, ‘Wow. This is really great. I’m so lucky, this is meant to be.'” Wanting to grasp the incredible opportunity, Helm told the woman she was interested, and was informed that she’d need to fly to New York City and meet Maxwell for the final interview. Two weeks later, Helm’s travel to New York City had been arranged—flights, driver, an Upper East Side apartment to stay in, a gift basket waiting. “I go meet with Miss Maxwell. I was expecting to give a massage because that’s what the interview was pertaining to. And everything with Ghislaine Maxwell was legitimate and pleasant, and she was very polite. Her home was stunning,” Helm said. “I was super impressed with her because she’s this very well-spoken woman, and she’s clearly successful because of her beautiful home, and she has photos on the wall of ex-president Bill Clinton. And I’m thinking: ‘Wow, she’s really something special, she’s worked hard. She’s accomplished a lot in her life.'” Helm spent a couple of hours in the home before Maxwell told her she was next going to meet up with Maxwell’s partner, Jeffrey. It was the first time Helm had heard of a partner, but nothing had indicated she should feel alarmed or that she was in any kind of danger. Any red flags, she realized in hindsight, had been easily normalized and explained away. Even when Maxwell told her to “give Jeffrey whatever he wants” during his massage because he “always gets what he wants,” Helm thought Maxwell clearly must mean, “Do a good job, because he’s had a lot of professional massages.” “Because of my trust with [Maxwell]—she was able to create that trusting bond within me in a matter of hours—I literally walked myself to the man of the house who was going to assault me,” Helm said. “I took myself there, because those three women did their job perfectly well and I didn’t suspect a darn thing. When I look back at the fact that three women set me up to be assaulted, it’s just disgusting. It’s a different level of betrayal.” Helm said Epstein sexually assaulted her in his office during the interview and threatened her as she ran out of the house, her world shaking and head spinning. Shocked to the core and full of shame, Helm returned to California the following day. (Photo and illustration by The Epoch Times) “The shame was overwhelming, it was paralyzing,” she recalled. “I was just so ashamed to say anything.” Her life spiraled down, and three months later she broke her lease, dropped out of school, and returned to Ohio. For the next five years, Helm fell into a destructive pattern. But just weeks before her 28th birthday, she found out she was pregnant, and life shifted again—this time toward the positive. “That’s what really saved my life and turned my life around,” she said. “It was the first time I really valued myself. It was like that sense of purpose. And knowing that I was going to protect my child the way that I was never protected. “Then after having him, I was so honored to be his mom. And then it really actually dug up, it was like, almost hatred toward my mom and Jeffrey. That first year of my son’s life was a lot of emotional processing for me. And I just wanted to kind of remove myself from the world and just be a mom. And that’s what I did.” Helm’s son has just turned 14, and she also has a daughter who is 7. She is the full-time caregiver for both. ‘The World Shifted’ Helm, who had moved to Florida, was folding laundry one Thursday evening in July 2019 when she went online and saw a headline about Epstein after he’d been arrested for sex trafficking. She clicked the link to open the article and came face-to-face with her abuser. In that instant, she realized “Jeffrey” was Epstein. Stunned, she sat down and googled Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein. “It was life changing, just in that moment. It was like retraumatization, No. 1. No. 2, it was like the world shifted and changed all over again. It’s been different ever since that moment, like the world changed yet again, in that moment and it has not gone back. Nor will it,” Helm said. “Because I didn’t know there were others. I didn’t know that this was this huge thing with these people.” The following day, after a regular yoga class, Helm sat in her car and sobbed as the emotions swirled. She decided it was time to break her silence. The opportunity to speak out presented itself quickly. Epstein was found dead in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center on Aug. 10, 2019, one month after his arrest. A medical examiner ruled it a suicide by hanging nine days later. The New York judge, Richard Berman, would be forced to dismiss the charges against Epstein—which included the sex trafficking of dozens of minors from as early as 1995—but not before he allowed survivors to speak. Twenty-three women spoke in the courthouse on Aug. 27 about being sexually abused by Epstein, either in person or through a lawyer. “I’m coming forward because it is time to bring light to that darkness, and it’s time to replace that darkness with light,” Helm said that day. She had only decided that morning to speak out and use her name publicly. Another survivor, “Jane Doe 9,” said she was 15 when she met Epstein, in 2004. “I flew on Jeffrey Epstein’s plane to Zorro Ranch, where I was sexually molested by him for many hours.” she said through a lawyer. “What I remember most vividly was him explaining to me how beneficial the experience was for me and how much he was helping me to grow. Yikes.” Epstein’s Zorro Ranch is in New Mexico. He also owned multimillion dollar properties in New York, Florida, and France, and his own islands in the Caribbean, Little St. James Island and Great St. James Island. Epstein has been linked with a veritable who’s who of the fashion and political worlds. Attorney Gloria Allred (R) and her client Teala Davies, who claims to have been a victim of sexual abuse by Jeffrey Epstein when she was a minor, at a press conference to announce a lawsuit against Epstein’s estate, in New York on Nov. 21, 2019. (TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images) Chauntae Davies also spoke in the courtroom. She said she was recruited by Maxwell while doing a massage apprenticeship. “Upon my first meeting her, I wouldn’t know I had been recruited until many years later, when I would read it in a headline,” Davies said. She said Maxwell and Epstein took her in, sent her to school, and gave her a job. “They flew me around the world, introduced me to a world I had only dreamt of and made me feel as though I had become a part of their family—another thing I was desperately searching for,” Davies said. “But on my third or fourth time meeting them, they brought me to Jeffrey’s island for the first time.” Davies said a knock on her door late at night indicated that Epstein was ready for another massage, so she hesitantly went to his villa. As Epstein began his assault on her, Davies said she told him, “No, please stop.” “But that just seemed to excite him more. He continued to rape me, and when he was finished, he hopped off and went to the shower.” Davies said she ran out of the villa, cried herself to sleep, and then spent two weeks in a Los Angeles hospital throwing up from a neurological disorder that manifests into violent vomiting attacks, largely triggered by stress. “Jeffrey’s abuse would continue for the next three years, and I allowed it to continue because I had been taken advantage of my entire life and had been conditioned to just accept it.” A protestor holds up a sign of Jeffrey Epstein in front of the federal courthouse in New York City on July 8, 2019. (Stephanie Keith/Getty Images) Maxwell on Trial Helm had finally broken her silence, and it was a watershed moment. She didn’t get to see Epstein face his charges, but she’s eager to be in court to see Maxwell face hers. FBI agents arrested Maxwell at her New Hampshire estate on July 2, 2020. She has been in a Brooklyn jail since. Bail has been denied several times, with Judge Alison Nathan ruling that she is a flight risk. The trial was originally set for July, but was delayed until Nov. 29 and is expected to last six weeks. Jury selection began on Nov. 16. Maxwell is charged with sex trafficking children, perjury, and the enticement of minors while she was a close associate of Epstein, according to a superseding indictment filed in the Southern District of New York on March 29. “In particular, from at least in or about 1994, up to and including at least in or about 2004, Maxwell assisted, facilitated, and contributed to Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse of minor girls by, among other things, helping Epstein to recruit, groom, and ultimately abuse victims known to Maxwell and Epstein to be under the age of 18,” the indictment alleges. “Moreover, in an effort to conceal her crimes, Maxwell repeatedly lied when questioned about her conduct, including in relation to some of the minor victims described herein, when providing testimony under oath in 2016.” Virginia Giuffre (formerly Virginia Roberts), one of Epstein’s most well-known accusers, claimed in a 2016 deposition that she was directed by Maxwell to have sex with a number of rich and powerful men, including “foreign presidents,” a “well-known” prime minister, and “other world leaders.” None of the men Giuffre named in the documents have been charged, and all have denied the claims. A court officer stands outside a Manhattan courthouse where media have gathered for the arraignment hearing of Ghislaine Maxwell in New York City on July 14, 2020. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images) Maxwell, often described as a British socialite, maintains her innocence on all charges and in a 2016 deposition claimed she had no idea Epstein abused young girls. During the deposition, Maxwell was asked: “Did Jeffrey Epstein have a scheme to recruit underage girls for sexual massages? If you know.” She replied: “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” according to the transcript. “I never saw any inappropriate underage activities with Jeffrey ever.” Maxwell acknowledged that former President Bill Clinton traveled on Epstein’s plane, but denied introducing Britain’s Prince Andrew to underage sex partners. “I’m ready for this trial to start,” Helm said. “I really aim to be there and look at her right in her face, and equally as important is for her to see me.” Helm isn’t named in the indictment and won’t be testifying, but that doesn’t matter. “I’m hopeful that there will be justice in this, that she will finally be held accountable and finally be sentenced for crimes that she has committed and for the lives that she has just willingly stepped in and ruined. This is a woman that changed the entire trajectory of my life and not for the better.” Helm said she hopes Maxwell is found guilty on all charges and receives the maximum penalties. “I don’t think for a moment that she deserves to be on the outside of a jail cell,” she said. “I and other girls, we’re on the outside of these bars, and yet we haven’t fully regained our freedom back. So I hope she gets the maximum sentence. She doesn’t deserve any less than that.” Helm said she often gets asked if she thinks Epstein’s death means Maxwell is now a scapegoat and is being punished for his crimes. “No, I do not. She knew what she was doing. She didn’t think twice about doing it. She did it countless times. She did it … very masterfully, very successfully,” she said. “You don’t help facilitate and run and orchestrate one of the largest sex trafficking rings on this globe, on this earth, without knowing what you’re doing and intentionally doing it.” An exterior view of the Metropolitan Detention Center in New York City on July 14, 2020. (Arturo Holmes/Getty Images) The indictment alleges that Maxwell befriended some of Epstein’s minor victims prior to their abuse, including by asking the victims about their lives, their schools, and their families. Other times, Maxwell and Epstein would take the victim shopping or to the movies, or pay travel or education expenses. “Having developed a rapport with a victim, Maxwell would try to normalize sexual abuse for a minor victim by, among other things, discussing sexual topics, undressing in front of the victim, being present when a minor victim was undressed, and/or being present for sex acts involving the minor victim and Epstein,” the court document states. The indictment goes on to say that in order to “maintain and increase his supply of victims,” Epstein, Maxwell, and other Epstein employees also paid certain victims to recruit additional girls to be similarly abused by Epstein. Helm said she has tried to understand what would cause a woman such as Ghislaine to intentionally set girls up to be forever traumatized. She said she has read how Ghislaine lost her father, whom she was very close to, and met Epstein not long afterwards. Helm said she lost her own father unexpectedly almost seven years ago. “I still to this very day miss him incredibly, and I am not out there hurting people,” she said. “There’s no grievance, or there’s no tragedy that justifies you turning around becoming literally a monster.” Maxwell’s lawyers didn’t respond to a request for comment by Insight. Epstein avoided criminal charges for years, raising questions about being protected by the rich and powerful. In September 2007, he entered into a nonprosecution agreement that gave him immunity against prosecution for numerous federal sex crimes in the Southern District of Florida. As part of the deal, in 2008, Epstein ultimately pled guilty to state charges of procuring a minor for prostitution and was registered as a sex offender. He spent 13 months in jail but was granted work release for 12 hours a day, six days a week. The Grooming Process Grooming and recruitment are critical steps in the sex trafficking industry. “If you don’t have a successful grooming process, you don’t have the abuse, because it just doesn’t make it that far,” Helm said. Jennifer Hill, assistant executive director of the Children’s Assessment Center in Houston, said her organization sees 5,000 children a year who’ve been sexually abused, both by family members or through trafficking. And that’s just the children who have spoken up. “I think most people never, ever tell. And that’s what’s tragic,” she said. Hill said it’s hard to discern how many children don’t report abuse, but statistics show that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before they’re 18. Common events—the divorce of parents, a breakup, bullying, or the death of a family member—can all make a child vulnerable. Many trafficked children come from the foster care system. But sexual abuse is the most common source of vulnerability for sex-trafficked children—70 to 90 percent of these children have a history of sexual abuse, according to anti-trafficking organization Path2Freedom. Hill said the grooming and recruitment process takes different forms, but involves getting access to the intended victim and gaining their trust so that eventually they’ll be willing to listen to that person, and that person has some control over their behavior. For children, it can include buying gifts, listening to their problems, or helping them in some way. These days, a lot of grooming occurs online through messaging apps or social media and gaming platforms. Post-abuse, children can be threatened to stay silent. Hill said she hopes the Maxwell trial will spur other victims of trafficking and sexual abuse to come forward. As a former prosecutor of child sex abuse cases, she said a lot of abusers are teachers or trusted adults in the community, which can be intimidating for victims. Her organization conducts awareness trainings for law enforcement, medical professionals, mental health professionals, teachers, and the community on recognizing and reporting trafficking. Helm said so many lessons can be taken from the Maxwell case, “like the fact that it can be a woman.” “That woman groomed me precisely well, beautifully. And that grooming process is so crucial for parents to identify that this is what’s happening to their children. Or for a child to think I think this might be happening to me. Because that grooming process is such a transfer of power [and] a gatekeeper to the abuse.” During 2019, the National Human Trafficking hotline received reports of 11,500 human trafficking cases, representing more than 22,000 victims. California, Texas, and Florida are identified as the worst three states for human trafficking. In Texas alone, more than 79,000 children are being trafficked for sex, according to a study by the University of Texas at Austin. “There’s not one single zip code in this nation, not one that is exempt from trafficking,” Helm said. “It happens in the wealthiest of the wealthiest, to the most impoverished, and everything in between. It has exploded online.” A residence belonging to Jeffrey Epstein on East 71st St. on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City on July 8, 2019. (Kevin Hagen/Getty Images) The Threat Online Fifty-five percent of domestic sex-trafficking survivors who entered the life in 2015 or later met their trafficker for the first time using a mobile app, website, or text, said Tammy Toney-Butler, an anti-human trafficking consultant for Path2Freedom. Predators ramped up their sexual enticement of minors and the posting of child sexual abuse material as schools closed and kids worked online from home in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). The number of reports of online child sexual abuse materials reported to the NCMEC during the first six months of 2020 surged 90 percent to more than 12 million, the center reported. Reports of predators enticing minors went up 93 percent to more than 13,200. Facebook was used for most (59 percent) of the online recruitment in active sex trafficking cases in 2020, according to the Human Trafficking Institute’s annual trafficking report. That makes Facebook “by far the most frequently referenced website or app in public sources connected with these prosecutions, which was also true in 2019,” the report found. In June, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that Facebook could be held liable if sex traffickers use the platform to prey on children, arguing the social media website isn’t a “lawless no-man’s-land.” The ruling was made following three Houston-area lawsuits involving teenage trafficking victims who alleged that they met their abusers through Facebook’s messaging service. Prosecutors also said that Facebook was negligent by not doing more to block sex traffickers from using the site. The court said the victims can move forward with their lawsuits against Facebook. They claimed that the company violated the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, which was approved in 2009. Toney-Butler said the income traffickers can make from one victim can be close to $400,000 a year, and survivors have reported being forced to have sex more than 20 times a day while being six to seven months pregnant. And once a woman is over 18, she’s often seen by society as “a drug-addicted prostitute” rather than a victim of sex trafficking, she said. A child, after being pulled into sex trafficking, “only lives for seven years before they succumb to the environment,” Toney-Butler said. Suicide, drug overdose, and violence are often the killers. Teresa Helm (R) with three other sex-trafficking survivors, (L–R) Cathy Hoffman, Sabrina Lopez, and Nissi Hamilton, in Houston on April 24. (Kathleen O. Ryan) The Future Now 41, Helm is hopeful. Aside from looking after her children, she’s a fierce advocate and mentor to other survivors and a consultant to organizations and politicians to ensure laws and programs are victim-centered. “Helping others is the ultimate payback. That I didn’t completely break forever. I’ve been broken and I have repaired myself stronger,” she said. She referred to the old Japanese art form called kintsukuroi, or “to repair with gold,” which is the practice of repairing broken ceramics with gold, making them stronger and more beautiful than before. “And I definitely kind of view myself as that, in the fact that I can turn around and leverage this pain into purpose and help others—that’s the ultimate thing for me, to be able to be strong enough to go out and help others, help them change their lives, help them recover their lives and recover their power.” For Help The National Human Trafficking Hotline is confidential, toll-free, and available 24/7 in more than 200 languages. Call: 1-888-373-7888 Text: “Help” or “Info” to 233733 Chat: humantraffickinghotline.org Tyler Durden Mon, 11/29/2021 - 23:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 30th, 2021

L.L.Bean"s Cyber Monday sale features 15% off its incredibly comfortable Wicked Good slippers

L.L.Bean's Cyber Week sale is pretty limited this year, but you can still save 15% off it's wildly popular Wicked Good slippers. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.L.L.Bean; Rachel Mendelson/InsiderL.L.Bean has what you need for staying warm this winter, from fuzzy slippers to puffy coats. Whether you're looking to snuggle up inside with a hot cuppa or brave the chilly outdoors, you'll want to shop the store's sale.For Cyber Monday 2021, L.L.Bean's primary sale is 15% off all of its best-selling Wicked Good Slippers. While we usually love to see more deals on a wider breadth of products, we absolutely love this slipper line — which includes moccasins, ankle booties, chukkas, and slides — and have found them to be some of the coziest slippers we've ever tried.And we've tried a lot of slippers: At Insider, our writers and editors spend weeks, often months, testing the best products available across every category. So if you're looking for items other than some of the coziest slippers you'll ever slide your feet into, like, say, the best TV to spend your money on or super unique Christmas gifts that won't break the bank, you can trust that all the products we recommend are items we genuinely feel are worth purchasing.Keep in mind that the deal will be reflected at checkout; you have to add the products to your cart to see the savings.Best L.L.Bean Cyber Monday 2021 dealsL.L.Bean Wicked Good Slippers - Men'sThis shearling-lined, leather-bottom slipper is one of the best men's slippers we've ever tried.$75.65 FROM L.L.BEANOriginally $89.00 | Save 15%L.L.Bean Wicked Good Slippers - Women'sThis shearling-lined, leather-bottom slipper is one of the best women's slippers we've ever tried.$75.65 FROM L.L.BEANOriginally $89.00 | Save 15%L.L.Bean Wicked Good Moccasins Women'sThis below-the-ankle moccasin style slipper is durable, cozy, and toasty. $67.15 FROM L.L.BEANOriginally $79.00 | Save 15%L.L.Bean Men's Wicked Good Slippers, VenetianThese slippers incorporate everything we love about L.L.Bean's signature, shearling-lined series, but with a durable rubber outsole for traction so you can wear them outside the house.$67.15 FROM L.L.BEANOriginally $79.00 | Save 15%L.L.Bean Wicked Good Shearling-Lined Slides - Women'sThese ridiculously-cozy, shearling-lined slides are easy to slip on and off, and keep your feet toasty around the house.$67.15 FROM L.L.BEANOriginally $79.00 | Save 15%L.L.Bean Toddlers' Wicked Good SlippersEverything we love about L.L.Bean's Wicked Good Slippers — but mini. These shearling-lined, leather-soled booties will keep kid's feet, sizes 3-10, toasty around the house and in a stroller.$33.96 FROM L.L.BEANOriginally $39.95 | Save 15%L.L.Bean Cyber Monday FAQsWhen is Cyber Monday 2021?Cyber Monday 2021 is on November 29. Most deals become available right at midnight and are offered throughout the day on Monday, for as long as there is available inventory. Unlike Black Friday, almost all Cyber Monday deals are available online only.How do we choose the best deals from L.L.Bean?Each featured product we choose meets our high coverage standards and comes from brands we've personally tested and trust.We compare prices across top retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Target to make sure the deals we feature are the absolute best (which includes promotional discounts for certain brand members or those using specific credit cards).We also consider each products' price history to better evaluate its true savings.Read more about how Insider Reviews reviews and vets products here.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 29th, 2021

Virgil Abloh, Off-White founder and artist director of Louis Vuitton is dead at 41. Here"s a look at the life of the luxury designer.

Virgil Abloh is one of modern fashion's most popular designers, known for his efforts revolutionizing luxury streetwear. Virgil Abloh was one of the most popular designers of today.Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images) Virgil Abloh, 41, was one of modern fashion's most popular designers. He was known for being Louis Vuitton's menswear artistic director and the founder of Off-White. He died on November 28 after a two-year battle with a rare form of heart cancer.  Virgil Abloh, 41, died on Sunday after a two-year battle with a rare form of cancer. Abloh was regarded as one of the pioneers of high-end street fashion, or what he called the "post-streetwear movement," with roots in the classic streetwear that originated in hip-hop and skating culture. When the lines between luxury and streetwear were torn down, Abloh's influence was everywhere, from Balenciaga selling puffer jackets to Dior collaborating with Nike on limited edition Air Jordans to Louis Vuitton partnering with Supreme to Gucci working with legendary Harlem designer Dapper Dan.As Business Insider previously reported, Louis Vuitton named Abloh its artistic director for menswear in 2018. This made him one of the few Black people to ever lead a top fashion house, and the first Black American to lead a French one. Aside from Louis Vuitton, Abloh's own line, Off-White, established a reputable name for itself. Through Off-White, Abloh launched collaborations with partners such as Nike, Ikea, and even McDonald's. Keep reading to learn more about one of the most popular — and controversial — figures in the fashion industry. Virgil Abloh was one of the most popular designers in the modern age. Known for his line, Off-White, he was also the artistic director of Louis Vuitton's menswear.hoto by Victor Boyko/Getty ImagesVirgil Abloh gained prominence in the last decade with the rise of luxury streetwear, with some noting him as being the trend's pioneer. He was the founder of Off-White, one of the top luxury streetwear brands in the world. Aside from its own collections, the brand and Abloh collaborated with furniture store Ikea, water company Evian, luggage brand Rimowa, Jimmy Choo, Sunglass Hut, and even McDonald's. Abloh had 6.9 million followers on Instagram and was good friends with his often-creative partner Kanye West. His designs have been seen on everyone from Rihanna, Beyonce, and model Hailey Baldwin. Who is Virgil Abloh?Bennett Raglin / Stringer / Getty ImagesAbloh was born in Rockford, Illinois, on September 30, 1980. His parents were immigrants from Ghana, and his mother was a seamstress, while his father was the manager of a paint company. According to a previous article by Friedman, it was Abloh's mother who taught him how to sew. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he earned a BS in civil engineering in 2002. He then went on to receive a master's in architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 2006.Matthew Sperzel / Contributor / Getty ImagesAccording to Vogue's Steff Yotka, the rumor is that, in 2002, on the day of Abloh's graduation from University of Wisconsin-Madison, he skipped his final critiques to meet with Kanye's then-manager John Monopoly. He told The Cut in 2017 that he didn't really know he could be a creative full-time. "I felt that a random Black kid from the suburbs of Chicago shouldn't be doing that," he said.In his senior year, he took his first art history class, in which he learned about the Renaissance and Italian painter Caravaggio. "It flipped my head backward," he continued. "I'd spent so much time thinking practical things."While finishing his master's degree at IIT, Abloh said, he saw a building that was under construction by renowned architect Rem Koolhaas. This helped spark his interest in fashion.Daniel Zuchnik/Getty ImagesIt was also during this time that he began to design his own clothes, and work on a blog known as The Brilliance. Source: The CutIn 2009, Abloh began a 6-month internship at Fendi in Rome alongside Kanye West.Kanye West (L) and Virgil Abloh (R)Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty ImagesLouis Vuitton CEO Michael Burke once told The New York Times that he was "impressed" with Abloh and West and how they "brought a whole new vibe to the studio and were disruptive in the best way."He then went on to say that Abloh brought in a "new vocabulary to describe something as old-school as Fendi." Burke added that he would be following Abloh's career.Source: The New York TimesIt was also around this time when Abloh and West began to be seen with the fashion crowds in Paris.Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty ImagesAbloh and West were seen outside of a Comme des Garçons show in Paris, photographed by Tommy Ton for Style.com.Abloh told W magazine in 2017 that, at the time, they were just "a generation that was interested in fashion and weren't supposed to be there" and that they "saw this as our chance to participate and make current culture. In a lot of ways, it felt like we were bringing more excitement than the industry was."Source: VogueIn 2009, Abloh married his high school sweetheart, Shannon Sundberg.Virgil Abloh (L) and his wife, Susan Sundberg (R)Photo by Pierre Suu/Getty Images)They lived in Chicago with their two children. Source: Inside WeddingsIn 2010, West appointed Abloh as creative director of his creative agency, Donda.Peter White / Contributor / Getty ImagesSource: VogueThe following year, Abloh earned a Grammy nomination for his art direction of Kanye and Jay-Z's album, "Watch the Throne."Jay Z (L) and Kanye West (R)GUILLAUME BAPTISTE/AFP/GettyImages)Source: VogueIn 2012, Abloh opened his first brand, Pyrex Vision.Photo by Francois Durand/Getty ImagesAs reported by Yotka at Vogue, Abloh had simply taken deadstock Ralph Lauren shirts, screen printed his company's name on it along with the number 23, and sold them for $550 each. Source: VogueIn 2013, Abloh closed Pyrex and opened Off-White. The company is based in Milan, and focuses primarily on streetwear. Abloh defined the brand as "the gray area between black and white as the color Off-White."Jeremy Moeller / Contributor / Getty ImagesOff-White is known for its quotation marks around words, as pictured above. In an interview with W magazine, Abloh said he "loved" the idea that Off-White "can be questioned" and said he knew that one day, someone would "critique that Off-White is un-inspirational."The brand is sold at Selfridges and Bergdorf Goodman, and has been sold at Barneys and Colette. He also had boutiques in Tokyo, Beijing, New York City, and Hong Kong. In 2014, Abloh launched a women's wear line for Off-White, and began to show its collections during Paris Fashion Week.Christian Vierig / Contributor / Getty Images"The end goal is to modernize fashion and steer a [fashion] house because I believe in the modernization of these storied brands," he said in a 2017 interview with The Cut. He went on to say at a lecture at Columbia that "[Off-White is] not a brand ... it's a faux-luxury product."In 2015, Off-White was named a finalist for the prestigious LVMH Prize, although it lost to fellow designers Marques'Almeida and Jacquemus, respectively.Bertrand Rindoff Petroff / Contributor / Getty Images"Fashion is kinda a joke," he said in a 2017 interview with The Cut. "I don't get too bogged down in the clothes. For me, it's one big art project, just a canvas to show that fashion should have a brand that has someone behind it who cares about different contexts. Social things."That same year, Beyoncé wore one of his sweatshirts in a music video with Nicki Minaj. The year 2017 was monumental for Abloh: He announced a collaborative exhibition with artist Takashi Murakami at the Gagosian, opened his first New York store, collaborated with Warby Parker and Jimmy Choo, and released a shoe with Nike.Victor Boyko/Getty ImagesHe has also collaborated with artist Jenny Holzer for a political collection inspired by refugees, immigration, and Planned Parenthood. The exhibition with Murakami opened in October 2018. "Young architects can change the world by not building buildings," he said at a lecture at Columbia in 2017. "You don't have to be a designer to be a designer," is his contradictory credo.Source: Vogue, VogueIn 2017, Abloh won the British Fashion Award for Urban Luxe Brand.Stephane Cardinale/Getty ImagesSource: New York TimesIn 2018, Virgil was appointed artistic director of Louis Vuitton's menswear. He was also listed as one of Time's 100 Most Influential People in the World.TPN / Contributor / Getty Images"It is an honor for me to accept this position," he said in a statement announcing his appointment. "I find the heritage and creative integrity of the house are key inspirations and will look to reference them both while drawing parallels to modern times." Abloh also designed the outfit Serena Williams wore to the 2018 U.S. Open. This outfit, along with the look he designed for Beyoncé as a choice to wear on the cover of Vogue, was chosen to be on exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.Source: GQ, Chicago Tribune, New York TimesIn 2019, Abloh was chosen to be on the board of the CFDA. He was also nominated for a CFDA Award for Menswear Designer of the Year, for his work with Off-White.Kristy Sparow / Contributor / Getty ImagesSource: CFDA, Footwear NewsThat same year, he gave an interview with Dazed magazine where he said that streetwear was "probably going to die soon."Matthew Sperzel/GC Images / Getty ImagesAs Business Insider previously reported, Abloh gave an interview with Dazed where he predicted that streetwear was going to die "soon.""In my mind, how many more T-shirts can we own," he told Dazed. "How many more hoodies, how many sneakers?"He then went on to say: "We're gonna hit this like, really awesome state of expressing your knowledge and personal style with vintage," he said. "There are so many clothes that are cool that are in vintage shops and it's just about wearing them."Abloh came under fire last year for only donating $50 dollars to help bail out protesters that were arrested during the George Floyd movement.Dominique Charriau/WireImage / Getty ImagesAbloh wrote on Instagram, "The Miami community ~ I'm crazy inspired. For kids in the streets that need a bail funds [sic] for George Floyd protests, ... If it heals your pain, you can have it."He then posted a screenshot of the $50 he donated to a bail fund. He made the donation after receiving backlash for attacking looters who broke into the store of one of his friends, designer Sean Wotherspoon. In a comment on Instagram regarding the looting, he said:"You see the passion blood sweat and tears Sean puts in for our culture. This disgusts me. to the kids that ransacked his store and RSVP DTLA, and all our stores in our scene just know, that product staring at you in your home/apartment right now is tainted and a reminder of a person I hope you aren't. We're apart of a culture together. Is this what you want?? When you walk past him in the future please have the dignity to not look him in the eye, hang your head in shame."However, Abloh's small donation sparked more backlash, as many people brought up the fact that $50 isn't even enough to buy a pair of socks from his brand Off White.It was also pointed out that the people were arrested for protesting police brutality against black men, such as Abloh. And he was then accused of not doing all he can to help out the Black community whose culture propelled him to fame. —jade bentil (@divanificent) June 1, 2020—Ourfa Zinali (@ourfazinali) June 1, 2020—Derek Guy (@dieworkwear) June 1, 2020 It was also noted that other celebrities, such as Chrissy Teigen, have donated as much as $200,000 to help protesters. In February 2020, New York Times Fashion Director Vanessa Friedman wrote an article asking if Abloh could be considered the "the Karl Lagerfeld for Millennials."New York Times Fashion Director Vanessa FriedmanSean Zanni / Contributor / Getty ImagesHigh-fashion Twitter quickly broke out into group discussions, and the conversation escalated once Abloh responded to Friedman, saying he would like to give a "lecture" on the article because "riffing online is far too low hanging fruit for such an easy and massive 'case & point."Freidman responded by simply saying, "Come do it at the Times Center."Abloh then sent Friedman an image from Joseph Beuys' 1974 art piece "I Like America and America Likes Me," in which the artist spent 8 hours with a coyote as a commentary on American society in the 1970s. Beuys said the coyote was America's spirit animal and that the piece commented on a nation divided along multiple lines, including the Vietnam War and relations between the majority and minority populations.Friedman's response: "Am I the coyote in this picture? Are you Beuys? Are these relevant questions?" Abloh did not directly respond to those questions of Friedman's. Friedman's question prompted a discussion and even a response from Abloh himself.Virgil Abloh was one of the most popular designers of today.Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)Friedman made a pretty compelling case as to why Abloh could at least, in some ways, be regarded as the "millennial" Karl Lagerfeld. Both, she wrote, made their marks "in part by embracing irony.""Like Mr. Lagerfeld he has made a community that can seem like a cult of personality around himself," she wrote. "Like Mr. Lagerfeld, he speaks in rolling sentences and is a pleasure to listen to, especially in a world where the most celebrated names often seem to be tying themselves up in knots at the prospect of answering a question." "Mr. Lagerfeld was criticized for doing too much, a lot of it not well enough, as is Mr. Abloh. So far, Mr. Abloh has proved himself best as a designer when building atop a foundation established by someone else," she continued. "His Vuitton is more interesting than his Off-White, which often seems like a pallid copy of other people's ideas, just as Mr. Lagerfeld's Chanel was more effective than his namesake label."Source: New York TimesStill, his influence on the industry cannot be denied.(L) Model Karlie Kloss, (C) Virgil Abloh, (R) Model Gigi HadidJulien M. Hekimian / Stringer / Getty ImagesAs Business Insider previously reported, many luxury houses followed in the streetwear foundation that Abloh helped build. Balenciaga was selling puffer jackets and chunky sneakers, while hoodies and oversized logos were everywhere.The "post-streetwear movement" saw Dior collaborating with Nike to make limited-edition Air Jordans, Louis Vuitton launching a collaboration with Supreme, and Gucci working with legendary Harlem designer Dapper Dan.The lines between streetwear and luxury were torn down; suddenly, they were one and the same. Aside from designing, Abloh was also a DJ, a creative and artistic director, and a social media influencer. He also had a collection of famous friends, and many people who aspire to dress, look, and be like him. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 29th, 2021

The wild life of billionaire Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who eats one meal a day, evangelizes about bitcoin, and had to defend his company in front of Congress

Jack Dorsey is expected to announce he is stepping down as CEO of Twitter, unnamed sources told CNBC. Jack Dorsey onstage at a bitcoin convention on June 4, 2021 in Miami, Florida.Joe Raedle/Getty Images Jack Dorsey cofounded Twitter in 2006, and the company has made him a billionaire. He is famous for his unusual life of luxury, including a daily fasting routine and regular ice baths. CNBC reported on Monday that Dorsey is expected to step down as CEO of Twitter, citing unnamed sources. Visit Business Insider's home page for more stories. From fighting armies of bots to quashing rumors about sending his beard hair to rapper Azealia Banks, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey leads an unusual life of luxury.Dorsey has had a turbulent career in Silicon Valley. After cofounding Twitter on March 21 2006, he was booted as the company's CEO two years later, but returned in 2015 having set up his second company, Square.Since then, he has led the company through the techlash that has engulfed social media companies, testifying before Congress multiple times.CNBC reported Monday that Dorsey is expected to announce he's stepping down as CEO, citing unnamed sources.Dorsey has provoked his fair share of controversy and criticism, extolling fasting and ice baths as part of his daily routine. His existence is not entirely spartan, however. Like some other billionaires, he owns a stunning house, dates models, and drives fast cars.Scroll on to read more about the fabulous life of Jack Dorsey.Rebecca Borison and Madeline Stone contributed reporting to an earlier version of this story.Dorsey began programming while attending Bishop DuBourg High School in St. Louis.VineAt age 15, Dorsey wrote dispatch software that is still used by some taxi companies.Source: Bio. When he wasn't checking out specialty electronics stores or running a fantasy football league for his friends, Dorsey frequently attended punk-rock concerts. @jackThese days Dorsey doesn't favour the spiky hairdo.Source: The Wall Street JournalLike many of his fellow tech billionaires, Dorsey never graduated college.edyson / FlickrHe briefly attended the Missouri University of Science and Technology and transferred to New York University before calling it quits.Source: Bio.In 2000, Dorsey built a simple prototype that let him update his friends on his life via BlackBerry and email messaging.joi / FlickrNobody else really seemed interested, so he put away the idea for a bit.Source: The Unofficial Stanford BlogFun fact: Jack Dorsey is also a licensed masseur.Getty Images/Bill PuglianoHe got his license in about 2002, before exploding onto the tech scene.Sources: The Wall Street JournalHe got a job at a podcasting company called Odeo, where he met his future Twitter cofounders.Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone and Evan Williams took home the prize in the blogging category at SXSW in 2007.Flickr via Scott Beale/LaughingSquidOdeo went out of business in 2006, so Dorsey returned to his messaging idea, and Twitter was born.On March 21, 2006, Dorsey posted the first tweet.Jack Dorsey's first tweet.Twitter/@jackDorsey kept his Twitter handle simple, "@jack."Dorsey and his cofounders, Evan Williams and Biz Stone, bought the Twitter domain name for roughly $7,000.Khalid Mohammed / AP ImagesDorsey took out his nose ring to look the part of a CEO. He was 30 years old.A year later, Dorsey was already less hands-on at Twitter. Evan Williams and Jack Dorsey.Wikimedia CommonsBy 2008, Williams had taken over as CEO, and Dorsey transitioned to chairman of Twitter's board. Dorsey immediately got started on new projects. He invested in Foursquare and launched a payments startup called Square that lets small-business owners accept credit card payments through a smartphone attachment.Sources: Twitter and Bio.In 2011, Dorsey got the chance to interview US President Barack Obama in the first Twitter Town Hall.President Obama talks to the audience next to Jack Dorsey during his first ever Twitter Town Hall.ReutersDorsey had to remind Obama to keep his replies under 140 characters, Twitter's limit at the time.Source: TwitterTwitter went public in November 2013, and within hours Dorsey was a billionaire.APIn 2014 Forbes pegged Dorsey's net worth at $2.2 billion. On the day it was reported he was expected to resign, Bloomberg's Billionaires Index calculated his net worth at $12.3 billion.Source: Bio. and ForbesIt was revealed in a 2019 filing that Dorsey earned just $1.40 for his job as Twitter CEO the previous year.Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey, who doesn't earn anything from his primary day job.David Becker / GettyThe $1.40 salary actually represented a pay rise for Dorsey, who in previous years had refused any payment at all.He's far from the only Silicon Valley mogul to take a measly salary - Mark Zuckerberg makes $1 a year as CEO of Facebook.Source: Business Insider He might have been worth more had he not given back 10% of his stock to Square.Jack Dorsey with Hollywood producer Brian Grazer, Veronica Smiley, and Kate Greer at the annual Allen and Co. conference at the Sun Valley, Idaho Resort in 2013.ReutersThis helped Square employees, giving them more equity and stock options. It was also helpful in acquiring online food-delivery startup Caviar.Sources: Business Insider and CaviarWith his newfound wealth, he bought a BMW 3 Series, but reportedly didn't drive it often.Alex Davies / Business Insider"Now he's able to say, like, 'The BMW is the only car I drive, because it's the best automotive engineering on the planet,' or whatever," Twitter cofounder Biz Stone told The New Yorker in 2013.Source: The New YorkerHe also reportedly paid $9.9 million for this seaside house on El Camino Del Mar in the exclusive Seacliff neighborhood of San Francisco.The Real Estalker via Sotheby'sThe house has a view of the Golden Gate Bridge, which Dorsey views as a marvel of design.Source: Business InsiderBefore the pandemic, Dorsey said he worked from home one day a week.Jack Dorsey's home setup.Twitter/@jackIn an interview with journalist Kara Swisher conducted over Twitter, Dorsey said he worked every Tuesday out of his kitchen.He also told Kara Swisher that Elon Musk is his favorite Twitter user.Elon Musk is a prolific tweeter.PewDiePie/YouTubeDorsey said Musk's tweets are, "focused on solving existential problems and sharing his thinking openly."He added that he enjoys all the "ups and downs" that come with Musk's sometimes unpredictable use of the site. Musk himself replied, tweeting his thanks and "Twitter rocks!" followed by a string of random emojis.Source: Business InsiderFacebook CEO and rival Mark Zuckerberg once served Jack Dorsey a goat he killed himself.Gene KimDorsey told Rolling Stone about the meal, which took place in 2011. Dorsey said the goat was served cold, and that he personally stuck to salad.Source: Rolling StoneHis eating habits have raised eyebrows.Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for WIRED25Appearing on a podcast run by a health guru who previously said that vaccines caused autism, Dorsey said he eats one meal a day and fasts all weekend. He said the first time he tried fasting it made him feel like he was hallucinating."It was a weird state to be in. But as I did it the next two times, it just became so apparent to me how much of our days are centered around meals and how — the experience I had was when I was fasting for much longer, how time really slowed down," he said.The comments drew fierce criticism from many who said Dorsey was normalizing eating disorders.In a later interview with Wired, Dorsey said he eats seven meals a week, "just dinner."Sources: Business Insider, The New StatesmanIn the early days of Twitter, Dorsey aspired to be a fashion designer.Cindy Ord / Getty Images, Franck MichelDorsey would regularly don leather jackets and slim suits by Prada and Hermès, as well as Dior Homme reverse-collar dress shirts, a sort of stylish take on the popped collar.More recently he favors edgier outfits, including the classic black turtleneck favored by Silicon Valley luminaries like Steve Jobs.Sources: CBS News and The Wall Street JournalHe also re-introduced the nose-ring and grew a beard.GettyDorsey seems to care less about looking the part of a traditional CEO these days.Singer Azealia Banks claimed to have been sent clippings of Dorsey's beard hair to fashion into a protective amulet, although Dorsey denied this happened.Azealia Banks.GettyIn 2016, Banks posted on her now-deleted Twitter account that Dorsey sent her his hair, "in an envelope." Dorsey later told the HuffPo that the beard-posting incident never happened.Sources: Business Insider and HuffPoDorsey frequently travels the world and shares his photos with his 6 million Twitter followers.Jack Dorsey meeting Japanese Prime Minister Sinzo Abe.Twitter/@JPN_PMOOn his travels, Dorsey meets heads of state, including Japan's former Prime Minister Shinzō Abe.Source: TwitterTweets about his vacation in Myanmar also provoked an outcry.Bagan, Myanmar.Shutterstock/Martin M303Dorsey tweeted glowingly about a vacation he took to Myanmar for his birthday in December 2018. "If you're willing to travel a bit, go to Myanmar," he said.This came at the height of the Rohingya crisis, and Dorsey was attacked for his blithe promotion of the country — especially since social media platforms were accused of having been complicit in fuelling hatred towards the Rohingya.Source: Business InsiderHowever, Dorsey says he doesn't care about "looking bad."FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Trump welcomes South Korea’s President Moon to the White House in WashingtonReutersIn a bizarre Huffington Post interview in 2019, Dorsey was asked whether Donald Trump — an avid tweeter — could be removed from the platform if he called on his followers to murder a journalist. Dorsey gave a vague answer which drew sharp criticism.Following the interview's publication, Dorsey said he doesn't care about "looking bad.""I care about being open about how we're thinking and about what we see," he added.In September 2018, Jack Dorsey was grilled by lawmakers alongside Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Jack Dorsey are sworn-in for a Senate Intelligence Committee.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesDorsey and Sandberg were asked about election interference on Twitter and Facebook as well as alleged anti-conservative bias in social media companies.Source: Business InsiderDuring the hearing, Dorsey shared a snapshot of his spiking heart rate on Twitter.AP Photo/Jose Luis MaganaDorsey was in the hot seat for several hours. His heart rate peaked at 109 beats per minute.Source: Business InsiderDorsey testified before Congress once again on October 28, 2020.Jack Dorsey tuning into the hearing with the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation/Handout via REUTERSDorsey appeared via videoconference at the Senate hearing on Section 230, a part of US law that protects internet companies from legal liability for user-generated content, as well as giving them broad authority to decide how to moderate their own platforms.In prepared testimony ahead of the hearing, Dorsey said stripping back Section 230 would "collapse how we communicate on the Internet," and suggested ways for tech companies to make their moderation processes more transparent. During the hearing, Dorsey once again faced accusations of anti-conservative biasJack Dorsey appearing virtually at the hearing.Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty ImagesThe accusations from Republican lawmakers focused on the way Twitter enforces its policies, particularly the way it has labelled tweets from President Trump compared to other world leaders.Dorsey took the brunt of questions from lawmakers, even though he appeared alongside Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai.Source: ProtocolDuring the hearing, the length of Dorsey's beard drew fascination from pundits.Dorsey had to address accusations of censorship.Greg Nash/Pool via REUTERSSome users referred to Dorsey's facial hair as his "quarantine beard," while others said it made him look like a wizard.—rat king (@MikeIsaac) October 28, 2020—Taylor Hatmaker (@tayhatmaker) October 28, 2020"Jack Dorsey's beard is literally breaking Twitter's own face detection," posted cybersecurity blogging account @Swiftonsecurity.—SwiftOnSecurity (@SwiftOnSecurity) October 28, 2020 Dorsey also addressed the way Twitter dealt with a dubiously sourced New York Post story about Hunter Biden.Jack Dorsey appearing on-screen at the hearing.Greg Nash/Pool via REUTERS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAYWhen the New York Post published a report about Hunter Biden on October 14 that threw up red flags about sourcing, Twitter blocked users from sharing URLs citing its "hacked materials" policy.Dorsey subsequently apologized publicly, saying it was wrong of Twitter to block URLs.—jack (@jack) October 16, 2020During the Senate hearing, Sen. Ted Cruz accused Twitter of taking the "unilateral decision to censor" the Post.Dorsey said the Post's Twitter account would remain locked until it deleted its original tweet, but that updated policies meant it could tweet the same story again without getting blocked.Source: Business InsiderDorsey had to appear before another hearing on November 17 2020 — this time about how Twitter handled content moderation around the 2020 presidential election.U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee via REUTERS/File PhotoDorsey was summoned alongside Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg by Republicans who were displeased with how the platforms had dealt with then-President Donald Trump's social media accounts. Both CEOs defended their companies, saying they are politically neutral.When he's not in Washington, Dorsey regularly hops in and out of ice baths and saunas.This is not Dorsey's sauna.ShutterstockDorsey said in the "Tales of the Crypt" podcast that he started using ice baths and saunas in the evenings around 2016.He will alternately sit in his barrel sauna for 15 minutes and then switch to an ice bath for three. He repeats this routine three times, before finishing it off with a one-minute ice bath.He also likes to take an icy dip in the mornings to wake him up.Source: CNBCDorsey's dating life has sparked intrigue. In 2018, he was reported to be dating Sports Illustrated model Raven Lyn Corneil.Sports Illustrated Swimsuit / YouTube / GettyPage Six reported in September 2018 that the pair were spotted together at the Harper's Bazaar Icons party during New York Fashion Week. Page Six also reported that Dorsey's exes included actress Lily Cole and ballet dancer Sofiane Sylve.Source: Page SixHe's a big believer in cryptocurrency, frequently tweeting about its virtues.Teresa Kroeger/Getty ImagesIn particular, Dorsey is a fan of Bitcoin, which he described in early 2019 as "resilient" and "principled." He told the "Tales of the Crypt" podcast in March that year that he was maxing out the $10,000 weekly spending limit on Square's Cash App buying up Bitcoin.In October 2020 he slammed Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong for forbidding employee activism at the company, saying cryptocurrency is itself a form of activism.—jack (@jack) September 30, 2020 Source: Business Insider, Business Insider and CNBC Dorsey said Square is launching a new bitcoin business.Square CEO Jack Dorsey speaks at the Bitcoin 2021 Convention, a crypto-currency conference held on June 4, 2021 in Miami, Florida.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesDorsey announced the new venture in a tweet on July 15, 2021 and said its name was "TBD." It wasn't clear whether that was its actual name, or Dorsey hasn't decided on a name yet.—jack (@jack) July 15, 2021 Dorsey said he hopes bitcoin can help bring about "world peace."Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on stage at the Bitcoin 2021 Convention, a crypto-currency conference in Miami.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesDorsey appeared alongside Elon Musk and Ark Invest CEO Cathie Wood during a panel called "The B Word" on July 2021. He said he loves the bitcoin community because it's "weird as hell.""It's the only reason that I have a career — because I learned so much from people like who are building bitcoin today," Dorsey said.At the end of 2019 Dorsey said he would move to Africa for at least three months in 2020.AP Photo/Francois MoriDorsey's announcement followed a tour of Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa. "Africa will define the future (especially the bitcoin one!). Not sure where yet, but I'll be living here for 3-6 months mid 2020," he tweeted. Dorsey then came under threat of being ousted as Twitter CEO by activist investor Elliott Management.Paul Singer, founder and president of Elliott Management.REUTERS/Mike Blake/File PhotoBoth Bloomberg and CNBC reported in late February 2020 that major Twitter investor Elliott Management — led by Paul Singer — was seeking to replace Dorsey. Reasons given included the fact that Dorsey splits his time between two firms by acting as CEO to both Twitter and financial tech firm Square, as well as his planned move to Africa.Source: Business InsiderTesla CEO and frequent Twitter user Elon Musk weighed in on the news, throwing his support behind Dorsey.Tesla CEO Elon Musk.REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke"Just want to say that I support @jack as Twitter CEO," Musk tweeted, adding that Dorsey has a good heart, using the heart emoji.Source: Business InsiderDorsey managed to strike a truce with Elliott Management.AP Photo/Jose Luis MaganaTwitter announced on March 9, 2020 that it had reached a deal with Elliott Management which would leave Jack Dorsey in place as CEO.The deal included a $1 billion investment from private equity firm Silver Lake, and partners from both Elliott Management and Silver Lake joined Twitter's board.Patrick Pichette, lead independent director of Twitter's board, said he was "confident we are on the right path with Jack's leadership," but added that a new temporary committee would be formed to instruct the board's evaluation of Twitter's leadership.In April 2020, Dorsey announced that he was forming a new charity fund that would help in global relief efforts amid the coronavirus pandemic.Dorsey.Matt Crossick/PA Images via Getty ImagesDorsey said he would pour $1 billion of his own Square equity into the fund, or roughly 28% of his total wealth at the time. The fund, dubbed Start Small LLC, would first focus on helping in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, he said.The CEO said he would be making all transactions on behalf of the fund public in a spreadsheet.In July 2020, hackers compromised 130 Twitter accounts in a bitcoin scam.TwitterThe accounts of high-profile verified accounts belonging to Bill Gates, Kim Kardashian West, and others were hacked, with attackers tweeting out posts asking users to send payment in bitcoin to fraudulent cryptocurrency addresses.As a solution, Twitter temporarily blocked all verified accounts — those with blue check marks on their profiles — but the damage was done.  Elon Musk said he personally contacted Dorsey following the hack.Elon Musk (left) and Dorsey.Susan Walsh/AP; Getty ImagesDuring a July 2020 interview with The New York Times, Musk said he had immediately called Dorsey after he learned about the hack."Within a few minutes of the post coming up, I immediately got texts from a bunch of people I know, then I immediately called Jack so probably within less than five minutes my account was locked," said Musk.Source: The New York TimesIn March 2021 Dorsey put his first-ever tweet up for auction.Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO, and Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, off camera, testify during a Senate (Select) Intelligence Committee hearing in Dirksen Building where they testified on the influence of foreign operations on social media on September 5, 2018Tom Williams/CQ Roll CallAs the craze for Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) gathered momentum, Dorsey announced he was auctioning his first tweet for charity. It was bought for $2.9 million by Hakan Estavi, chief executive at at Bridge Oracle. Dorsey said proceeds from the auction would go to Give Directly's Africa response.CNBC reported on November 29 that Dorsey is expected to step down as CEO of Twitter.Jack Dorsey co-founder and chairman of Twitter and co-founder and CEO of Square.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesAn undisclosed number of sources told CNBC's David Faber Dorsey is expected to announce he will step down as CEO, CNBC reported Monday.Twitter did not immediately respond when contacted by Insider for comment.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 29th, 2021

The 24 best Black Friday clothing deals you can still shop today including up to 40% off at REI (live updates)

Black Friday 2021 is almost over. Here are the best fashion deals you can still shop today, including Old Navy, lululemon, Everlane, and REI. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Alyssa Powell/InsiderBlack Friday 2021 deals are still going strong (and Cyber Monday is right around the corner). So far, there have already been huge savings on things like 4K TVs, kitchen appliances, treadmills, and super soft bedding.These sales are also a great chance to redo your wardrobe. Whether you need staples like cashmere sweaters, want to replace old, stretched-out underwear and bras, or treat yourself to luxe sleepwear, there are tons of apparel deals today. We're talking up to 50% off at Old Navy, 60% off Everlane, 50% off Lululemon, and a whopping 70% off bras at Thirdlove.We don't promote any ole sale, either; at Insider Reviews, we extensively test every product we recommend. When it comes to fashion items, our writers and editors spend weeks, often months, trying out new coats, shoes, bags, and athleisure gear to see which are truly worth your money.We value sustainably made and long-lasting items in an effort to minimize waste and overconsumption, and even the more budget-friendly, fast-fashion items we recommend are of good enough quality to last you a full season.Below, we've selected the best fashion deals of Black Friday. Check back to this page often as we'll be adding new deals on a regular basis through the weekend and into Cyber Monday. For more savings at major retailers and startups, check our our list of the best early Cyber Monday deals.We're also rounding up specific Cyber Monday sales from Amazon, Target, Walmart, and Nordstrom.If you're looking for budget-friendly gifts, we're still tracking the best Black Friday deals under $50 too.REI, up to 40% offREIShop all deals at REI here.Mountain Hardwear Ghost Shadow Insulated Hoodie (Womens)Weighing just 10.5 oz, this ultra lightweight jacket still provides plenty of warmth. Plus, it zips into its own pocket, making it great for on the go. Right now it's 50% off and currently still available in every size in all three colors it comes in.$131.99 FROM REIOriginally $250.00 | Save 47%Mountain Hardwear Ghost Shadow Insulated Vest (Mens)The Ghost Shadow Insulated Vest weighs less than 9 ounces and will keep you warm on the coldest days.$89.99 FROM REIOriginally $150.00 | Save 40%Abercrombie, 30% offAbercrombie & FitchShop all deals at Abercrombie here.Abercrombie & Fitch Teddy CoatA super soft sherpa fabric and oversized, slouchy fit are a unique topper to any outfit.$112.00 FROM ABERCROMBIE & FITCHOriginally $160.00 | Save 30%Abercrombie & Fitch Curve Love High Rise Mom JeansThe Curve Love High Rise Mom Jeans have a flattering vintage look that taper down the leg for a fitting but comfortable style.$69.30 FROM ABERCROMBIE & FITCHOriginally $99.00 | Save 30%ASOS, up to 80% offAsosShop all deals at ASOS here.Adidas Originals Nizza SneakersThe Nizza sneakers are some of the most popular sneakers from Adidas. $56.00 FROM ASOSOriginally $70.00 | Save 20%Juicy Couture Round Lens SunglassesJuicy Couture is known for their iconic sweatsuits but they also make adorable accessories like these round lens sunglasses.$41.20 FROM ASOSOriginally $188.00 | Save 78%JW Pei, up to 40% off handbagsJW PeiShop all deals at JW Pei here.JW Pei Gabbi BagThe best part is, every item is under $100 and one hundred percent cruelty free. $75.00 FROM JW PEI Originally $89.00 | Save 16%JW Pei Julia Acrylic Chain Crossbody Bag Dark Green CrocJW Pei's Black Friday sale is offering some of the lowest prices we've seen on a variety of classic handbags that are cruelty-free. Score one of their bestselling bags like the Julia Acrylic Chain Crossbody Bag are more than 40% off right now.$39.00 FROM JW PEIOriginally $69.00 | Save 43%Old Navy, 50% offOld NavyShop all deals at Old Navy here.Old Navy Straight Rigid Jeans For MenA classic pair of straight-leg jeans, these are a staple pant for any wardrobe. $10.00 FROM OLD NAVYOriginally $34.99 | Save 71%Old Navy Water-Resistant Frost Free Short Puffer Jacket for WomenPuffer jackets are a stylish and trendy way to stay warm in the winter. The Water-Resistant Frost Free Short Puffer Jacket from Old Navy can be dressed up or down for a versatile winter look. $39.99 FROM OLD NAVYOriginally $79.98 | Save 50%Madewell, 30% off sitewideMadewellShop all deals at Madewell here.Madewell The Perfect Vintage JeanWith their waist-accentuating high rise and tapered legs, these are "mom jeans"...if your mom was a '90s supermodel. Plus, they're made of denim that has an old-school look and a touch of give for a perfectly broken-in feel.$80.50 FROM MADEWELLOriginally $115.00 | Save 30%Madewell Waller Crop Cardigan SweaterThe perfect winter green color for the holidays, the Waller Crop Cardigan Sweater is a stylish chunky knit cardigan. $68.59 FROM MADEWELLOriginally $98.00 | Save 30%GlassesUSA, up to 65% off select stylesGlassesUSAShop all GlassesUSA deals here.GlassesUSA.com Elliot Computer GlassesIn comparison to brick-and-mortar stores with limited selections and high prices, GlassesUSA.com offers all of your favorite brands for less.$32.90 FROM GLASSESUSA.COMOriginally $94.00 | Save 65%RayBan RB3025 AviatorThese aviators are classics for a reason. You can score them for 30% off during GlassesUSA's Black Friday sale.$112.70 FROM GLASSESUSAOriginally $161.00 | Save 30%Dagne Dover, 20% off everythingDagne Dover/FacebookShop all Dagne Dover deals here.Dagne Dover Indi Diaper BackpackDagne Dover's Indi Diaper Backpack adds a stylish neutral flair while holding every basic essential.$160.00 FROM DAGNE DOVEROriginally $200.00 | Save 20%Dagne Dover Dakota Neoprene BackpackNo backpack has taken over the scene more than the Dagne Dover Dakota Backpack. The easily recognizable neoprene bag seamlessly transitions from office to gym thanks to its organization features and versatile look. $148.00 FROM DAGNE DOVER Originally $185.00 | Save 20%Lululemon, up to 50% off iconic tights and breezy men's workout teesLululemon Black Friday deals include 50% off cult-favorite leggings.LululemonShop all deals at Lululemon here.Lululemon Hooded Define JacketA fan-favorite, now with a hood. Between the technical fabric and a do-anything fit, it's easy to see why this one's a hit. Right now you can save up to 50% on this versatile piece, but sizes are selling out quickly. $64.00 FROM LULULEMONOriginally $128.00 | Save 50%Lululemon Wunder Under High-Rise TightLululemon is, in many ways, the genesis of athleisure, so it's not surprising that the company has an edge in the space.$69.00 FROM LULULEMONOriginally $98.00 | Save 30%Lululemon Metal Vent Breathe Short SleeveLululemon Metal Vent Breathe Short Sleeve $49.00 FROM LULULEMONOriginally $78.00 | Save 37%Bonobos, 30% off sitewideBonobosShop all Bonobos deals here.Bonobos The Sherpa JacketBonobos is a favorite for its outerwear, and during the brand's Black Friday sale, you can get $30 off this cozy shacket. Just use code friday30 at checkout. $98.00 FROM BONOBOSOriginally $139.00 | Save 29%Bonobos Corduroy 5-Pocket PantsThese corduroy pants can be easily dressed up or down. During Bonobos' Black Friday sale, you can sang them for just $70.$70.00 FROM BONOBOSOriginally $99.00 | Save 29%Everlane, 40%-60% on luxe sustainable clothingEverlane Black Friday deals include 60% off its sustainable clothing.EverlaneShop all deals at Everlane here.Everlane The Utility Boot in ReKnitThe Utility Boot is made from a textured knit fabric with a high ankle height and a chunky lug sole, making the fit and each step more secure. $69.00 FROM EVERLANEOriginally $115.00 | Save 40%Everlane The Canvas OverallsToss these chic overalls on over just about any shirt for a cool, relaxed outfit instantly. $58.00 FROM EVERLANEOriginally $98.00 | Save 41%Everlane The Track JoggerA premium organic sweatpant—made for the track ahead. Featuring an elastic waistband, an easy high rise, handy side pockets, and a relaxed tapered leg, the Track Jogger has a signature look that will stand the test of time. $34.00 FROM EVERLANEOriginally $58.00 | Save 41%Nordstrom, 45% off Barbour, 30% off Thread & Supply coatsNordstrom department store, with logo and signage, in the upscale Broadway Plaza shopping center in downtown Walnut Creek, California.Smith Collection/Getty Images)Shop all deals at Nordstrom here.Thread & Supply Dolman Sleeve Quilted JacketDesigned with a stand collar and lightweight material, the Dolman Sleeve Quilted Jacket is perfect jacket to wear between seasons. $33.00 FROM NORDSTROMOriginally $55.00 | Save 40%True & Co. True Body Triangle Convertible Strap BraletteThe convertible straps on this wireless bra can be worn either straight or crisscrossed, and the smooth material appears invisible under clothes.$30.80 FROM NORDSTROMOriginally $44.00 | Save 30%Spanx Faux Leather LeggingsMade with the same level of support as its signature shapewear but with a little extra stretch, these leggings are designed to not only make you look great but feel great, too. $78.40 FROM NORDSTROMOriginally $98.00 | Save 20%$78.40 FROM SPANX Originally $98.00 | Save 20%Adidas, up to 50% off slides, joggers, and UltraBoostsAdidasShop all deals at Adidas here.Adidas Adilette Boost SlidesWith full-length Boost soles, these slides are designed for ultimate comfort.$48.00 FROM ADIDAS Originally $60.00 | Save 20%Adidas UltraBoost 21 (Women's)Updated for 2021, the Ultra Boost 21 features more Boost cushioning than its predecessors. $135.00 FROM ADIDASOriginally $180.00 | Save 25%Adidas Ultimate 365 3-Stripes Tapered PantsIf you're a fan of the classics, then look no further than Adidas to supply you with great performance gear that looks good, too.$72.00 FROM ADIDASOriginally $90.00 | Save 20%Columbia Sportswear, 50% off warm winter jacketsColumbia Sportswear Black Friday deals include 50% off durable winter coats.Columbia SportswearShop all deals at Columbia Sportswear here.Columbia Men's Lake 22 Down Hooded JacketThis water-resistant jacket is stocked with 650-fill power down insulation, zippered hand pockets, and a structured hood to keep you zipped up and toasty through any winter weather.$69.98 FROM COLUMBIAOriginally $140.00 | Save 50%Columbia Men's Cascade Peak™ IV Interchange JacketThis two-for-one deal includes an outer, waterproof but breathable shell and an inner 700-fill down puffy jacket for full weather protection. It rocks tons of protective features like a structured hood and Omni-Heat thermal reflectivity to keep you super warm, and vents when you need to cool down a bit.$149.99 FROM COLUMBIAOriginally $300.00 | Save 50%Columbia Women's Benton Springs Full Zip Fleece JacketWomen's Benton Springs Full Zip Fleece Jacket$29.99 FROM COLUMBIAOriginally $60.00 | Save 50%$28.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $47.89 | Save 39%$29.99 FROM KOHL'SOriginally $60.00 | Save 50%Columbia Icelandite TurboDown JacketWith 550-fill down insulation and Omni-Heat reflective technology, this jacket will keep you ridiculously warm — and it has a flattering and functional fit.$174.99 FROM COLUMBIAOriginally $300.00 | Save 42%Crocs, 20-50% off classic clogsCrocs Black Friday deals include up to 50% off its classic clogs.Hou Yu/China News Service/Getty ImagesShop all deals at Crocs here.Crocs Classic Clog (Unisex)The shoe that really started it all, the Classic Clog is comfortable, breathable, and easy to slip on whenever. With over 20 fun colors to choose from, you can’t go wrong.$39.99 FROM CROCSOriginally $49.99 | Save 20%$27.55 FROM AMAZONCrocs Kids' Classic ClogAvailable in children's sizes 4 to 13, juniors' sizes 1 to 3, and 16 different colors.$27.99 FROM CROCSOriginally $34.99 | Save 20%Girlfriend Collective, 30% off everythingGirlfriend Collective Black Friday deals include 30% off its sustainable athleisure.Girlfriend CollectiveShop all deals at Girlfriend Collective here.Girlfriend Collective High Waist Full-Length LeggingsThe Girlfriend Collective High Waist Leggings are lightweight but truly supportive workout pants. $54.60 FROM GIRLFRIEND COLLECTIVEOriginally $78.00 | Save 30%Girlfriend Collective Simone BraThe Simone Bra from Girlfriend Collective is built for support, with a criss-cross style and sizes up to 5XL. $36.40 FROM GIRLFRIEND COLLECTIVEOriginally $48.00 | Save 24%Girlfriend Collective High-Rise Bike ShortGirlfriend Collective has some of the best athleisure leggings we've ever tried, and we appreciate the brand's color variety, relatively low price points, and inclusive size range.$33.60 FROM GIRLFRIEND COLLECTIVEOriginally $48.00 | Save 30%Levi's, 60% off iconic denimLevi's Black Friday deals include 60% off denim.Levi's FacebookShop all deals at Levi's here.Levi's 501 Original Fit JeansA blank canvas for self-expression, featuring the iconic straight fit and signature button fly.$58.80 FROM LEVI'SOriginally $98.00 | Save 40%Levi's Women's Ribcage Straight Ankle JeansThe Ribcage Jean — with its soaring 12-inch rise — has become a hip-slimming, waist-defining, leg-lengthening obsession. $58.80 FROM LEVI'SOriginally $98.00 | Save 40%Parade, 30% off comfy underwearParadeShop all deals at Parade here.Parade ThongParade is a body-positive underwear startup that focuses on inclusivity and affordability.$6.00 FROM PARADEOriginally $9.00 | Save 33%Parade High Rise Boyshort UniversalWhen I first saw these boy shorts, I thought they'd be perfect for wearing under sundresses in the summer. And I was right! There's plenty of coverage, but the material is so lightweight and comfortable that it feels much closer to underwear than actual shorts. Based on similar pairs I own, I expected the one drawback to be that the high waist would roll down, but that hasn't been my experience yet. To my surprise, there was no rolling or bunching. They're also great for sleeping in. Similar to the thong, I went with my usual size and had no issues with the fit. I'm not sure they'll replace all of my everyday pairs, but everyone needs a few seamless styles and these offer some of the best value I've ever seen.$7.00 FROM PARADEOriginally $10.00 | Save 30%Bombas, 20% off sock bundles to giftBombasShop all deals at Bombas here.Bombas Women's Calf & Ankle Sock 12-PackCozy socks never look so good than with this colorful 12-pack of vibrant print socks. Bombas socks guarantee extreme comfort thanks to its soft cotton, cushioned footbed, and arch support detail. $163.19 FROM BOMBASOriginally $192.00 | Save 15%Bombas Youth Sesame Street 8-Pack Gift BoxBombas partnered with Sesame Street to bring color and comfort to youth socks, featuring stay-up technology and a different Sesame Street character on every pair. $56.00 FROM BOMBASOriginally $70.00 | Save 20%Bombas Women's Gripper Slipper (Sherpa Lined) 2-PackA mix between socks and slippers, Bombas' Gripper Slippers include a cozy sherpa lining and sole grippers to prevent slips. $72.95 FROM BOMBASOriginally $96.00 | Save 24%Bombas Cotton Modal Boxer BriefMade from a blend of cotton and modal, Bombas' underwear at soft and comfortable, yet durable.$24.00 FROM BOMBASOriginally $30.00 | Save 20%Saxx, 20-40% off boxers, sweatpants, and shortsSaxxShop all deals at Saxx here.Saxx Ultra Boxer BriefThe Saxx Ultra Boxer Brief features the Ball Park Pouch for support and an easy access fly.$24.89 FROM SAXXOriginally $32.00 | Save 22%Saxx Snooze PantsMelting into the couch, devouring munchies and upping your comfort level from sunrise to sunset.$51.89 FROM SAXXOriginally $65.00 | Save 20%Saxx Nightcrawler Onesie Made using premium Modal fabric, the Nightcrawler onesie is ready to take your comfort to a whole other level.$56.89 FROM SAXXOriginally $95.00 | Save 40%L.L.Bean, 15% off cozy slippersSally Kaplan/InsiderShop all deals at L.L.Bean here.L.L.Bean Wicked Good Slippers - Men'sThis shearling-lined, leather-bottom slipper is one of the best men's slippers we've ever tried.$75.65 FROM L.L.BEANOriginally $89.00 | Save 15%L.L.Bean Toddlers' Wicked Good SlippersEverything we love about L.L.Bean's Wicked Good Slippers — but mini. These shearling-lined, leather-soled booties will keep kid's feet, sizes 3-10, toasty around the house and in a stroller.$33.96 FROM L.L.BEANOriginally $39.95 | Save 15%L.L.Bean Wicked Good Shearling-Lined Slides - Women'sThese ridiculously-cozy, shearling-lined slides are easy to slip on and off, and keep your feet toasty around the house.$67.15 FROM L.L.BEANOriginally $79.00 | Save 15%Macy's, 40% off Levi's jeans, 30% off The North Face hoodiesAP Photo/David ZalubowskiShop all deals at Macy's here.The North Face Women's Osito Quarter-Zip HoodieTK$76.30 FROM MACY'SOriginally $109.00 | Save 30%JBU Women's Maplewood Casual Duck BootTK$19.98 FROM MACY'SOriginally $69.98 | Save 71%Thirdlove, 45% off pajamas, up to 72% off brasThirdLoveShop all deals at Thirdlove here.Thirdlove WonderKnit™ Pajama TeeFor you to rest easy, meet the Wonder™ Knit Pajama Tee. Made in airy modal, perfectly draped, and effortlessly flowy, it’s like a cool breeze you can wear to bed.$25.00 FROM THIRDLOVEOriginally $45.00 | Save 44%Thirdlove WonderKnit™ Pajama ShortMade in airy modal, with a clean elastic waistband and effortlessly flowy, these shorts are like a cool breeze you can wear to bed.$25.00 FROM THIRDLOVEOriginally $45.00 | Save 44%ThirdLove 24/7 Perfect Coverage BraThe 24/7™ Perfect Coverage Bra’s signature cups are designed with hybrid memory foam that does double duty, providing softness inside and support outside. $49.00 FROM THIRDLOVEOriginally $65.00 | Save 25%Janji, 20% off running apparelJanjiShop all deals at Janji here.Janji Janji 3" AFO Middle Shorts (Women's)Whether you're a runner, a cyclist, or an average person who simply likes clothes with usable storage, Janji is a brand you should check out. We love their running shorts and right now they’re selling for more than 50% off their usual price at REI.$48.00 FROM JANJIOriginally $60.00 | Save 20%$44.93 FROM REI CO-OPOriginally $60.00 | Save 25%Janji Runterra Bio Long Sleevesynthetic-blend long sleeve is moisture-wicking and comfortable for runs, then completely biodegradable when you've run it into the ground.$51.00 FROM JANJIOriginally $64.00 | Save 20%Black Friday 2021 FAQsWhat is Black Friday?Black Friday is one of the biggest sales events of the year that always falls on the Friday after Thanksgiving to kick off the holiday shopping season. While the sales event used to be just one day and largely in person, you can now often score Black Friday deals not just on Friday but through the following weekend. (You can certainly still shop big savings in stores, too, not just online.) We often see the largest savings for the entire year.When is Black Friday 2021?Black Friday falls on the Friday after Thanksgiving. This year, Black Friday is on November 26. While it's technically just one day, we've already seen Black Friday deals all week long before the Big Event, and still see savings at most retailers for the Saturday and Sunday that follow.What should you buy on Black Friday?In an effort to curb overconsumption, you should really just buy what you need on Black Friday. However, as far as what items we see the biggest deals on for the sale day, we highly recommend snagging smart home devices, kitchen appliances, TVs, luxury bedding, home gym equipment, and gaming consoles if you're already in the market for these, as there's a huge slash in prices for these items this year.Black Friday is also a great opportunity to clean out your holiday shopping list. We have incredibly thorough gift guides available for every budget and every type of person, and this sales event is a great time to score those giftable items for less.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 28th, 2021

NFT exchange OpenSea made just $28,000 a month when it launched 4 years ago. Now its founders are about to be crypto billionaires.

The NFT marketplace succeeded by "being in the right place at the right time," one of the founders told Forbes. NFTSOPA images/ Getty Images NFT marketplace OpenSea made a meager $28,000 per month in revenue two years ago, Forbes reported.  Its founders decided it would fold if sales didn't double by the end of 2020 — then hit that goal by September of that year. Now, the company transacts billions of dollars in NFTs per month. After two years in operation, the founders of OpenSea, an exchange for non-fungible tokens, were nearing a make-or-break moment. By March 2020, the platform was still only making a meager $28,000 in commission revenue per month since launching in December 2017, Forbes reported in a November 23 profile titled "What Every Crypto Buyer Should Know About OpenSea, The King Of The NFT Market."The founders — 31-year-old Devin Finzer and 29-year-old Alex Atallah — said the market for NFTs felt dead and planned on folding if business hadn't doubled by year-end, according to the article.By September 2020, they met that goal, Forbes wrote.The doubling in revenue, which is derived from a 2.5% commission on transactions, was just a precursor of what was to come.OpenSea, now the largest NFT marketplace by trading volume, jumped from $1.1 million in transactions per month when it was struggling to get started, to an all-time high of $3.4 billion in August 2021 (producing $85 million in commission revenue), Forbes said. With the explosion of the NFT marketplace, Finzer and Atallah have scored a net worth in the hundreds of millions of dollars, and they're soon to be the newest billionaires in the crypto world, Forbes wrote.Since its days as a little-known operation, OpenSea has become the go-to marketplace for NFTs, selling collections like CryptoPunks, the Bored Ape Yacht Club, Decentraland, and even a tungsten cube.NFTs are digital assets like artwork tied to the blockchain. While bitcoin tokens are fungible, or replicable, NFTs derive their value from the fact that they're one-of-a-kind. Some skeptics, however, say there's no value, and they can simply right-click and save the image.Even so, the marketplace for NFTs has ballooned this year. In the third-quarter alone, NFTs registered $10.7 billion in trading volume – a 704% jump from about $2 billion the previous quarter.In the interview with Forbes, Finzer said OpenSea succeeded by "being in the right place at the right time."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 28th, 2021

The 18 best Black Friday clothing deals you can still shop today including 50% off select luluemon gear (live updates)

Black Friday 2021 is almost over. Here are the best fashion deals you can still shop today, including lululemon, Everlane, and Dagne Dover. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Alyssa Powell/InsiderBlack Friday 2021 deals keep pouring in (and Cyber Monday is right around the corner). So far, there have already been huge savings on things like 4K TVs, kitchen appliances, treadmills, and super soft bedding.These sales are also a great chance to redo your wardrobe. Whether you need staples like cashmere sweaters, want to replace old, stretched-out underwear and bras, or treat yourself to luxe sleepwear, there are tons of apparel deals today. We're talking up to 60% off Everlane, 50% off Lululemon, and a whopping 70% off bras at Thirdlove.We don't promote any ole sale, either; at Insider Reviews, we extensively test every product we recommend. When it comes to fashion items, our writers and editors spend weeks, often months, trying out new coats, shoes, bags, and athleisure gear to see which are truly worth your money.We value sustainably made and long-lasting items in an effort to minimize waste and overconsumption, and even the more budget-friendly, fast-fashion items we recommend are of good enough quality to last you a full season.Below, we've selected the best fashion deals of Black Friday. Check back to this page often as we'll be adding new deals on a regular basis through the weekend and into Cyber Monday. GlassesUSA, up to 65% off select stylesGlassesUSAShop all GlassesUSA deals here. GlassesUSA.com Elliot Computer GlassesIn comparison to brick-and-mortar stores with limited selections and high prices, GlassesUSA.com offers all of your favorite brands for less.$32.60 FROM GLASSESUSA.COMOriginally $94.00 | Save 65%RayBan RB3025 AviatorThese aviators are classics for a reason. You can score them for 30% off during GlassesUSA's Black Friday sale.$112.70 FROM GLASSESUSAOriginally $161.00 | Save 30%Dagne Dover, 20% off everythingDagne Dover/FacebookShop all Dagne Dover deals here. Dagne Dover Indi Diaper BackpackDagne Dover's Indi Diaper Backpack adds a stylish neutral flair while holding every basic essential.$160.00 FROM DAGNE DOVEROriginally $200.00 | Save 20%Dagne Dover Dakota Neoprene BackpackNo backpack has taken over the scene more than the Dagne Dover Dakota Backpack. The easily recognizable neoprene bag seamlessly transitions from office to gym thanks to its organization features and versatile look. $148.00 FROM DAGNE DOVER Originally $185.00 | Save 20%Lululemon, up to 50% off iconic tights and breezy men's workout teesLululemon Black Friday deals include 50% off cult-favorite leggings.LululemonShop all deals at Lululemon hereLululemon Hooded Define JacketA fan-favorite, now with a hood. Between the technical fabric and a do-anything fit, it's easy to see why this one's a hit. Right now you can save up to 50% on this versatile piece, but sizes are selling out quickly. $64.00 FROM LULULEMONOriginally $128.00 | Save 50%Lululemon Wunder Under High-Rise TightLululemon is, in many ways, the genesis of athleisure, so it's not surprising that the company has an edge in the space.$69.00 FROM LULULEMONOriginally $98.00 | Save 30%Lululemon Metal Vent Breathe Short SleeveLululemon Metal Vent Breathe Short Sleeve $49.00 FROM LULULEMONOriginally $78.00 | Save 37%Bonobos, 30% off sitewideBonobosShop all Bonobos deals here. Bonobos The Sherpa JacketBonobos is a favorite for its outerwear, and during the brand's Black Friday sale, you can get $30 off this cozy shacket. Just use code friday30 at checkout. $98.00 FROM BONOBOSOriginally $139.00 | Save 29%Bonobos Corduroy 5-Pocket PantsThese corduroy pants can be easily dressed up or down. During Bonobos' Black Friday sale, you can sang them for just $70.$70.00 FROM BONOBOSOriginally $99.00 | Save 29%Everlane, 40%-60% on luxe sustainable clothingEverlane Black Friday deals include 60% off its sustainable clothing.EverlaneShop all deals at Everlane here.Everlane The Utility Boot in ReKnitThe Utility Boot is made from a textured knit fabric with a high ankle height and a chunky lug sole, making the fit and each step more secure. $69.00 FROM EVERLANEOriginally $115.00 | Save 40%Everlane Track Oversized CrewA premium organic sweatshirt—made for the track ahead. Featuring a classic crew neckline, dropped shoulders, voluminous sleeves, and a relaxed fit, the Track Oversized Crew has a signature look that will stand the test of time.$29.00 FROM EVERLANEOriginally $48.00 | Save 40%Everlane The Canvas OverallsToss these chic overalls on over just about any shirt for a cool, relaxed outfit instantly. $58.00 FROM EVERLANEOriginally $98.00 | Save 41%Everlane The Track JoggerA premium organic sweatpant—made for the track ahead. Featuring an elastic waistband, an easy high rise, handy side pockets, and a relaxed tapered leg, the Track Jogger has a signature look that will stand the test of time. $34.00 FROM EVERLANEOriginally $58.00 | Save 41%Nordstrom, 45% off Barbour, 30% off Thread & Supply coatsNordstrom department store, with logo and signage, in the upscale Broadway Plaza shopping center in downtown Walnut Creek, California.Smith Collection/Getty Images)Shop all deals at Nordstrom here.Thread & Supply Dolman Sleeve Quilted JacketDesigned with a stand collar and lightweight material, the Dolman Sleeve Quilted Jacket is perfect jacket to wear between seasons. $33.00 FROM NORDSTROMOriginally $55.00 | Save 40%True & Co. True Body Triangle Convertible Strap BraletteThe convertible straps on this wireless bra can be worn either straight or crisscrossed, and the smooth material appears invisible under clothes.$30.80 FROM NORDSTROMOriginally $44.00 | Save 30%Spanx Faux Leather LeggingsMade with the same level of support as its signature shapewear but with a little extra stretch, these leggings are designed to not only make you look great but feel great, too. $78.40 FROM NORDSTROMOriginally $98.00 | Save 20%$78.40 FROM SPANX Originally $98.00 | Save 20%Adidas, up to 50% off slides, joggers, and UltraBoostsAdidasShop all deals at Adidas here.Adidas Adilette Boost SlidesWith full-length Boost soles, these slides are designed for ultimate comfort.$48.00 FROM ADIDAS Originally $60.00 | Save 20%Adidas UltraBoost 21 (Women's)Updated for 2021, the Ultra Boost 21 features more Boost cushioning than its predecessors. $135.00 FROM ADIDASOriginally $180.00 | Save 25%Adidas Ultimate 365 3-Stripes Tapered PantsIf you're a fan of the classics, then look no further than Adidas to supply you with great performance gear that looks good, too.$72.00 FROM ADIDASOriginally $90.00 | Save 20%Columbia Sportswear, 50% off warm winter jacketsColumbia Sportswear Black Friday deals include 50% off durable winter coats.Columbia SportswearShop all deals at Columbia Sportswear here.Columbia Men's Lake 22 Down Hooded JacketThis water-resistant jacket is stocked with 650-fill power down insulation, zippered hand pockets, and a structured hood to keep you zipped up and toasty through any winter weather.$69.98 FROM COLUMBIAOriginally $140.00 | Save 50%Columbia Men's Cascade Peak™ IV Interchange JacketThis two-for-one deal includes an outer, waterproof but breathable shell and an inner 700-fill down puffy jacket for full weather protection. It rocks tons of protective features like a structured hood and Omni-Heat thermal reflectivity to keep you super warm, and vents when you need to cool down a bit.$149.99 FROM COLUMBIAOriginally $300.00 | Save 50%Columbia Women's Benton Springs Full Zip Fleece JacketWomen's Benton Springs Full Zip Fleece Jacket$29.99 FROM COLUMBIAOriginally $60.00 | Save 50%$28.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $47.89 | Save 39%$29.99 FROM KOHL'SOriginally $60.00 | Save 50%Columbia Icelandite TurboDown JacketWith 550-fill down insulation and Omni-Heat reflective technology, this jacket will keep you ridiculously warm — and it has a flattering and functional fit.$174.99 FROM COLUMBIAOriginally $300.00 | Save 42%Crocs, 20-50% off classic clogsCrocs Black Friday deals include up to 50% off its classic clogs.Hou Yu/China News Service/Getty ImagesShop all deals at Crocs here.Crocs Classic Clog (Unisex)The shoe that really started it all, the Classic Clog is comfortable, breathable, and easy to slip on whenever. With over 20 fun colors to choose from, you can’t go wrong.$39.99 FROM CROCSOriginally $49.99 | Save 20%$27.45 FROM AMAZONCrocs Kids' Classic ClogAvailable in children's sizes 4 to 13, juniors' sizes 1 to 3, and 16 different colors.$27.99 FROM CROCSOriginally $34.99 | Save 20%Girlfriend Collective, 30% off everythingGirlfriend Collective Black Friday deals include 30% off its sustainable athleisure.Girlfriend CollectiveShop all deals at Girlfriend Collective here.Girlfriend Collective High Waist Full-Length LeggingsThe Girlfriend Collective High Waist Leggings are lightweight but truly supportive workout pants. $54.60 FROM GIRLFRIEND COLLECTIVEOriginally $78.00 | Save 30%Girlfriend Collective Simone BraThe Simone Bra from Girlfriend Collective is built for support, with a criss-cross style and sizes up to 5XL. $36.40 FROM GIRLFRIEND COLLECTIVEOriginally $48.00 | Save 24%Girlfriend Collective High-Rise Bike ShortGirlfriend Collective has some of the best athleisure leggings we've ever tried, and we appreciate the brand's color variety, relatively low price points, and inclusive size range.$33.60 FROM GIRLFRIEND COLLECTIVEOriginally $48.00 | Save 30%Levi's, 60% off iconic denimLevi's Black Friday deals include 60% off denim.Levi's FacebookShop all deals at Levi's here.Levi's 501 Original Fit JeansA blank canvas for self-expression, featuring the iconic straight fit and signature button fly.$58.80 FROM LEVI'SOriginally $98.00 | Save 40%Parade, 30% off comfy underwearParadeShop all deals at Parade here.Parade ThongParade is a body-positive underwear startup that focuses on inclusivity and affordability.$6.00 FROM PARADEOriginally $9.00 | Save 33%Parade High Rise Boyshort UniversalWhen I first saw these boy shorts, I thought they'd be perfect for wearing under sundresses in the summer. And I was right! There's plenty of coverage, but the material is so lightweight and comfortable that it feels much closer to underwear than actual shorts. Based on similar pairs I own, I expected the one drawback to be that the high waist would roll down, but that hasn't been my experience yet. To my surprise, there was no rolling or bunching. They're also great for sleeping in. Similar to the thong, I went with my usual size and had no issues with the fit. I'm not sure they'll replace all of my everyday pairs, but everyone needs a few seamless styles and these offer some of the best value I've ever seen.$7.00 FROM PARADEOriginally $10.00 | Save 30%Bombas, 20% off sock bundles to giftBombasShop all deals at Bombas here.Bombas Women's Calf & Ankle Sock 12-PackCozy socks never look so good than with this colorful 12-pack of vibrant print socks. Bombas socks guarantee extreme comfort thanks to its soft cotton, cushioned footbed, and arch support detail. $130.56 FROM BOMBASOriginally $163.19 | Save 20%Bombas Youth Sesame Street 8-Pack Gift BoxBombas partnered with Sesame Street to bring color and comfort to youth socks, featuring stay-up technology and a different Sesame Street character on every pair. $56.00 FROM BOMBASOriginally $70.00 | Save 20%Bombas Women's Gripper Slipper (Sherpa Lined) 2-PackA mix between socks and slippers, Bombas' Gripper Slippers include a cozy sherpa lining and sole grippers to prevent slips. $72.95 FROM BOMBASOriginally $96.00 | Save 24%Bombas Cotton Modal Boxer BriefMade from a blend of cotton and modal, Bombas' underwear at soft and comfortable, yet durable.$24.00 FROM BOMBASOriginally $30.00 | Save 20%Saxx, 20-40% off boxers, sweatpants, and shortsSaxxShop all deals at Saxx here.Saxx Ultra Boxer BriefThe Saxx Ultra Boxer Brief features the Ball Park Pouch for support and an easy access fly.$24.89 FROM SAXXOriginally $32.00 | Save 22%Saxx Snooze PantsMelting into the couch, devouring munchies and upping your comfort level from sunrise to sunset.$51.89 FROM SAXXOriginally $65.00 | Save 20%Saxx Nightcrawler Onesie Made using premium Modal fabric, the Nightcrawler onesie is ready to take your comfort to a whole other level.$56.89 FROM SAXXOriginally $95.00 | Save 40%L.L.Bean, 15% off cozy slippersSally Kaplan/InsiderShop all deals at L.L.Bean here.L.L.Bean Wicked Good Slippers - Men'sThis shearling-lined, leather-bottom slipper is one of the best men's slippers we've ever tried.$75.65 FROM L.L.BEANOriginally $89.00 | Save 15%L.L.Bean Toddlers' Wicked Good SlippersEverything we love about L.L.Bean's Wicked Good Slippers — but mini. These shearling-lined, leather-soled booties will keep kid's feet, sizes 3-10, toasty around the house and in a stroller.$33.96 FROM L.L.BEANOriginally $39.95 | Save 15%L.L.Bean Wicked Good Shearling-Lined Slides - Women'sThese ridiculously-cozy, shearling-lined slides are easy to slip on and off, and keep your feet toasty around the house.$67.15 FROM L.L.BEANOriginally $79.00 | Save 15%Macy's, 40% off Levi's jeans, 30% off The North Face hoodiesAP Photo/David ZalubowskiShop all deals at Macy's here.The North Face Women's Osito Quarter-Zip HoodieTK$76.30 FROM MACY'SOriginally $109.00 | Save 30%JBU Women's Maplewood Casual Duck BootTK$19.98 FROM MACY'SOriginally $69.98 | Save 71%Thirdlove, 45% off pajamas, up to 72% off brasThirdLoveShop all deals at Thirdlove here.Thirdlove WonderKnit™ Pajama TeeFor you to rest easy, meet the Wonder™ Knit Pajama Tee. Made in airy modal, perfectly draped, and effortlessly flowy, it’s like a cool breeze you can wear to bed.$25.00 FROM THIRDLOVEOriginally $45.00 | Save 44%Thirdlove WonderKnit™ Pajama ShortMade in airy modal, with a clean elastic waistband and effortlessly flowy, these shorts are like a cool breeze you can wear to bed.$25.00 FROM THIRDLOVEOriginally $45.00 | Save 44%ThirdLove 24/7 Perfect Coverage BraThe 24/7™ Perfect Coverage Bra’s signature cups are designed with hybrid memory foam that does double duty, providing softness inside and support outside. $18.00 FROM THIRDLOVEOriginally $65.00 | Save 72%Janji, 20% off running apparelJanjiShop all deals at Janji here.Janji Janji 3" AFO Middle Shorts (Women's)Whether you're a runner, a cyclist, or an average person who simply likes clothes with usable storage, Janji is a brand you should check out. We love their running shorts and right now they’re selling for more than 50% off their usual price at REI.$48.00 FROM JANJIOriginally $60.00 | Save 20%$44.93 FROM REI CO-OPOriginally $60.00 | Save 25%Janji Runterra Bio Long Sleevesynthetic-blend long sleeve is moisture-wicking and comfortable for runs, then completely biodegradable when you've run it into the ground.$51.00 FROM JANJIOriginally $64.00 | Save 20%Black Friday 2021 FAQsWhat is Black Friday?Black Friday is one of the biggest sales events of the year that always falls on the Friday after Thanksgiving to kick off the holiday shopping season. While the sales event used to be just one day and largely in person, you can now often score Black Friday deals not just on Friday but through the following weekend. (You can certainly still shop big savings in stores, too, not just online.) We often see the largest savings for the entire year.When is Black Friday 2021?Black Friday falls on the Friday after Thanksgiving. This year, Black Friday is on November 26. While it's technically just one day, we've already seen Black Friday deals all week long before the Big Event, and still see savings at most retailers for the Saturday and Sunday that follow.What should you buy on Black Friday?In an effort to curb overconsumption, you should really just buy what you need on Black Friday. However, as far as what items we see the biggest deals on for the sale day, we highly recommend snagging smart home devices, kitchen appliances, TVs, luxury bedding, home gym equipment, and gaming consoles if you're already in the market for these, as there's a huge slash in prices for these items this year.Black Friday is also a great opportunity to clean out your holiday shopping list. We have incredibly thorough gift guides available for every budget and every type of person, and this sales event is a great time to score those giftable items for less.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytNov 27th, 2021

Gautam Adani, the man who may soon be Asia"s richest person, is a college dropout who survived the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks and says he was once kidnapped for ransom

The port tycoon Adani's wealth rose by $55.3 billion in 2021, putting him $800 million shy of the net worth of Mukesh Ambani, Asia's richest man. Gautam Adani, the chairman and founder of the Adani Group, at the News18 Rising India Summit on February 25, 2019, in New Delhi.Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images The Indian tycoon Gautam Adani is nearly Asia's richest man on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. As stocks in his companies rose Wednesday, Indian news outlets began placing him in the No. 1 spot. Adani, a college dropout, worked as a diamond sorter and survived a kidnapping and terrorist attack. It's been a good year for Gautam Adani.The port tycoon, who hails from India, saw his fortune surge by $55.3 billion in 2021, according to estimates from the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, knocking Zhong Shanshan, China's richest man, into third place among Asia's wealthiest billionaires on the list.Adani, 59, now sits at a net worth of $89.1 billion on the index. That makes him $800 million shy of Asia's highest-ranked person, the Indian energy magnate Mukesh Ambani.On Wednesday, Adani edged closer to the No. 1 spot, as shares of Adani Enterprise and Adani Ports rose 2.76% and 4.59% while Ambani's companies Reliance Industries and Reliance Industrial Infrastructure slipped by 1.48% and 1.57%, the Indian outlet ABP News reported.Several local media outlets now hail Adani as Asia's richest man, though he still sat at second place on Bloomberg's index as of Thursday.Adani has business interests in energy, defense, and real estate, and he owns India's largest commercial port, one of the world's largest coal mines, and a 74% stake in Mumbai's international airport. And he's come a long way from his days as a college dropout and time as a gem sorter.Diamonds, exports, and  loansBorn in 1962 as one of eight children in Ahmedabad in the western state of Gujarat, Adani was the son of a textile merchant but declined to take on his father's business, Silicon India reported.Instead, he enrolled in Gujarat University in Ahmedabad to study commerce but dropped out after his second year, opting to work as a diamond sorter in Mumbai in the early 1980s, per the magazine Business Today.Adani then moved on to diamond trading and eventually started his own business, Adani Enterprises, to import and export commodities in 1988, the Financial Times reported.He would use profits from his business to back heavy loans so he could enter other industries, per the Financial Times.Adani received permission from the Gujarat government in 1995 to start a harbor in the town of Mundra, according to The Times of India. It eventually developed into India's largest private port.Adani, an ally of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi since Modi was chief minister of Gujarat in 2003, has been accused of rising in prominence and wealth because he supported the national leader. In an interview with the Financial Times, he denied his business success came from his political ties.A terrorist attack and a $2 million ransomIn 1998, Adani accused several men of kidnapping him and a companion, Shantilal Patel, per The Indian Express. He alleged that he and Patel were traveling in a car on New Year's Day when a scooter blocked their path, allowing a group of men to abduct the pair into a van at gunpoint.A report filed against the men said that they demanded a ransom of $2 million from Adani's family and that he and Patel were released after the money was sent over, according to The Indian Express. But two of the people brought to trial were acquitted in 2018, while six others were cleared of the charges in 2015 because the prosecution couldn't tie them to the alleged kidnapping, Times Now India reported.Adani doesn't like to talk about the incident, according to the Financial Times, telling the outlet: "Two or three very unfortunate incidents happened in my life, that is one of them."A separate brush with danger came a decade later, during the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, a violent 60-hour siege of the city by 10 heavily armed Pakistani militants that left 166 people dead.A mass demonstration after the series of terrorist attacks on Mumbai in 2008.Uriel Sinai/Getty ImagesAdani was dining at the Taj Mahal luxury hotel when the siege occurred and said he could see the militants enter the building from his table, India Today reported.He hid in a basement with the help of hotel staff and later relocated to a chamber hall on an upper floor as the attack continued throughout the night. He told India Today that when commandos stormed the hotel the following day, and he was escorted to safety, he "saw death at a distance of just 15 feet."More than 100 people were hiding with him, he said at the time: "Some had hidden below the sofa while others had taken similar evasive position. Sitting on a sofa, I was telling them to have faith in God."In 2018, he wrote a reflection on the attack published on The Indian Express, saying the anniversary of the attack was a "day of personal reflection and prayer" for him every year."One of the lives they saved that night was mine. I still recollect some of the faces — people I will never know, people I will never be able to repay," he wrote. "I am often struck by the thought that this was God's way of keeping me grateful and indebted."Insider has reached out to the Adani Group for comment.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 25th, 2021

Gautam Adani, the man who may soon be Asia"s richest person, is a college dropout who survived the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack and was once reportedly kidnapped for $2 million

Port tycoon Gautam Adani's wealth rose by $55.3 billion in 2021, putting him $800 million shy of the net worth of Mukesh Ambani, Asia's richest man. Chairman and founder of the Adani Group Gautam Adani seen during the News18 Rising India Summit on February 25, 2019 in New Delhi, India.Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images Indian tycoon Gautam Adani is close to becoming Asia's richest man on the Bloomberg Billionaire Index. As stocks in his companies rose Wednesday, Indian news outlets began placing him on the number one spot. Adani, a college dropout, worked as a diamond sorter and survived a kidnapping and terrorist attack. It's been a good year for Gautam Adani.The port tycoon, who hails from India, saw his fortune surge by $55.3 billion in 2021, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, knocking Zhong Shanshan, China's richest man, into third place when it comes to measuring Asia's wealthiest billionaires.Adani, 59, now sits at a net worth of $89.1 billion, per the index. That makes him $800 million shy of energy magnate Mukesh Ambani, Asia and India's richest person.On Wednesday, Adani edged up closer to claiming the number one spot, as shares of Adani Enterprise and Adani Ports rose 2.76% and 4.59%, while Ambani's companies, Reliance Industries and Reliance Industries Infrastructure, slipped by 1.48% and 1.57% in stock price, reported Indian outlet APB News.Several local media outlets now hail Adani as Asia's richest man, though he still sits at second place on Bloomberg's index as of Thursday.Adani has business interests in energy, defense, and real estate, and owns India's largest commercial port, one of the world's largest coal mines, and a 74% stake in Mumbai's international airport. And he's come a long way from his days as a college dropout and time as a gem sorter.Diamonds, exports, and  loansBorn in 1962 as one of eight children in Ahmedabad, Adani was the son of a textile merchant but declined to take on his father's business, Silicon India reported.Instead, he enrolled in Gujarat University in Ahmedabad to study commerce but dropped out after his second year, opting to work as a diamond sorter in Mumbai in the early 1980s, per the magazine Business Today.Adani then moved on to diamond trading and eventually started his own business, Adani Enterprises, to import and export commodities in 1988, The Financial Times reported in an interview with him.He would use profits from his business to back heavy loans so he could enter other industries, reported FT.Adani received permission from the Gujarat government in 1995 to start a harbor in the town of Mundra, according to The Times of India. It eventually developed into India's largest private port.Adani, an ally of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi since the latter was chief minister of Gujarat in 2003, has been criticized for rising in prominence and wealth because he supported the national leader. In his interview with FT, he denied that his business success came from his political ties.A terror attack and a $2 million ransomIn 1998, Adani accused several men of kidnapping him and a companion, Shantilal Patel, per The Indian Express. He alleged that he and Patel were traveling in a car on New Year's Day when a scooter blocked their path, allowing a group of men to abduct the pair into a van at gunpoint.A report filed against the men said they demanded a ransom of $2 million from Adani's family, and he and Patel were released after the money was sent over, according to The Indian Express. But two of the gangsters brought to trial were acquitted from the case in 2018, while six others were cleared of the charges in 2015 because the prosecution couldn't tie them to the kidnapping, Times Now India reported.Adani doesn't like to talk about the incident, according to FT, telling the outlet: "Two or three very unfortunate incidents happened in my life, that is one of them."His second brush with danger came a decade later, during the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, a violent 60-hour siege of the city by ten heavily-armed Pakistani militants that left 166 people dead.An Indian man holds a sign as he stands on top of a car as thousands of Mumbaikars take part in a mass demonstration march following last weeks series of terrorist attacks on the city, near the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower Hotel, on December, 03, 2008 in Mumbai, India. Two bombs were discovered and defused earlier today by Mumbai police at a train station, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, which was one of the locations attacked by the terrorists. The attacks left almost 200 hundred dead and injured over 300 people.Uriel Sinai/Getty ImagesAdani was dining at the Taj Mahal luxury hotel when the siege occurred and said he could see the militants enter the building from his table, India Today reported. He hid in a basement with the help of hotel staff, and later relocated to a chamber hall on an upper floor as the attack continued throughout the night. When commandos stormed the hotel the following day, and Adani was escorted to safety, he told India Today that he "saw death at a distance of just 15 feet."Over 100 people were hiding with him, he said at the time. "Some had hidden below the sofa while others had taken similar evasive position. Sitting on a sofa, I was telling them to have faith in God."In 2018, he penned a reflection on the attack published on The Indian Express, writing that the anniversary of the attack was a "day of personal reflection and prayer" for him every year."One of the lives they saved that night was mine. I still recollect some of the faces — people I will never know, people I will never be able to repay," he wrote. "I am often struck by the thought that this was God's way of keeping me grateful and indebted."Insider has reached out to the Adani Group for comment. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 25th, 2021

Why Bitcoin Is The Best Weapon Society Has Against Inflation And Wealth Inequality

Why Bitcoin Is The Best Weapon Society Has Against Inflation And Wealth Inequality Authored by Martin Leo Rivers via Forbes.com, For bitcoin enthusiasts, one of the most compelling things about the cryptocurrency is its ability to side-step fiat monetary systems that dilute the value of cash holdings through inflation. That isn’t anywhere near as complicated as it sounds. Put very simply, central banks grease the wheels of their economies by continually printing new money. A higher money supply makes it easier for companies to spend and service their debt. But there’s a catch: for every new dollar you add to the spending pool, the buying power of each individual dollar falls proportionally. Again this is simpler than it sounds: changing the money supply doesn’t magically create wealth or value. If your economy is a nursery and your money supply is crayons, then doubling the number of crayons in the room doesn’t make the kids any richer. They all have twice as many crayons as they had before, so they all double the number they offer when bartering for toys, books and so on. In real terms, nothing has changed because the new supply of money is being evenly shared between everyone in the nursery. Where things get more complicated – and where bitcoiners have rightly identified a need for a different, fairer system – is what happens when supply and distribution aren’t evenly matched? Central bankers claim this isn’t a concern, because they contend that all the cash ultimately trickles down to the man on the street – be it through stimulus checks or higher wages or fatter pension funds or whatever other pathway they conjure up. In practice, of course, we know that simply doesn’t reflect reality. In the real world, billionaires have, by far, been the biggest winners from covid-era money printing. They’ve taken their higher money supply (including vast sums of borrowed money, which is cheaper and easier to obtain when interest rates are low) and they’ve pumped it into inflation-beating asset classes such as the stock market, real estate, collectibles and so on. The middle classes have done the same, but on a smaller scale: building their savings during covid lockdowns and then allocating a healthy chunk of those funds to assets that have appreciated in value nicely. Now consider the poor and the working classes. What little bonus cash they’ve received during the pandemic has either been spent on survival or stagnated. Unable to get on the property ladder, they can neither benefit from rising house prices nor start building equity by replacing rent (money that goes into someone else’s pot) with mortgage payments (money that goes into their own). Stock markets may, technically, be within their reach, but at a profound handicap due to high transaction fees and a limited understanding of investment strategies (the kind of knowhow that rich people simply pay someone else to worry about). This imbalance results in one thing: inequality. If you’re rich, you can take a higher money supply and use it to your advantage. If you’re poor, you really can’t. You’re stuck with whatever cash holdings you have in the new economy. And, as we know, the value of those holdings is actively being diluted through inflation. The more money is printed, the poorer you get. Interest rates, of course, could save the day – if central banks wanted them to. When the interest rate rises above the inflation rate, any of us can grow the value of our cash simply by dumping it in a savings account. But policymakers don’t want this, because just about the only thing holding up the global economy right now is easy access to debt. As soon as the interest rate paid by borrowers increases, the shaky foundations of our covid-era economic recovery will collapse. Businesses and homeowners who binged on cheap loans will suddenly be unable to make repayments. Waves of bankruptcies and foreclosures will cripple the global economy. Small wonder that central bankers – none of whom are working class, by the way – prefer the easy option of hammering poor people. “This might not be perfect,” they rationalize, “but everything seems to be stable and everyone I know is doing rather well!” That, in a nutshell, tells you why central banks are the biggest driver of wealth inequality. So, what to do? Well, as long as central bankers and politicians are in the driving seat, there’s really no way of changing the direction of this economic journey. Those in power will always promote policies that advance their own personal interests, and they will do whatever is necessary to delay a global economic crash – even one that would, in the long-run, probably be good for society as it would precipitate structural reforms to the current, broken system. If there is a solution, it would have to be an alternative monetary system that’s resilient to both inflation and central bank manipulation. No prizes for stating the obvious there: civilization has aspired to have such a system for millennia. Trouble is, it’s never been that easy to build a monetary network that’s backed by no-one and yet protects the interests of everyone so convincingly that ordinary people will trust it with their life savings. Never, that is, until 2009, when the launch of the bitcoin monetary network gave the world its first taste of decentralized blockchain technology. The boring bit Convincing readers about the technical benefits of blockchain is a bit like convincing overweight people about the health benefits of dieting. The proof is in the pudding, as it were. And the average person on the street has no more inclination to become an expert in food science – the ‘how’ or ‘why’ a given diet is effective – than they do computer programming. That said, you can’t understand the genius behind bitcoin without having at least a basic grasp of the revolutionary nature of blockchain technology – so here goes. Trust is everything. I’ve already alluded to the fact that creating a monetary system from scratch is virtually impossible because money has no value unless enough people believe it has value. The easiest way to foster that belief is to get a government to pledge to uphold – or back – its value (think of that “promise to pay the bearer on demand” you see on banknotes). Another, more tenuous way is to come up with a universally appealing asset that has a fixed supply. Gold ticks this box nicely: it’s aesthetically attractive; it can’t be forged because of its unique density; and it can’t be manufactured by anyone, so there’ll only ever be as much gold on the planet as the planet already holds (shiny asteroids notwithstanding). Then again, gold is a pain in the ass. It’s heavy, so it’s a burden to carry and transfer. It’s not easily divisible, so it’s hard to pay precise amounts with it. Not many people do their weekly shop with gold. But what if you could create a digital version of gold that weighs nothing, moves at the speed of light, and is divisible to the tiniest fraction of value. Sounds great. Also impossible. Until 2009. If you only understand one thing about what blockchain technology does, let it be this: for the first time in history, blockchains give us genuinely immutable data. That means the information contained within them cannot be changed. Ever. How they achieve this takes time to understand: it’s to do with the decentralized nature of the ledger, which lists all the transactions ever made on the blockchain and is secured by 1) the number of copies in existence (full nodes, all of which are cross-checked against each other); 2) the process through which new data is written (cryptographic encryption); and 3) the energy consumption of the network (the hashrate, which makes it impossible to overpower – or change the course of – the encryption process). I might have lost you there. But the end result isn’t difficult to grasp. Once you have immutable data, you have the ability to create autonomous digital money. By ensuring that bitcoin’s transaction history can never be altered, mankind has created a digital asset that satisfies five of the criteria for money: it’s durable, portable, scarce, divisible and fungible (interchangeable). The final criteria – acceptability, or the willingness of people to conceive of bitcoin as real money – will be determined not by its technical traits but by humanity’s attitude towards it. In an increasingly digital age, the outlook is favorable. Bitcoin’s detractors – and there are many; typically old, middle class people who’ve become very rich from the status quo – cite a different definition of money: that it must be embraced by society as a medium of exchange; a unit of account; and a store of value. Bitcoin fails on all fronts, they say, as too few people use it on a daily basis, and the price is too volatile to measure or store value. Maybe so, today. But it’s also attained a market cap of $1 trillion in just 12 years. Is that not rather swift progress? And what of the dollar and the other fiat currencies? Are they convenient mediums of exchange across international borders? Do they give us stable, predictable prices year after year? Most important of all, are they a store of value in an era of high inflation? If you’ve ever complained about the rising cost of living, you already know the answer. Tyler Durden Mon, 11/22/2021 - 15:05.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 22nd, 2021

Workers are rising up across the US, but the "Rust" shooting is a reminder that bosses still reign supreme

The public response to the "Rust" set shooting shows how far we are from understanding who is the real enemy of the labor movement. Alec Baldwin and the "Rust" film set.Mark Sagliocco / Getty Images for National Geographic / Jae C. Hong / AP Photo Workers are rising up across the US, but they haven't seized any real upper hand advantages.  This is clear in the response to the "Rust" set shooting which led to the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. No one is blaming real life bosses for her preventable death — only the concept of "The Boss." Kelli María Korducki is a journalist, author, and contributing opinion writer for Insider.  This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.  I once worked at a company where a number of my coworkers decided that we ought to form a union. I thought this seemed like a good thing to do, and I joined them. Eventually, we announced our intention and held a vote to be recognized by our employer, which we narrowly lost. Many of us left the company shortly thereafter. I see echoes of my experience in the ambivalent victories of today's American workforce. For decades, workers have endured the stagnant pay and at-will employment of a gleefully exploitative corporate landscape. Their stoicism has been rewarded, in turn, by a fast-widening wealth gap between average Americans and billionaires who, with ghoulish aplomb, became 70% richer during the pandemic. In ever-increasing numbers, workers are making their frustrations known. High-profile unionizing efforts are underway across the country, including an historic bid by three Starbucks stores in Buffalo, New York. Pro-labor attitudes are the highest they've been in nearly half a century. An ongoing Great Resignation has seen record-breaking quits for months on end, leaving employers in a pinch to find and retain talent. But even in what economists are calling a "workers' economy," it would be naive at best to presume that the nation's laboring masses have seized any kind of upper hand over the employers signing their paychecks. Setting aside so many tiny-violin concertos deployed by the CEO class, evidence would suggest that the American workforce has not, in fact, killed capitalism. It's the same old setup as ever, and the boss still reigns supreme. No one is blaming real life bossesNowhere is the primacy of the boss clearer than in today's work-critical discourse. It's companies or "the system" that are typically held as the bogeymen in need of reforming; disdain for bosses is generally reserved for "bosses" writ large, in place of the individuals that fit the bill. We, the joint keepers of the collective imagination, have yet to develop an anti-boss reflex that presumes accountability from actual bosses. The recent on-set death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins provides a devastating case-in-point. Response to the incident has proved how far we remain from a world where employers are expected to answer for what happens in the workplaces they run — at least, in the court of public opinion. The case also sheds light on where workers must double down in their efforts to reclaim power. Hutchins, 42, was mortally wounded last month while filming "Rust," a low-budget Western film starring — and co-executive produced by — Alec Baldwin. Baldwin fired a prop gun that was incorrectly said to have been "cold," or unloaded, when his bullet struck both Hutchins and the film's director, Joel Souza. Though Souza's injury was minor, Hutchins was pronounced dead within hours.As crew members later told the Los Angeles Times, Baldwin's stunt double had earlier shot two rounds from a purportedly cold prop firearm mere days before Hutchins' death. At least one colleague was sufficiently rattled by the incident that they voiced their concern to a production manager in a text message. Nonetheless, the production company released a statement following Hutchins' shooting that denied prior knowledge of "any official complaints" over weapons safety on set. But there were other complaints, too. Six crew members had walked off the set on the day of the shooting; they complained that the production company reneged on promises to pay for hotel accommodations nearby, relegating workers to 50-mile commutes on top of 12-hour workdays. In short order, non-union camera technicians were brought on to replace the unionized workers that departed in protest. Hutchins is said to have wept over the friendships she was losing by, one presumes, staying on set instead of joining the others in solidarity. She had a job to do, after all. Jobs in entertainment are precariousReading about Hutchins' death brought me back to my ill-fated union vote, and the numbing taste of defeat it imparted. Heartbreak in the absence of better immediate options evokes something like pragmatism. I imagine that Hutchins felt similarly, in her final day on earth. You could say my over-identification with Hutchins' story is the product of circumstantial familiarity. Most creative workers, myself included, recognize the trepidation that's sowed in jobs like those of the entertainment industry, where any person's bankability is contingent on the trends of the moment. Technicians must hone their respective crafts against relentless reminders of their own expendability. It's a landscape, in other words, that can seem inhospitable to an organized workforce — a distillation of the broader winner-takes-all ethos of the working world. But regardless of any industry's particular challenges, its workers share a common foe. Not "The Boss," but the flesh-and-blood boss. It's telling that, while Baldwin has received some flack for his role in Hutchins' death, he has been spared the brunt of public scrutiny. While industry veterans have indicated that Baldwin bears at least some responsibility for the working conditions on his film, finger-pointing has largely been reserved for the 24-year-old rookie armorist in charge of furnishing the movie's weapons. For his part, Baldwin has offered paparazzi soundbites that paint Hutchins' death as a freak accident, a "one-in-a-trillion episode" of misfortune and not the worst-case byproduct of a string of negligent decisions made in the interest of bolstering the production's bottom line. "We were a very, very well-oiled crew shooting a film together and then this horrible event happened," said the actor, suggesting the tragedy was an event he passively experienced rather than one he should have helped to prevent. If there's a lesson to be gleaned in all this, it's one of framing. Bosses are not "job creators" for workers; workers are wealth creators for bosses. Current labor movements will only win meaningful gains when individual bosses are recognized as the chief agents of their employees' strife. The pursuit of accountability needs specific targets, faces, and names. As Halyna Hutchins reminds us, the stakes are life and death.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 21st, 2021

A Brief History Of West African Slavery

A Brief History Of West African Slavery Submitted by ICE-9 via The Burning Platform Slave [sleyv] from Middle English, from Old French sclave, from Medieval Latin sclāvus (“slave”), from Late Latin Sclāvus (“Slavic Person”), from Byzantine Greek Σκλάβος (Sklábos), from Proto-Slavic slověninъ … The seminal image many 50+ year old Americans have regarding the West African slave trade’s operating model can be traced back to the 1977 television miniseries Roots.  Some of you may recall sitting in front of your CRT television screen unknowingly watching the roots of a future social justice movement unfold before your eyes as a gang of European men magically appear deep within the Heart of Darkness wielding nets, superior numbers, and incredible brutality and snatch up a young and happy Kunta Kinte from his ancestral homeland. Like me, I bet the knot in your gut got tighter at each stage as Kunta Kinte was first shipped off in chains to a slave depot, sold at auctioned, and finally sent to America where his foot got cut off and he was renamed Toby.  The miniseries was a monumental success at implanting those first seeds of suburban white guilt into what had previously been infertile terrain.  Afterwards, many Americans could never innocently watch OJ Simpson run through airports in quite the same way. Roots was the initial vector that dug its pernicious roots into the formerly oblivious white collective consciousness.  It succeeded where back in the 1960s continuous years of three minute lead story action clips on the Six O’clock Evening News showing groups of helpless southern Negroes getting pummeled by police truncheons and slammed with water cannons had failed.  Thus those January nights back in 1977 unleashed the power of humanized myth that unequivocally proved superior to the old ways of cold impersonal facts.  It was through this new found power of myth and the visceral emotions it conjured that a primordial wokeness was spawned. Today, when discussing even the most oblique references to slavery in America, the emotions ignite, misguided passions reign supreme, facts equate to racism, and the phenomenology of history devolves into one where history becomes but a construct derived to aid and abet a white supremacist patriarchy.  Case in point – according to current woke orthodoxy, evil cis-male Europeans just up and sailed 3,500 miles south to forgotten lands like Zenaga, trekked hundreds of miles inland without roads, maps, or logistic support, and – according to some extraordinary unverified estimates – kidnapped up to six million innocent Africans. But was this the reality on the ground in West Africa circa 1619, or did Europeans instead rely on intermediaries to conduct their dangerous, high opex dirty work and if so, who were these intermediaries?  Do Americans have an accurate understanding of the West African slavery supply chain, or have they instead meekly decided to go along to get along and ingest without question a toxic narrative that is an antipathy encumbered product tainted by a combination of pop culture and political agenda?  And last, did slavery in West Africa materialize out of thin air with the first appearance of Europeans, or did it exist long before their arrival? The answer to this last question is both morally and legally significant, as it could nullify any and all claims to both tangible and ethical debts of reparation borne by ancestral liability.  For if Caucasian Americans are collectively guilty – including those who immigrated here after the Civil War – as a result of their ancestors’ theoretical participation in the West African slave trade, would not a basis be equally established to extend slavery’s collective culpability to African Americans if it were shown that their ancestors too participated to an equal degree in the West African slave trade?  Would not equal culpability on both ancestral sides of the Atlantic nullify any and all claims by one party against the other?  Further still, if slavery in West Africa was shown to be prevalent long before the arrival of Europeans, based on the premise of hereditary culpability, then slavery in America could no longer exist as some kind of alleged “Original Sin”. The forthwith exposition can be considered a template for countering the unreasonable and fanciful woke dogma surrounding the realities of West African slavery and specifically, the false claims regarding Europe’s and America’s sole complicity in this industry.  It is an attempt – described here in broken wokespeak – to deconstruct the prevailing narrative derived to aid and abet a People of Color aligned, non-binary, trans-supremacist heterarchy.  Let us begin our journey of enlightenment. The Songhai Empire as Gateway to Europe’s Appetite for African Slaves Between the 4th and early 16th centuries AD, through a succession of kingdoms that included Wagadou (Ghana), Mali, and Songhai, the West African Sahel was among the wealthiest regions on earth during a period when most of Europe wallowed in medieval feudalism.  Prior to the discovery of the Americas, West Africa was the world’s largest source of gold – so much gold in fact that when the Malian king Mansa Musa visited Mecca during his 14th century hajj, his 60,000 strong retinue (including 12,000 slaves) distributed so much gold that he crashed its value and created a decade of economic chaos on the Arabian peninsula. The Niger River during this time possessed six times more arable land than the Nile.  In the adjacent Sahara to the north, Africans operated extensive salt mining operations.  With the arrival of the Arabs in the 8th century AD, a prodigious iron smelting and blacksmithing industries occupied entire villages from one end of the Sahel to the other.  The West African political economy was such that no king ever enforced strict ownership over the entirety of his realm, so after the millet harvest an African peasant could earn good extra income panning for alluvial gold, mining iron ore, harvesting trees to make charcoal fuel for iron smelting, or travelling north to labor in the salt mines. The Sahel during this period was awash in food and gold and large prosperous cities like Gao grew into architectural wonders.  So what happened that would drain not only the wealth of an established long-standing power center yet leave nothing behind but piles of dirt from what were formerly majestic structures of timber and adobe brick?  The short answer is that it all fell to pieces due to horses. In the 9th and 10th centuries AD, trade caravans from what are today Morocco and Algeria began regularly making their way south through the Sahara desert during the winter months. These caravans initially brought with them manufactured goods and luxury items to exchange for gold, ivory, specialty woods, animal skins, and salt.  But during the 13th century these caravans started supplying a vital military component to the various competing rulers of the Sahel – Barb horses.  Ownership of horses gave each ruler a cavalry, and ownership of large herds could facilitate military superiority over rivals. The Malian, Hausa, Mossi, Bornu, Kanem and Songhai cavalries regularly battled each other for over three hundred years to what could be considered an equilibrium sometimes punctuated with transient victories and an occasional ebb or flow of juxtaposed borders.  Continuous combat was made possible only by a steady supply of Barb horses from the Maghreb, a market that traders were happy to oblige as the supply of gold from the Sahel appeared endless. But with its monsoonal climate and tropical diseases like trypanosomiasis, the Sahel Africans found it difficult to breed horses – the local Dongola sub-breed had a short life expectancy – and thus a steady flow of imported Barb horses were required to both replenish the high equine mortality rates and maintain at least military parity with the surrounding kingdoms. These imported horses were expensive and were initially paid for with alluvial gold, which was starting to go into productive decline during the 15th century at about the same time the Songhai king Sonni Ali Ber led a successful campaign to defeat his enemy Mali and consolidate rule over the Sahel from Lake Chad to the Cap-Vert peninsula.  So the height of Songhai power coincided with maximum operating costs to retain that power just as alluvial gold production from the Niger River went into decline. Saddled with the mounting expense of maintaining many cavalry regiments stretching across an 1,800 mile expanse, the Songhai lords began to launch slave raids upon the various Sahel peoples.  So as the 15th and 16th centuries progressed, slaves rather than gold became more and more the medium of exchange between the Songhai lords and the horse traders of the Maghreb.  As these traders brought more and more slaves to the Mediterranean coast of North Africa, most were purchased by Arabs but many were sold on to Europeans where they were employed as domestic servant in wealthy cities like London and Antwerp and were considered a high status symbol – the “negars and blackmoores” of 16th century Elizabethan England.  So it was not the Europeans that first procured slavery in West Africa, but the Songhai themselves that introduced Europe to African slaves via Arab and Berber intermediaries.  Europeans at this time were a minor end customer, where the primary slave demand was provided by Arabs. As the 16th century ground out successive years, the gold really began to play out.  Continuous and devastating slave raids depopulated the Niger River goldfield regions – crashing not only gold but also food production – and drove its inhabitants onto marginal lands that had been earlier deforested to manufacture charcoal for the formerly prodigious iron smelting industry.  Over a period of 200 years the once prosperous Sahel was transformed into a land inhabited by subsistence food scavengers and all powerful cavalry lords where the incessant demand for horses laid economic waste to this once prosperous region. With Songhai power in the late 16th century at its nadir as a result of internecine strife and succession wars among the dead king Askia Daoud’s many sons, the Sultan of Morocco, Ahmad al-Mansur, took advantage of the ensuing political instability and sent a military expedition across the Sahara and in 1591 these 4,000 Moroccans and their cannons defeated the Songhai at the battle of Tondibi. Thus with the defeat of the powerful Songhai Empire the coast of West Africa south of the Arab stronghold Nouakchott was left wide open to European maritime exploitation.  By 1625 the Dutch had established a permanent settlement at Gorée and the Portuguese likewise at Portudal, both located in modern day Senegal.  These initial European forays onto West African soil provided the vital resupply anchorage that enabled further permanent settlements along the entirety of the Gulf of Guinea and as far south as Namibia.  And it is at this point where the Kunta Kinte mythology begins with the permanent settlement of Europeans on African soil who allegedly trekked hundreds of miles inland into dangerous areas they did not control to randomly kidnap happy Africans into slavery.  Was this the reality on the ground in Africa back in 1619?  The Angolan experience provides the answers. The Angolan Model of Contracted Slave Procurement The gradual encroachment of European settlements down the Atlantic coast of West Africa did not lead to immediate mass colonization as malaria and tsetse flies kept out all but the hardiest and most rapacious adventurers.  But how did these Europeans procure so many slaves to service the burgeoning and incredibly profitable sugar and tobacco charters of the Caribbean?  The Kunta Kinte procurement model would have eventually led to depopulation of the local areas as the traditionally semi-mobile Africans would have just up and moved out of reach like they did to avoid the Songhai lords, and Africans were beginning to adopt European weapons in their defense.  So – how did so many Africans end up as slaves in the Americas despite their overwhelming numbers back in Africa? The answer lies in the Angolan model which was by no means confined to this region alone.  During the first half of the 16th century the Portuguese established a permanent trading station at the port of Soyo, a province within the Kingdom of Kongo on the south bank at the mouth of the Congo River.  The significance of Soyo was it established the first European occupation in West Africa outside the provenance of the tsetse fly, and with trypanosomiasis absent, colonists could settle and import European livestock for the first time on the African Atlantic coast.  Entire families of Portuguese colonists began to arrive and by 1575 the city of Luanda was founded, followed by Benguela in 1587.  With Angola’s drier, more temperate climate, these early European colonists got to the business of building homes, clearing land, farming, fishing, and raising their livestock.  But one thing they did not do was get to the business of travelling hundreds of miles inland to hunt down and capture slaves.  They left that to others – and these others weren’t Europeans. Soon after the Portuguese planted their flag at Soyo, they granted a trade monopoly to the Kingdom of Kongo which ruled over what is now northwestern Angola.  But as Portugal established colonies to the south of Soyo, these new colonies were located in lands claimed by Kongo but occupied by Ambundu peoples of the N’Dongo and Kisama states within the Kwanza River valley.  Because of the trade monopoly specifics granted to Kongo, the Bakongo could sweep through the Kwanza River valley and capture the local Ambundu and sell them into slavery to the Portuguese, but the Ambundu could not capture these Bakongo raiders and sell them into slavery to the same customer.  This egregious injustice incensed the N’Dongo king to the point of declaring war on – not the Portuguese – but the Bakongo in an attempt to break the discriminatory trade monopoly.  The Ambundu were successful and in 1556 they defeated the Bakongo in a war fought not to end the enslavement of their fellow Africans, but to extend to themselves the right to capture, enslave, and sell their Bakongo neighbors to the Portuguese. Despite the N’Dongo victory and elimination of Kongo influence in the Kwanza River valley, the Portuguese insisted on upholding their original trade agreement, so the Kongo trade monopoly remained in place with the Ambundu still cut out of all commercial activity with the Portuguese.  Realizing they had prosecuted a war for nothing, the N’Dongo spent the next several decades threatening colonists and harassing Portuguese interests up and down the Kwanza River valley without any penetration into the colonial economy.  In 1590 N’Dongo had had enough of the commercial status quo so it allied itself with its eastern Ambundu neighbor Matamba and together they declared war on all Portuguese interests across Angola. This war led the Portuguese to construct a network of fortalezas up and down the Angolan coastline and after years of protracted violence the Portugal finally defeated the N’Dongo in 1614.  Portugal’s first act after victory was to invite their old trading partner – the Bakongo – to commence mop-up operations across the Kwanza River valley in order to clear out the defeated Ambundu and bring them in chains to the new network of fortalezas, which not only served as troop garrisons and acropoli for the local inhabitants, but also as slave depots that accommodated the swelling numbers of captured Ambundu before being auctioned off and sent to Brazil. With the defeat of the Ambundu the N’Dongo matriarchal dynasty fled east to their ally Matamba.  There, a royal refugee named N’Zinga M’Bandi betrayed the hospitality shown her by Matamba and began secret negotiations with Luanda for a return of the Ambundu to the Kwanza River valley.  N’Zinga M’Bandi secured agreements that not only deposed the sitting Matamban queen – handing her the crown by subterfuge – but also convinced the Portuguese to nullify their long standing trade monopoly granted to the Kingdom of Kongo which, in effect, established the Ambundu peoples in the slave procurement business. The new Matamban queen made haste regarding her political and business affairs and quickly consolidated N’Dongo and the neighboring Kasanje states under her rule.  By 1619, Queen N’Zinga had grown her realm into the most powerful African state in the region using the wealth generated from her industrial scale slave procurement undertaking.  Within a few decade of Queen N’Zinga’s ascension, the regions surrounding central Angola were depopulated of not only the rival Bakongo peoples, but of its Ovimbundu, Ganguela, and Chokwe peoples too. The lucrative Angolan slave trade not only flourished under female African leadership, but grew scientific and efficient and continued unabated until the Portuguese crown outlawed the colonial slave trade in 1869.  However, avarice and ingenuity always prevail so after this slavery prohibition a vibrant slave black market continued unabated as abolition only served to drive up the price of slaves and therefore the incentive to procure them in the field.  These lucrative smuggling operations from Angola lasted up until the day its primary customer Brazil abolished slavery in 1888. Today the dominance of the Ambundu peoples in the business, political, and military affairs of modern day Angola is directly traced to the business acumen, organizational skills, and operational efficiency that the Ambundu peoples’ developed during their 269 year monopoly over slave procurement in Angola.  From the tens of thousands of their fellow African “brothers” and “sisters” that the Ambundu sold into slavery, they accumulated incredible wealth that enabled them to occupy a position of respect, influence, and near equality in colonial Angola unparalleled anywhere in colonial Africa.  They became, in a sense, the “Master Ethnicity” of the region. Twilight of the Woke Idols The irony behind the etymology for the word slave, lost upon the woke and the allies of Critical Race Insanity, is that slave derives from ancient words describing Caucasian Slavic peoples.  If slavery were at the core of the “American Experience”, America long ago would have adopted a word for slave that describe African peoples just as the Romans employed Sclāvus to describe a Slav.  But in the 402 years since 1619, Americans have not made this linguistic transition because there is an older and deeper collective history of slavery that can be traced back millennia to Eastern Europeans who constitute a large proportion of the American population. Yet somehow this deeper history has not affected Caucasians of eastern European descent – even the generational poor – in the same way it has tormented the collective psyche of African Americans.  Maybe these demons are not so much the product that African Americans were once slaves, but instead a manifestation of the incessant bombarded of acerbic messages from the Academia-Media-Technocracy Complex demanding that African Americans play the role of perpetual victims and that they deserve some abstract redress from those who themselves have never benefitted from systemic anything. Or is there a deeper pathological diagnosis, a sepsis of personal ontology whereby the current woke narrative is a desperate attempt at mass cognitive dissonance to blot out the humiliating reality that one’s ancestors were traded in bulk by one’s own kind for the likes of a horse? Africans were one of many peoples in a long line of slaves procured by Europeans but they are the last group before the prohibitions of the Utilitarian campaigns of universal human rights put an end to the practice. Thus it is this ‘Last In, First Out” queuing that gives African Americans claim to their title of “systemic victims” without regard to the broader history of European slavery during the preceding two millennia – including Medieval feudalism.  The reality on the ground for centuries in Europe was that slave relations were between Caucasian Master and Caucasian slave. And with the advent and maturing scientific efficiency of institutions such as central banking, nation states, denominational religions, non-governmental organizations, together with the application of mass psychology, one finds upon further scrutiny that this predominant relationship between Master and slave has changed little over the millennia.  We Americans are, in a sense, all slaves – caught in a systemic nexus of control with few options of escape.  Therefore, claims of “systemic injustice” and demands for redress are nothing more than demands to be promoted from field hand to domestic slave unless the true, invisible system of enslavement is abolished for all Americans. Slavery existed for millennia throughout the entirety of the Bantu populated African continent prior to the arrival of Europeans.  African slaves were captured, worked hard in the millet fields, scolded, beaten, sold multiple times, raped, and murdered well before the first European footprint was impressed on a West African beach.  Slavery was the natural African social condition, it continued as Europeans colonized the continent, and in some places it continues today after most Europeans have left.  Thus any conception of an “Original Sin” borne by Americans through ancestry lies not with Caucasians, but with those of African ancestry as Africans themselves were the origination point for the West African slavery supply chain where they occupied the roles of contractor, planner, procurer, and transporter to distribution hubs. The indigenous Africans were, in modern terms, the Chief Operating Officers of the West African slave trade.  Europeans played the roles of wholesale customer, clearing house, and retail distributor of a product offered to them by brazen and entrepreneurial local rulers who amassed great wealth from their endeavors and whose ancestors today are the beneficiaries of an “ethnic privilege” derived from this wealth and societal status as former Masters. The truth is that this seminal enduring image created with Kunta Kinte’s abduction is a fraud and was fabricated to not only impugn the Caucasian audience and henceforth brand them evil and complicit through ancestry, but was also consciously constructed to expiate the guilt surrounding the ugly and brutal truth that Africans themselves were the culpable party.  Had indigenous Africans not captured and sold so many of their brethren into slavery, there would likely be very few African Americans today. Epilogue The woke will never mention the 800 years of an East African slave trade conducted by Arab merchants up and down the Indian Ocean coast.  The woke won’t utter a word regarding present day slavery across the Sahel countries of Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad, and Sudan.  One hears only silence from the woke when one mentions the “Systemic Ethniscism” that permeates every Bantu nation where wealth and power are concentrated into the hands of a dominant ethnic group. The woke ignore the 3,000+ freed African slaves who show up in the ante bellum US census who were granted manumission, inherited plantations from their former owners, and kept the slaves.  No woke person ever admits that American Indians owned African slaves nor will they / them accept that slavery permeated Nahuatl culture even as they / them espouse the virtues of Greater Aztlán.  And the woke will never accept that it was Europeans who eventually stamped out slavery within the Bantu cultural world despite it being the natural human condition there for centuries. And, most importantly, the woke will never acknowledge that all Americans are trapped in a nexus of corporate, bureaucratic, technological, and psychological control where the true “American Experience” has devolved into one where everyone is a slave serving invisible Masters. Until these Masters’ hands are removed from every lever of power and influence in our nation – by any means necessary – abstractions like “equality” and “equity” are nothing more than job promotions on the American plantation.  The woke will never become unwoke because they love their servitude, it has opened the door for them to serve an irresponsible existence free of rationality, logic, true meaning in their existence.  Through their wokeness, they have essentially been freed from Freedom – they can place no hope in death, and their blind lives are so abject that they are envious of every other fate.  The world should let no fame of theirs endure; both true Justice and Compassion must disdain them. One final comment about those 4,000 Moroccans at the Battle of Tondibi.  The invading Moroccan army was commanded by a one Judar Pasha, but he was not always known by this name.  Judar was born Diego de Guevara, an inhabitant of the Spanish region of Andalusia who as a boy was captured by Arab slave raiders, packed off in chains to Morocco, and sold into slavery to the Moroccan Sultan.  And just like Kunta Kinte, Diego’s name got changed, but where Kunta Kinte had his foot cut off, Judar was castrated and forced to serve this foreign Sultan as a eunuch.  But we will never see a TV miniseries where an Arab slave wrangler hangs one Diego de Guevara upside down by his ankles, thrashes him with a bull whip, and screams repeatedly, “Your name is not Diego, your name is Judar!” Tyler Durden Fri, 11/19/2021 - 23:40.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 20th, 2021

An Afghan women"s rights activist might have been tricked into going to a safe house and then found dead. Others hoping to escape or live freely in the country worry they could be next

The murder of Afghan activist Frozan Safi has contributed to the climate of fear in Mazar-e Sharif, a hub for people evacuating Afghanistan. A woman walks past a mural in Mazar-i-Sharif on Oct. 31, 2021.WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images Frozan Safi, a well-known women's rights defender, was found dead this month in Mazar-e Sharif, a city in northern Afghanistan. A widely-seen security warning that spread over messaging apps was probably a hoax but contributed to the unease.  The city has served as one of the hubs for people looking to leave Afghanistan since the Taliban took power on Aug. 15.  In early November, Frozan Safi, a well-known activist and economics lecturer, and three other people were found dead in Mazar-e-Sharif, one of Afghanistan's biggest cities. According to one report, Safi, who was 29, might have been tricked into thinking she was going to a safe house as she waited for her asylum application to be approved.  At around the same time, a message labeled "Important security alert" was spreading on WhatsApp among the city's English speakers. It claimed that a "death squad is posing as a Western human rights and rescue organization" and, using English, "summoning people in hiding to meet then executing them." The message linked this supposed squad to the killings in Mazar.The message was very likely a hoax, but it seemed to confirm people's worst fears. Whatever the source, the warning text fed into a sense of acute unease in Mazar, which has served as one of the hubs for people looking to leave the country since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan on Aug. 15. Multiple evacuation flights have left from the city's airport, bringing Afghan journalists, military interpreters, and others here from the capital, Kabul, and other provinces.Journalists, lawyers, NGO and security workers, and English speakers say there's a sense that danger could come from anywhere – mafia groups, a rogue Taliban fighter, or a common criminal who feels emboldened to act out on personal grudge – and it's not clear where to turn for help. "Mazar is a small place. It doesn't take a lot of time for people to figure out who you are, what you do," said Qudsia Shojazada, a local activist and journalist who helped organize women's protests during the first weeks of Taliban rule. 'You worked with the foreigners to split up families'The Taliban reached Mazar, one of Afghanistan's economic and cultural hubs, on Aug. 13. Two days later, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, and, two weeks after that, the US military completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan and ended its 20-year war. Since then, Zainab, a Mazar resident in her 20s, has been extra cautious when she goes out in the city. Before leaving the house, she makes sure to put on her sunglasses, cover as much of her body as she can, and wear minimal makeup – all to avoid being recognized.Though many of the other women and girls who venture out into the city dress largely as they used to before the Taliban takeover, Zainab says the years she spent working with lawyers on family law cases make her a target. (Insider is using a pseudonym.) Taliban fighters enter the Hazrat-e-Ali, or Blue Mosque, shrine in Mazar-i-Sharif on Oct. 30, 2021.WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty ImagesZainab was among those who saw the frightening message. Regardless of its source, things like that have increased her sense of unease. "There are a lot of people with resentment and grudges against us," she said. "Eventually they will find out that I worked on cases involving domestic abuse and divorce. What if they say to me, 'You were part of the problem, you worked with the foreigners to split up families.'"Zainab says both men and women who had worked with legal, human rights and Western-funded agencies are going to great lengths to remain "as anonymous as possible" in the city. "I saw one female lawyer who had worked on divorce cases, you could tell she was trying so hard to change her appearance," Zainab said. "People who were active in society don't feel safe and comfortable anymore."A rare, confirmed killingIn Mazar, as in other Afghan cities, there have been multiple reports of abuse and intimidation of journalists, protesters, and professionals linked to US forces by the Taliban's foot soldiers. A former resident of Mazar, who has since relocated to Canada and spoke to Insider on condition of anonymity, has heard from relatives and friends that targeted killings in Mazar have increased over the last three weeks.But with the country's once-vibrant media largely extinguished, it's difficult to know what's really happening in the country, and such rumors are difficult to confirm. Local media has struggled under the Taliban's intimidation and a lack of funding since, like many Afghan institutions, it was heavily reliant on financial support from the West. The country is also facing a cash crunch since the US and international bodies like the World Bank and the IMF cut off access to $9.5 billion in assets and loans. In a statement issued last month, the Afghan Journalists Safety Committee (AJSC) said that 70 percent of media outlets across the country have closed. "Media reporting quality has reached to its lowest level in the last 20 years," it said. The murder of Safi and the three others – they have still not been publicly identified – was the rare case that the Taliban confirmed, and with that came a wave of press attention. —Zahra Rahimi (@ZahraSRahimi) November 5, 2021 In a video statement posted online, a spokesman for the Taliban's Ministry of Interior, Qari Saeed Khosti, said the victims had been "invited to the house" by the alleged killers. He didn't name the assailants, but said they had been detained. Zabihullah Noorani, the Head of the Taliban's Cultural Commission in Balkh province, said in an interview that the killings were the result of a "personal issue" and had nothing to do with politics.Addressing more general security fears, the Taliban's Supreme Leader, Haibatullah Akhundzada, said in a statement issued last week that there may be "unknown" entities among their ranks who are "working against the will of the government," and that these individuals will be punished.'Farming onions in hiding'On the streets of Mazar, the Taliban are much less visible compared to Kabul and Jalalabad, another major city. But their presence is felt. Male shopkeepers, students, and taxi drivers in the city told Insider they feel comfortable in the city and that petty crime has come to a near halt in Mazar. But those who were involved in social and political matters do not share that same sense of ease.Afghan schoolgirls returning from school in Mazar-i-Sharif on Oct. 30, 2021.WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images"The day after the Taliban took Mazar, we went to the office and turned in whatever was still in our possession," said a former security worker in Mazar, who described himself as a desk worker who was mostly "behind a computer" and had little direct involvement in operations.  His attempt to appease the group was of little use, even though Taliban officials declared a general amnesty when they took over the country, He said he still receives calls from the Taliban saying he has yet to turn over weapons and vehicles belonging to the government, a claim he denies. Patricia Gossman, Associate Asia Director for Human Rights Watch, said the security worker's case is in line with other accounts she's heard from the provinces of Helmand, Kandahar, Kunduz, Paktia, Nangarhar, and Ghazni. Gossman said HRW is still awaiting the Taliban's response to the cases the rights group has documented.Fearing abuse and retaliation, the 36-year-old has since left the city and moved to his family's home in a district more than 40 kilometers away. He says he feels robbed of everything he worked for. "I went to college and earned a degree and now I'm just farming potatoes and onions in hiding," he said.  Too scared to speak upIn the immediate aftermath of the Taliban taking power, women-led protests were held in Mazar and other major cities. But by September, they had largely stopped. Shojazada, the local activist who helped organize the demonstrations in Mazar, said she has been in hiding ever since and has changed where she lives several times. The Blue Mosque in Mazar-i-Sharif, the city's major landmark, is seen on July 12, 2020.Kawa Basharat/Xinhua via Getty ImagesShe said that several fellow activists have been detained simply for their previous work, and she has received reports of targeted killings and disappearances in the city. The Taliban's intelligence in Mazar is "very powerful," she said.  Shojazada knows this even from the experience of her own family. Over the summer, one of Shojazada's brothers joined the government-sponsored People's Uprising movement to fight off the Taliban's fast-moving advances. He was detained shortly after the Taliban took power despite the promised amnesty. As she relays the story, Shojazada is cautious not to reveal too much for fear of inspiring further retaliation against their family. A short while later, when a friend of hers was arrested and held for 20 days after taking part in a protest in September, Shojazada said the family resisted help to avoid angering the Taliban. "They didn't want anyone to know that their son had been arrested," Shojazada told Insider. "We had to work so hard to gain their trust just so we could try and help them however we could."  "People in Mazar are terrified to speak up," she said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytNov 19th, 2021

7 Chinese celebrities, business people, and activists who disappeared after speaking out about the Communist Party or powerful people

Peng Shuai, a Chinese tennis star who recently accused China's former vice president of sexual assault, is the latest to vanish. Shuai Peng seen at the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 23, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia.Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Peng Shuai seems to have disappeared after she said a Chinese politician sexually assaulted her. The Chinese tennis star is among an alarming number of Chinese celebrities who have disappeared. Some vanished after they made critical comments about the government or powerful people. Peng Shuai went missing after she said she was sexually assaulted by a top Chinese politician.Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai.Andy Brownbill/APPeng Shuai has not been heard from since she accused a top Chinese official of sexual assault. The 35-year-old tennis player is one of China's biggest sports stars.In a post on November 2 on Weibo, Peng alleged the former vice-premier Zhang Gaoli coerced her into sex and that they had an affair. Afterward, the post was taken down and references to Peng were blocked on China's internet, the Guardian reported.She hasn't been heard from or seen since.US tennis star Noami Osaka voiced her concerns over Peng's disappearance with a tweet on Tuesday using the hashtag #WhereisPengShuai."I was recently informed of a fellow tennis player that has gone missing shortly after revealing that she has been sexually abused," Osaka tweeted. "Censorship is never ok at any cost, I hope Peng Shuai and her family are safe and ok. I'm in shock of the current situation and I'm sending love and light her way."Zhao Wei was blacklisted from social media and her whereabouts were unknown after the government cracked down on pop culture influences.Chinese actress Zhao Wei.Vincent Yu/APThe whereabouts of Chinese actress Zhao Wei became a mystery in August after she was apparently blacklisted from social media by the Beijing authorities, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The actress was also removed from popular streaming sites.The Wall Street Journal reported that it was part of an effort by Beijing to target the pop-culture industry for what it sees as "unhealthy influences for young people."Rumors spread that Zhao fled to France with her husband, where the two own a vineyard outside Bordeaux. Zhao denied the rumors in a since-deleted Instagram post, claiming she was with family in Beijing, according to the Hollywood Reporter.Artist Ai Weiwei was disappeared and detained for months after he criticized the government.Dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei waves from the entrance of his studio after being released on bail in Beijing.David Gray/ReutersChinese artist Ai Weiwei has long been considered a dissident who has been critical of China's government. He published criticisms of the Chinese government on a blog that was eventually taken down and was later assaulted by Chinese police in 2009, according to Britannica.The artist was disappeared in April 2011 after he was accused of tax evasion and police detained him for almost 3 months, according to Human Rights Watch. He couldn't speak with his lawyer, and his wife was permitted to visit him once, HRW reported.After protests in his name, Ai was released in June 2011. The government said he was let go "because of his good attitude in confessing his crimes as well as a chronic disease he suffers from," Reuters reported.E-commerce billionaire Jack Ma disappeared from public view after he criticized the Chinese financial industry.Chinese entrepreneur Jack Ma.Firdia Lisnawati/APJack Ma, a high-profile Chinese entrepreneur and e-commerce billionaire, disappeared from public view after he criticized the Chinese financial industry in an October 2020 speech in Shanghai.Days later, the Chinese government ordered probes into Ma's companies, Alibaba and Ant Group, and tightened regulations. It was seen as an attempt by the government to regain control over tech giants that wield economic and political power.After vanishing for over two months, the entrepreneur reappeared in a January 2021 video that made no mention of his disappearance. Forbes contributor George Calhoun said Ma was "uncharacteristically flat and subdued" in the video. Subsequent sightings of Ma were scattered and unconfirmed, and the Financial Times later reported Ma was merely "lying low."In October 2021, Ma was seen in Spain, taking his first trip outside of China since the fallout with the government began.Billionaire businesswoman Whitney Duan vanished and wasn't heard from for 4 years until her ex-husband, tycoon Desmond Shum, was about to publish a book on corruption in China.Whitney Duan and her ex-husband Desmond Shum were closely tied to China's elites and involved in several large developments in Beijing, Time magazine reported. In 2017, Duan, who also goes by Duan Weihong, disappeared in Beijing without a trace.It came after she spoke with The New York Times during a 2012 investigation that found many of the relatives of then-Prime Minister Wen Jiabao became exceedingly wealthy during his political career, controlling at least $2.7 billion in assets. Duan herself was implicated in the scandal, although she denied having financial ties to the prime minister.After Duan's disappearance, Shum told Time he couldn't get in touch with her for four years. He left the country and hasn't returned since his ex-wife's disappearance.—Rob Hastings (@robhastings) September 9, 2021Then, in September 2021, Shum told Time he got messages from Duan urging him to call her. He did, and for the first time in four years, her line wasn't dead. Shum said Duan begged him not to publish his recent book "Red Roulette: An Insider's Story of Wealth, Power, Corruption, and Vengeance in Today's China", which details corruption in the Chinese Communist Party."She asked me to stop the book launch, saying: 'How would you feel if something happened to our son? And what would happen to our son if something happened to me?' I took that to be a threat," Shum told Time.Forbes reported a disturbing pattern that saw several billionaires and wealthy moguls had vanished from the public sphere for a period of time. Some reportedly were detained to assist with investigations.Real estate mogul Ren Zhiqiang vanished after he criticized the Chinese government for its handling of the pandemic.Ren Zhiqiang went missing after he criticized the government's handling of the pandemic.Getty ImagesReal estate mogul Ren Zhiqiang disappeared in March 2020 after he wrote an essay criticizing the Chinese government for how it was handling the COVID-19 pandemic, referring to President Xi Jinping as a "clown."Shortly afterward, his friends told The New York Times he went missing. He was later sentenced to 18 years in prison after a court found him guilty of a litany of financial crimes, but his peers said the sentence was a result of his essay."Very clearly this was punishment for his words, that's going to be obvious to everyone," sociologist Guo Yuhua told the Times. "Those economic problems — this one, that one — can be concocted whenever you want."Human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang was detained amid a crackdown on Chinese activists in 2015.Human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang was detained for several years.Thomas Peter/ReutersWang Quanzhang, a Chinese human rights lawyer, was detained with 200 others in 2015 amid a crackdown on activism in the country. He was found guilty of "subverting state power" in a closed-door court with no journalists or foreign diplomats present, according to BBC.For three years, his family did not know of his whereabouts or whether he was even alive."I don't know whether he's alive or dead," his wife Li Wenzu told BBC's John Sudworth in 2017. "I have had no information at all. He has simply disappeared from the face of the earth. It is so scary, so brutal."Li added that Wang wasn't "allowed to meet the lawyer that we have employed for him, and he has no right to communicate with the outside world."Wang was released in April 2020.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 18th, 2021