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India and China are still snapping up Russian oil — but they are demanding huge bargains which is hitting Kremlin"s war chest

Russia is losing about $4 billion a month as Urals crude oil trades at about 40% discount to international Brent crude oil prices, per Bloomberg. Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images India and China now account for two-thirds of seaborne Russia crude oil exports. As major customers, they are demanding huge discounts from Russia, hitting Kremlin's war chest. Russia is losing about $4 billion a month in energy revenues, per Bloomberg's estimates. Russian energy revenues may finally be feeling the pinch — the European Union's sweeping sanctions against the country's energy exports are about to kick in on December 5, more than nine months into the Ukraine invasion.As Kremlin is set to lose its single largest customer, it is redirecting seaborne exports to Asia, in particular to India and China. But that's proving to be difficult business. India and China now account for about two-thirds of all Russian seaborne crude-oil exports, and as major customers, they are demanding massive discounts for their purchases, Bloomberg's oil strategist Julian Lee wrote on Sunday.Russia's flagship Urals crude oil was trading at a discount of $33.28, or about 40% to the international Brent crude oil at the end of last week, according to Bloomberg's analysis of data from trade news service Argus and the Intercontinental Exchange in Europe. That's a steep fall from the $2.85 discount that Urals was trading at in 2021.Due to the Urals' widening discount, Russia is losing about $4 billion a month in energy revenues, per Bloomberg's calculations.This is significant, especially since oil prices have fallen sharply in recent months due to fears about a recession, strong Russian output, and falling demand, after prices hit multi-year highs earlier in 2022.That is also why Washington doesn't appear to be too worried about India and China's huge purchase of Russian oil, even if they pay prices above a G7 imposed price cap.Russian oil "is going to be selling at bargain prices and we're happy to have India get that bargain or Africa or China. It's fine," US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told Reuters on November 11.Brent crude futures are about 4.3% higher this year so far at around $81.30 a barrel after spiking over 30% in the days after the Ukraine war broke out.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 28th, 2022

Yes, there are some products you really should skip at TJ Maxx - but here"s a few more you should definitely buy

We consulted a shopping expert and several blogs and online reviews to find the best and worst products at TJ Maxx. TJ Maxx is one of the most beloved discount stores in the US.Business Insider/Mary Hanbury TJ Maxx is one of the biggest off-price retailers in the US, with nearly 1,300 stores across America.  We consulted a shopping expert and several blogs and online reviews to find the best and worst products at TJ Maxx.  Here are 23 products to buy at TJ Maxx and eight to consider skipping.  As one of the biggest off-price retailers in the US, TJ Maxx has found a special place in the heart of many Americans looking to score a bargain on everything from designer jeans to bedroom furniture. Along with its sister companies Marshalls and HomeGoods, TJ Maxx has managed to stay afloat as traditional retailers and department stores struggle, thanks to its loyal fan base and savvy business model. Even amid the coronavirus pandemic, which pushed several retailers into bankruptcy, TJ Maxx and its parent company, TJX Cos., continued to thrive.According to the shopping expert Michelle Madhok, TJ Maxx's primary appeal is the opportunity for discovery. It's a place where shoppers come seeking bargains for items on their shopping list and uncover unexpected deals."The fun thing about TJ Maxx is the hunt," Madhok, who runs the shopping website SheFinds.com, told Insider. "It's for someone who likes novelty in shopping. If you know exactly what you want, you can go on Amazon and get it delivered. TJ Maxx is for someone who enjoys the activity of shopping."Another expert tip is to hit TJ Maxx on Wednesdays, which is when most of the stores restock with new products, Madhok said. Shoppers can also plan around the retailer's annual sales in January and July. With such an expansive product assortment, it can be tough to identify the best bargains. With that in mind, here are 23 products to buy at TJ Maxx and eight you should skip. Buy: Specialty food itemsBusiness Insider/Mary HanburyMadhok said some of TJ Maxx's most unearthed gems exist in its food section, where you'll find specialty items like manuka honey, truffle salt, and unique olive oils at bargain prices. "You can't really go grocery shopping there, but it's fun to see what you can discover," she said.  "My spice drawer is filled with stuff from TJ Maxx."Buy: Phone casesKate SpadeWhile it may be best to skip the electronics at TJ Maxx (more on that below), the tech accessories are fair game, according to Erin Port, who runs the blog Simple Purposeful Living. "Usually, the tech accessories are housed by the checkout line," Port wrote. "You can find screen protectors, extra cables, cases, headphones and more. All name brand items for a fraction of the cost."Buy: SunglassesShoshy Ciment/Business Insider"You can find awesome name-brand sunglasses for as little as $9.99," Port wrote in Simple Purposeful Living. Skip: FurnitureShoshy Ciment/Business InsiderReviewed.com warns that many of the furniture items you see in TJ Maxx are there because they likely failed product inspection or were overstocked from other retailers. "Be careful or you may end up with a sticky drawer or wobbly, uneven legs, which is unfortunate if you bought something you were intending to keep around for a while," Courtney Campbell wrote.Buy: Pet suppliesShoshy Ciment/Business InsiderYou'll find some of the best bargains on name-brand items in the pet department, according to Madhok and several bloggers, including the popular couponing site The Krazy Coupon Lady. "TJ Maxx is one of the best places to buy pet supplies," the blog says. "The greatest value is in the pet bed section. Beds are priced at least 50% below stores like Petco or Petsmart, and I find the patterns are better."Buy: JewelryBethany Biron/Business InsiderTJ Maxx also has an impressive jewelry department, brimming with designers like Michael Kors and Kate Spade, Madhok said. Skip: Yoga matsJoe Raedle/GettyImagesAccording to Reviewed.com, the yoga mats at off-price retailers like TJ Maxx tend to be thin and poorly constructed, leaving you slipping around the mat. Instead, Campbell suggests splurging a bit more on a higher-quality mat from a company like Lululemon. Buy: TowelsAmazonThe blogger Dianna Baros of The Budget Babe said she buys all her towels at TJ Maxx."You can find Egyptian cotton for the best price without having to wait for a sale elsewhere," she wrote. Buy: Storage containersShoshy Ciment/Business InsiderBaros also recommends buying home-storage items at TJ Maxx, where you'll find aesthetically pleasing baskets and containers to stay organized. "I might get utilitarian storage bins at IKEA, but all my pretty baskets and boxes come from Marshalls and T.J.Maxx," she wrote. "Again, if you're organizing a closet, bathroom, guest room, play room, you name it, Marshalls and T.J.Maxx have a huge selection and the best prices."Skip: Bed sheetsViv + Rae/Business InsiderSheet sets from off-price retailers like TJ Maxx and Marshalls tend not to be the best quality, according to CheatSheet. The most comfortable and longest-lasting sheets are made from natural fibers like linen and cotton, and you'll "rarely find those in the bedding aisle" at a place like TJ Maxx, Jess Bolluyt wrote. "They may look cute on the shelf, and they probably feel pretty soft," she wrote. "But they won't feel as breathable or hold up to repeated washing machine cycles as sheets that use only natural fibers."Skip: Baby toysJason DeCrow/APWhile TJ Maxx may seem like an ideal place to grab a quick baby-shower or birthday gift, Reader's Digest recommends avoiding these items at off-price retailers for safety reasons.Gaynor Humphrey, who works with the toy manufacturer Best Years, told the writer Kelly Bryant that while most of the products are overstocked items from other retailers, they sometimes come from "third-party clearance houses." "One potential problem is that the toys may not conform to current testing standards, or are 'knock-off ' merchandise which, again, may not have been made to the strict standards you would want from a baby toy," Humphrey said. Buy: Beauty productsBusiness Insider/Mary HanburyBloggers and experts were split on this one. While some recommended avoiding makeup for fear they may be tampered with — and also because TJ Maxx products rotate so frequently that you don't want to get attached to a shade you may never see again — others, like Madhok, said it should be a go-to destination for cosmetics. "TJ Maxx has the same things you would find at Sephora or Ulta for 20 to 60% below," Madhok said. "The colors might be from last season, but my favorite Stila lipstick colors are there." Buy: PillowsBusiness Insider/Mary HanburyBaros of The Budget Babe said she also goes to TJ Maxx for pillows, especially for outfitting guest rooms."I love that you can get a brand name two-pack for $20," she wrote. "Whatever size or density, down or down-free, they've got it. It's a good idea to refresh your pillows every once in a while, and at these prices, I can afford to do just that for everyone in the family plus guests."Buy: Picture framesShoshy Ciment/Business InsiderTJ Maxx also has a vast assortment of picture frames, perfect for both decorating and gift-giving, according to Baros.  Buy: CoffeeBusiness Insider/Jessica TylerAccording to The Kitchn, TJ Maxx is a great place to stock up on K-Cups and packages of coffee from some of the most popular franchises. "You'll find all of your favorite flavors, including Starbucks, Seattle's Best, and Dunkin' Donuts varieties," Danielle Blundell wrote for The Kitchn. Buy: DishwareDaniel Goodman / Business InsiderThe budgeting blog Hip2Save recommends TJ Maxx for dishware, especially fun coffee mugs and bowls that also double as gifts. Skip: Hair productsShoshy Ciment/Business InsiderSince inventory changes so frequently, and thus is inconsistent week to week, TJ Maxx can't include a sample or test display. As a result, many shoppers will open and tamper with hair products to smell or try the item, according to Reader's Digest. "These products may arrive at the store in tip-top shape, but because there aren't testers available of products, as Southern Living points out, customers will often crack open a can so they can sample (retail etiquette: do not do this)," Bryant wrote in Reader's Digest. Buy: Socks10'000 Hours/Getty ImagesWhether you're looking for athletic socks for exercising or fuzzy socks for lounging around the house, TJ Maxx has loads of name brand options at a fraction of the prices you'll find elsewhere.Port of Simple Purposeful Living wrote that she regularly snags socks for the family there, including Happy Socks for her husband for $3.99, which normally retail for $14 full price, and a three-pack of Under Armour basketball socks for her son for just $5. Skip: ElectronicsShoshy Ciment/Business InsiderWhen it comes to electronics, Madhok recommends you look elsewhere for high-quality technology. "Tech at the off-price retailers is sometimes not brand name and tends to not hold up as well," she said. "You won't get the most high-end electronics at TJ Maxx."Buy: Last-minute giftsBethany Biron/Business InsiderNear the register, you'll find tons of small, affordable gifts, whether you're looking for a goofy white-elephant present or stocking stuffers. These are all fair game, experts say. Skip: Cooking gadgetsAmazonUSA Today recommends looking elsewhere for cooking items like slow cookers and griddles since TJ Maxx tends to stock items from lesser-known brands that don't work as well and have a tendency to break easily. Buy: Designer jeansBusiness Insider/Mary HanburyThe personal-finance and budgeting blog Wise Bread recommended TJ Maxx for finding discounted designer jeans, including recent styles that you've likely seen at other stores like Macy's and Nordstrom. "If designer jeans are your thing, you'd be smart to buy them at TJ Maxx and save close to 70% off the retail price," Kyle James wrote in Wise Bread. "Brands that you can typically find include Jones New York, Jessica Simpson, Lucky, and Paris Blues."Buy: Workout and athletic gearShoshy Ciment/Business InsiderSimilar to designer jeans, you'll find loads of name-brand athletic apparel and equipment at solid prices, Hip2Save reported. Buy: HandbagsBusiness Insider/Mary HanburyIt may be last season, but according to nearly all the bloggers and shopping experts we consulted, you're bound to score a deal on a designer handbag at TJ Maxx. "Top handbag brands that are regularly stocked include Valentina, Kenneth Cole, Michaella Barri, Saint Laurent, Perlina, and Emma Fox," according to Wise Bread. "You'll often find these brands at close to 75% off the original retail price."Buy: Notebooks and stationeryLemome/Business InsiderIf you love Paper Source, then you'll enjoy TJ Maxx's wide selection of notebooks and stationery at bargain prices, according to Baros of The Budget Babe. "Whether you're trying to get organized or want a place to journal. TJ Maxx and Marshalls always have the prettiest stationery and paper supplies," she wrote. "You never know what you'll find, but you'll always find something good and at a fraction of the cost you'd pay at a dedicated paper store."Buy: Board games and toysShoshy Ciment/Business InsiderAmong TJ Maxx's myriad knick-knacks, you'll find a bevy of board games and toys — perfect for when you're in a pinch for a gift for a baby shower, children's birthday party, or otherwise just looking for entertainment for a good old-fashioned game night.Skip: ShoesBusiness Insider/Mary HanburyThe shoe section is especially hit or miss, according to several experts. Often, discounts on name-brand shoes aren't especially notable.Buy: Wall artMary Turner/Getty Images"I always find the cutest wall art under $20 at T.J.Maxx and Marshalls that I can use to decorate and switch out when my mood changes," Baros wrote.Buy: OuterwearA rack of winter coats.iStock / Getty ImagesTJ Maxx has a robust collection of trendy coats and cold-weather gear to keep you warm for less. "TJ Maxx's outerwear selection is in season at all times, but you can also find great out of season items even cheaper to save even more money," All Women Stalk blogger Heather Williams wrote in a post. "Plus, most of the brands are designer names and much less expensive than you'd pay elsewhere." Buy: PajamasKampee Patisena/Getty ImagesWilliams also recommends hitting up TJ Maxx's pajamas for a selection of cute and comfortable bedtime apparel at a fraction of the regular price. "I've found cute pajama tops for as little as $3, and to this day, they are some of my favorite," she wrote. "A tip is to look on the clearance section, where you can find many of these items even cheaper. Plus their stylish pajamas make great gifts for the holidays or for gifts for your friends' or family's birthdays." Buy: CandlesFall candles.Olena Rudo/Getty ImagesAlong with decor, TJ Maxx typically has a pretty solid selection of discounted candles to give your home some added ambiance and a fresh scent to boot. "Some name brand candles, such as Yankee, are priced as low as $5," wrote Michael Timmerman, author of the blog Michael Saves. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 7th, 2023

MONEY MOVES: The daily routines of 10 founders growing successful businesses through the pandemic and recession

Successful entrepreneurs explain how they structure their days to achieve work-life balance through a pandemic, recession, and economic uncertainty. Jessica Hawks is a virtual assistant coach.Jackie Sterna The pandemic spurred a new class of business owners, including solopreneurs and freelancers. The number of new businesses remains high, with more than 400,000 new applications every month of 2022. 10 entrepreneurs who grew businesses through COVID-19 break down their daily schedules. The pandemic spurred a new class of business owners made up of solopreneurs, freelancers, and full-time side hustlers who launched companies at a record rate. Aspiring titans filed more than 5 million business applications in 2021, according to data from the US Census Bureau. The growth continued in 2022: Entrepreneurs started more than 400,000 firms a month for most of the year.These businesses range from restaurants to social-media-marketing agencies.Starting a business in a pandemic or in uncertain economic times demands flexibility, agility, and originality. Ten entrepreneurs who did this told Insider how they structured their days for success, found a work-life balance, and honed their creativity.They wake up early for a head start Ria Graham is a coowner of Kokomo, a Caribbean restaurant in Brooklyn.Ria GrahamJackie Nguyen, the founder of the Vietnamese coffee truck Cafe Cà Phê, and Ria Graham, a cofounder of the Caribbean restaurant Kokomo, both wake about 6 a.m. For Nguyen, the early start is an opportunity to balance two jobs: In addition to running Cafe Cà Phê, Nguyen works nearly 40 hours a week in a corporate job doing branding and marketing. She runs her cafe from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., using downtime between customers to tackle tasks for her other job. Nguyen, who was an actor and dancer for 12 years, had been dreaming of opening her own coffee shop before the pandemic began. When the crisis shut down live performances and left Nguyen without work, she turned her passion project into a new career. In July 2020, she launched Cafe Cà Phê in Kansas City, Missouri, and made six figures in sales in 2021, Insider verified with documentation.Meanwhile, Graham starts her day early because it's the only quiet time she gets. She's a mother of two young children. She spends her mornings praying, meditating, and drinking tea before waking her family. Graham and her husband, Kevol, opened their Brooklyn restaurant in mid-2020, offering customers distinct takes on Caribbean cuisines like sweet plantain pancakes and jerk chicken. Graham also makes her own coconut rum, called Good Guice, which is based on her family recipe. The couple booked nearly $4 million in revenue in 2021, Insider verified with documentation.Read more: I'm a former Broadway actress turned entrepreneur. Here's how I run my coffee shop on wheels, which did $186K in sales this year, while working another job. Read more: I'm a 27-year-old Brooklyn restaurant owner hitting nearly $4 million in sales. Here's how I spend my day. They create strict schedules to ensure productivity After losing her job as an auction art specialist during the pandemic, Charlotte Alden struggled to find work. She bought a bead kit on Amazon to serve as a pastime and opened her jewelry business, Lottie, by October 2020. Today, she keeps a strict daily schedule that includes running every morning and blocking specific hours to make jewelry. Alden also stops working at 10 p.m., even if she's not tired, and goes to sleep."Getting a good night's sleep can determine my entire day," she said.Lottie and Alden's creations have been worn by Zaya Wade, the daughter of the basketball star Dwyane Wade, and the model Nina Agdal.Read more: A 29-year-old turned her quarantine hobby into a jewelry business beloved by models and a 'Bachelor' star. Here's how she spends her day.They block time to build their digital brandsDana Hasson makes time to connect with her followers on social media.Dana HassonAfter a day of meetings and content creation, Dana Hasson devotes time to connect with her social-media followers. Hasson is an influencer with 2.8 million followers on TikTok and 120,000 on Instagram, where she's known for sharing beauty content and baking tips. She's also the founder of Should Look Like This, a line of bakeware that launched in late 2021. Despite her busy schedule, she'll spend hours before bed replying to fan messages and comments.Hasson said she believed her growth stemmed from being consistent and genuine with her fans."I'm very proud of what I've created and the community I have," she previously told Insider. "I'm really excited to just grow old with them."Nguyen also uses her evenings to build her social-media presence. Between 8:30 p.m. and 10 p.m., she'll draft posts for the next day. The cafe has 14,800 followers on Instagram, where it highlights colorful lattes, new merchandise, and a promo for Lunar New Year events. Read more: A 24-year-old TikTok creator with 2.4 million followers and a newly launched business shares the daily schedule that keeps her organizedThey prioritize downtime to have funEntrepreneurs like Erifili Gounari and Jessica Hawks both told Insider that part of their success came from knowing when to unplug. Gounari has two jobs: She's the founder of the social-media agency The Z Link, which counts the consulting firm Deloitte Greece as a client, and runs social media for the insurer SafetyWing. Balancing these jobs means setting boundaries and taking time away from work, she said. For example, if she finishes work early enough, she goes for a walk and eats dinner with her family."There are times where I have to deal with a work task later in the day," she said. "But it's important for me to set boundaries and remind myself you should really not be working 24/7." Hawks also balances a busy day. In addition to running her virtual-assistant coaching business and master classes, she also hosts a podcast. She booked more than $1.1 million in sales in 2020, which Insider verified with documentation. Despite her workload, she finds time for fun."You've created something for yourself that does allow you to travel and spend time with your friends and family," Hawks said, "and not just push those to the side because you could keep going."Similarly, Gen Z entrepreneurs Travis Chen and Brian Femminella prioritize outdoor activities to avoid burnout while working. Chen and Femminella are the cofounders of SoundMind, a music-therapy app to help people who are experiencing trauma, anxiety, and depression. The app was launched in late 2021, after reports of a mental health crisis prompted by the pandemic made the two young men think about what they could do to help. To unplug from their workdays, Chen likes to go on hikes while Femminella indulges in skydiving."It's to really see the world and hear nothing but the air and the sound of the parachute as a way to reset my mind," Femminella previously told Insider.Read more: The 21-year-old founder and CEO behind a social media agency that's worked with Deloitte and the UN swears by this 7:30 a.m. to midnight scheduleRead more: A virtual assistant followed this daily routine to earn $9,000 a month and scale her business to $1.1 million in sales.Read more: Meet the Gen Z founders who created a music app to help combat pandemic-induced anxiety and depressionThey create an 'energy map'Liah Yoo is the founder of Krave Beauty.courtesy of YooBeing a founder is a time-intensive and emotionally demanding job, which is why the energy you're surrounded by is key, both Meha Agrawal, founder of journaling company Silk & Sonder and Liah Yoo, founder of beauty brand KraveBeatuy, told Insider. "Every founder should do an energy map," Agrawal said. "Identifying what activities you're doing day to day that raise your energy and recharge you, and what drains you."She suggests getting as much of the draining work off your plate by delegating tasks so you can focus on what drives you. Agrawal has used this method to grow her journaling business from a side hobby to a brand that booked more than $3 million in sales from April to October 2022, according to documentation. Yoo follows a similar strategy to determine where to use her energy.She dictates her high-energy and low-energy tasks on her calendar with red or green boxes. If she notices too much red, she reevaluates her priorities, she said. Yoo has been using this method from the start of her business — which began in 2017 and hit eight figures in sales in 2021, according to documentation."The energy audit is really huge," Yoo said, adding that she dedicates at least 20% of every day or week into something that sparks joy. "If I don't have that 20% of creative time, I don't think I'd be able to last any day or any week."Read more: How 7 content creators built brands beyond fan merchandise and launched successful businessesDominic-Madori Davis contributed to this article. An earlier version of this article appeared on January 18, 2022.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 30th, 2022

Behind TikTok’s Boom: A Legion of Traumatized, $10-A-Day Content Moderators

Content moderators in Colombia are tasked with fighting a never-ending battle against disturbing and sometimes traumatizing content Content warning: This story contains description of extreme and disturbing violence, suicide, child abuse and cruelty to animals. Luis, a 28-year-old student from Colombia, works through the night moderating videos for TikTok. During the day, he tries to get some sleep, but sometimes the videos haunt his dreams. He remembers one video taken at a party, with two people holding what initially looked to him like pieces of meat. When they turned around, it appeared they were holding skin and gristle which had been flayed off human faces. “The worst thing was that the friends were playing games and started using the human faces as masks,” he says. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Luis reeled off a list of the kind of content he sees on a regular basis: “Murder, suicide, pedophilic, pornographic content, accidents, cannibalism.” For Carlos, a former TikTok moderator, it was a video of child sexual abuse that gave him nightmares. The video showed a girl of five or six years old, he says. “She was dancing, like pointing her back to the camera, it was so close.” It hit him particularly hard, he says, because he’s a father himself. He hit pause, went outside for a cigarette, then returned to the queue of videos a few minutes later. Horrific videos such as these are part and parcel of everyday work for TikTok moderators in Colombia. They told the Bureau of Investigative Journalism about widespread occupational trauma and inadequate psychological support, demanding or impossible performance targets, punitive salary deductions and extensive surveillance. Their attempts to unionize to secure better conditions have been opposed repeatedly. “I would just cover my screen and wait for 10 seconds to pass.” TikTok’s rapid growth in Latin America—it has an estimated 100 million users in the region—has led to the hiring of hundreds of moderators in Colombia to fight a never-ending battle against disturbing content. They work six days a week on day and night shifts, with some paid as little as 1.2 million pesos ($254) a month, compared to around $2,900 for content moderators based in the U.S. The workers interviewed by the Bureau worked on TikTok content, but were contracted through Teleperformance, a multinational services outsourcing company that has more than 42,000 workers in Colombia, making it one of the country’s largest private employers. The nine moderators could only speak anonymously for fear they might lose their jobs, or undermine their future employment prospects. Neither TikTok nor Teleperformance responded to detailed lists of allegations for this story. Both companies issued statements saying they are committed to the wellbeing of their employees. Human Labor: Cheaper Than AI TikTok’s recommendation algorithm is widely considered to be one of the most effective applications of artificial intelligence (AI) in the world. With almost alarming accuracy, it learns what an individual user finds funny or appealing, and serves them more content that they are likely to enjoy. But TikTok’s AI expertise only goes so far. The company uses human workers alongside AI to help keep its platform scrubbed of harmful content. And when content moderators at TikTok and other platforms mark a piece of content for removal, they are not just taking it down. They are also collecting data about the specific policies it violates—data that can be used to train the platform’s machine learning systems to better identify such content in the future. Some social media platforms struggle with even relatively simple tasks, such as detecting copies of terrorist videos that have already been removed. But their task becomes even harder when they are asked to quickly remove content that nobody has seen before. “The human brain is the most effective tool to identify toxic material,” says Roi Carthy, the chief marketing officer of L1ght, a content moderation AI company. Humans become especially useful when harmful content is delivered in new formats and contexts that AI may not identify. “There’s nobody that knows how to solve content moderation holistically, period,” Carthy says. “There’s no such thing.” Read More: Inside Facebook’s African Sweatshop The existence of a low-paid, insecure global workforce may be exacerbating the problem, Carthy says. More computing power is required to analyze videos, which are more complex than photos and text. This means creating AI for moderating video is especially expensive. “If you’re looking at this from a monetary perspective, then content moderation AI can’t compete with $1.80 an hour,” Carthy says, referring to a typical wage for content moderators based in the global south. “If that’s the only dimension you’re looking at, then no content moderation AI company can compete with that.” Psychological support ‘just for show’ Claudia, a current TikTok moderator, told the Bureau she felt anxious and panicked at work after watching successive videos of people eating live animals. These trending videos were impossible to escape and triggered a phobia of hers. “I would just cover my screen and wait for 10 seconds to pass,” she says. Claudia requested support through the Teleperformance scheme, which had to be approved by a supervisor, but she did not receive any help for two months. When the company’s mental health support staff finally did get in touch, they said they were unable to help her and told her to seek out support through the Colombian healthcare system. The mental harms of content moderation work are well-documented, and the moderators the Bureau spoke to reported many symptoms caused or exacerbated by their work, including depression, anxiety, loneliness, tremors and sleep loss. A slick PR video produced by Teleperformance promotes the psychological support it offers. “Some call them angels,” the voiceover says, describing its moderators while vaguely melancholic classical music plays in the background. “We know them as our friends, members of our family.” However, several moderators say the company’s mental health support scheme is woefully inadequate. Just one of those interviewed, a former moderator, felt Teleperformance did care about the mental health of its employees. Daniela said the company was particularly concerned about those who, like her, worked on the R1 team dealing with the most extreme content – although she personally had never felt the need to use the support. But Luis, the man haunted by the video of flayed faces, says the in-house offering was “just for show”. He also works on R1, but ended up seeking psychological support outside of work, through the Colombian healthcare system. Missing the metric The TikTok moderation system described by these moderators is built on exacting performance targets. If workers do not get through a huge number of videos, or return late from a break, they can lose out on a monthly bonus worth up to a quarter of their salary. It is easy to lose out on the much-needed extra cash. Álvaro, a current TikTok moderator, has a target of 900 videos per day, with about 15 seconds to view each video. He works from 6am to 3pm, with two hours of break time, and his base salary is 1.2m pesos ($254) a month, only slightly higher than Colombia’s minimum salary. All the moderators interviewed by the Bureau were based in the capital Bogotá when they were working for TikTok, where rent and living expenses are above the national average. For Álvaro, hitting his productivity, timekeeping, and accuracy targets can be worth an extra 300,000 pesos ($64). But he says he usually earns closer to his base salary of 1.2m pesos. A single slip up can be enough. He once received a disciplinary notice known internally as an “action form” for only managing to watch 700 videos in a shift, which was considered “work avoidance”. Once a worker has an action form, he says, they cannot receive a bonus that month. Álvaro worries these disciplinary actions will affect any future reference and hamper his job prospects. “If I put this work in my work experience, they’re gonna say I was avoiding work, not getting the metric, being a bad worker.” He adds: “You have to just work like a computer. You pick the policies, no more. Don’t say anything, don’t go to bed, don’t go to the restroom, don’t make a coffee, nothing.” Other moderators who spoke to the Bureau also had daily targets of 900-1,000 videos, while another who worked on longer videos of up to a minute reported targets of 200-250 per shift. While some say they usually received their bonus, others say they only received it some of the time, and one moderator described it as impossible to attain. Two say they felt they had unfairly missed out despite meeting their targets or being a top performer in their department. Teleperformance spokesperson Mark Pfeiffer says: “Teleperformance is committed to employee wellbeing and staff diversity, equity and inclusion. People care has been, is and will continue to be a global top priority for our business.” Home surveillance Teleperformance, based in Paris, has become a market leader in content moderation services, with more than 7,000 of these types of workers around the world, according to analysis by Market Research Future. It sees Colombia – where moderators told the Bureau it worked with Meta, Discord and Microsoft as well as TikTok – as a key hub for cementing this position of dominance. Teleperformance documents name Colombia as one of two major hubs for content moderation in Latin America, the other being Brazil. During the pandemic, business was booming. Last year, Teleperformance reported record revenue of €7.1 billion ($8.1 billion) and €557 million ($620m) in profit. The widespread shift to working from home was partly behind this huge rise in profits, as companies contracted Teleperformance to help them manage their newly remote workforce, according to Aarti Dhapte, a senior analyst with Market Research Future. At the same time, a large proportion of Teleperformance’s own staff were shifted to remote work, cutting the cost of office maintenance. Teleperformance says that 70% of its global workforce is now remote, as were most of the moderators interviewed by the Bureau. Read More: These TikTok Creators Say They’re Still Being Suppressed for Posting Black Lives Matter Content To reassure clients that this shift would not lead to a drop in standards, Teleperformance rolled out extensive surveillance systems, using both proprietary and third-party software to monitor its employees. NBC news revealed last year that Teleperformance workers in Colombia, including those subcontracted to Apple and Uber, had been pressured to sign contracts giving the company the right to install cameras in their homes. Carolina, a former TikTok moderator who worked remotely for Teleperformance between June and September 2020, says supervisors asked her to be on camera continuously during her night shift. She was also warned that nobody else should be in view of the camera, and that her desk should be empty, apart from a drink in a transparent cup. “That was terrible, because my family lives in my house as well,” Carolina says. “So I felt very guilty telling them, ‘Please don’t pass behind the camera because I could be fired’. Teleperformance is especially paranoid with people seeing what we do.” Current moderators did not say they had to work on camera, but they do have to clock in and out and log any breaks on an app called Timekeeper. When Álvaro was once a few minutes back from the break on his overnight shift, his supervisor subsequently contacted him and put him on an action form. A TikTok spokesperson says: “We strive to promote a caring working environment for our employees and contractors. Our Trust and Safety team partners with third party firms on the critical work of helping to protect the TikTok platform and community, and we continue to expand on a range of wellness services so that moderators feel supported mentally and emotionally.” Union busting Outsourcing moderation to countries in the global south like Colombia works for businesses because it is cheap, and workers are poorly protected. Carolina, who left Teleperformance two years ago, says: “It’s very important for people to get to know that this is abusive, and they’re just companies taking advantage of the terrible economical situation that we’ve got for young people in Latin America.” Utraclaro, a Colombian union which represents IT and call center workers, has been trying to organize Teleperformance staff – including TikTok moderators – for more than two years. It has been a slow and laborious process, with pushback from the company at every stage. The union’s key demands are that the company must allow workers to form a union without intimidation and that union reps are allowed access to the workplace to talk to their colleagues. Teleperformance did not comment on specific allegations of union-busting in Colombia. Eyewitnesses who asked to remain anonymous said they had seen union organizers harassed several times by security staff while trying to speak to Teleperformance workers at a business park in Bogotá. When organizers gave out flyers or attempted to speak to workers taking their breaks outside the Teleperformance offices, the park’s private security guards followed them and told them to stop. One person said she had seen a Teleperformance worker watch the organizers, and then speak with security guards. After this, more security guards were watching the workers. On another occasion, the guards called the police after arguing with the organizers about their right to be there. “Even if you’re in a public area they don’t care, they will harass you, they’ll call the police,” said another source. “And because it’s a big company, the police also will be in their favor.” After Utraclaro officially notified Teleperformance of its demands in August 2021, Teleperformance filed a legal claim at a labor court in Bogotá, alleging Utraclaro did not follow the proper processes when ratifying its bargaining demands. The lawsuit is an attempt to intimidate workers, said UNI Global Union, an international trade union federation which is supporting Utraclaro in their dispute. Teleperformance’s lawyers have sought the “suspension, dissolution, liquidation and cancellation of the union registration,” public court records show. Read More: After a Year of Focus on Big Tech’s Harms, Why We’re Still Waiting on Reform Change, however, may be on the horizon. There has been some progress in discussions between Utraclaro and Teleperformance in recent weeks. “The union in Colombia still has a frivolous lawsuit hanging over its head but at least there are some ongoing discussions which could potentially move things forward,” says Christy Hoffman, secretary of UNI Global Union. If Teleperformance reaches a deal with the union, it would be a significant moment for the outsourcing sector, which has historically been hostile to labor organizing. “I’ve been in this kind of business since 2013,” says one Teleperformance customer service employee, “I can tell you that if you say that word [sindicato, Spanish for trade union], you will be out the next day. Sindicato? You can’t say that.” Claudia says she had joined the union to win a better salary and improved mental health support. Luis also hoped staff would get a pay rise, and that the intense pressure on moderators would be reduced. Álvaro, who lives alone in Bogotá and worked six days a week for the whole of last December after a holiday request was denied, says he just wants to spend Christmas with his family this year. For now, however, TikTok’s low-paid moderators will keep working to their grueling targets, sifting through some of the internet’s most nightmarish content. This story is the result of a partnership between TIME and The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a non-profit newsroom based in London. The names of moderators who spoke with the Bureau have been changed to protect their identity......»»

Category: topSource: timeOct 20th, 2022

Inside how the economic downturn is hitting the tech industry, from funding slowdowns to layoffs and vanishing compensation

Tech stocks and valuations have taken a plunge. And that will directly affect how firms prepare for a likely recession. Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Getty Tech firms saw massive gains over the past two years during the pandemic. But an economic downturn could shake out which companies can withstand recession. Insider explains how tech giants, startups, and the workforce are responding to the changing market. Tech firms just experienced years of record highs. But what goes up, must come down. Stocks are dipping, startups are flopping, and a possible recession threatens tech giants that once seemed untouchable. An economic slump could have serious consequences for the firms and their workforces. "This will be in the top-three corrections of the last 20 years — joining the 2008-2009 Great Recession and the 2000 dot-com crash," David Sacks, a cofounder and partner at Craft Ventures, previously told Insider.  Workers will have to brace themselves for the upheaval. A recent shortage of tech workers paired with the so-called Great Resignation gave workers endless opportunities and leverage over companies. Now, layoffs and salary cuts could be around the corner. Still, not all companies are doomed. Some businesses will prove to be "recession-proof" as their tech becomes mandatory to the infrastructure of other firms. The giants made major gains — but now they have a lot to loseCloud firms are often considered well-positioned to withstand — and even thrive — amid market turmoil. But tens of billions of dollars have swirled down the drain at some of the biggest companies. From crashing stock prices to teetering investments, companies like Snowflake and Salesforce are bracing for slowed growth. And even behemoths like Amazon aren't immune from the effects of inflation. Read more: Snowflake lost $70 billion in value in 6 months after seeing explosive growth as a pandemic darling. Here's how 4 Wall Street analysts say the cloud company can survive the market downturn.Salesforce benefited big time from its investments in companies like Robinhood and Monday.com, but now its stock holdings could become a liabilityCloud computing's favorite new business model is starting to look like a huge risk as markets sourThe inside story of how inflation is roiling Amazon's empire: Shrinking margins, slowing demand, and surging employee attritionStartups aren't seeing the record levels of investment they had last yearStartups raised a record amount of funds in 2021, to the tune of $621 billion. But that cash flow is drying up. Delivery startups like Gopuff are facing a wary future as investors slow funding. Across the market, more firms are being snapped up by bigger companies as they struggle to survive on their own. Read more: Gopuff puts 22 warehouses on the chopping block as the fast-delivery sector suffers a post-pandemic slumpInvestors and VCs predict which ultrafast-delivery startups will survive and share which look shaky as layoffs hit, funding dries up, and a recession looms'There's blood in the water.' Venture investors see a wave of startup acquisitions as funding dries up and dealmakers hunt for bargains.'Avoid the Death Spiral': Multiple VCs have blasted out warnings to founders on economic doom. Here's what they are advising.Cloud and Web3 firms are positioning themselves to withstand the downturnNot every industry is bracing for a slowdown. In fact, some are thriving through the possibility of recession. Cloud-software firms with cash can position themselves for growth by investing in new markets, and Web3 startups may still thrive because investors want to make future bets on their technologies.Read more: 4 cloud-software companies, including Zoom and HubSpot, are best positioned to weather an economic downturn, RBC analysts sayVCs are still doubling down on the 'picks and shovels' of Web3 despite billions of dollars lost in the plunging crypto market. Here's why.These are the most — and least — recession-proof tech companiesFear of layoffs is impacting job stability in techFor a while, the balance of power between businesses and the workforce had swapped. Employees gained enough leverage to demand flexibility and higher pay with strong job security. But that may be changing again. Layoffs and hiring pauses loom at tech companies of all sizes, leaving workers in a lurch for stability. Read more: I'm a recruiter who's placed over 700 people at companies like Microsoft, Google, and Facebook. Here are the 3 questions I tell candidates to ask to make sure they won't be on the wrong side of future layoffs.Salesforce hiring pause has Wall Street on edge ahead of the company's quarterly resultsInside Gorillas' brutal job cuts: In a leaked memo, CEO Kagan Sumer predicts just 1 or 2 rapid delivery firms will survive the economic downturnTech layoffs have topped 20,000 this year. Here are 10 ways companies can ease the burden on affected employees.Big Tech hiring is grinding to a halt, but hope isn't lost. Here's what job seekers need to know.Tech workers' compensation is at riskAll forms of employee compensation are being hit by the economic downturn. Tech workers with stock awards are watching equity sink as share prices fall more than 50% at some firms. And at the same time, high paychecks for new employees aren't sustainable for companies bleeding cash. Read more: Tech workers at companies like Amazon, Uber, and Block are seeing up to $400,000 vanish from their compensation as stocks continue to plungeCHART: Tech industry compensation is 'completely unsustainable.' Here are the companies most at risk as the market plunges.CHART: 26 tech companies 'underwater' on employee stock awards. See which ones are in the biggest hole as the market collapses.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 4th, 2022

The Tucker Carlson origin story

Tucker Carlson's journey from prep school provocateur to Fox News flamethrower, according to his friends and former classmates. Tucker Carlson during a CNN National Town Meeting on coverage of the White House sex scandal, on January 28, 1998.Richard Ellis/Getty Images Tucker Carlson is remembered as a provocateur and gleeful contrarian by those who knew him in his early days. His bohemian artist mother abandoned her young family and cut Tucker and his brother out of her will. At a Rhode Island prep school and at Trinity College, classmates remember him as a skilled debater who could both amuse and infuriate his audiences. On Oct. 29, 1984, New York police killed an elderly Black woman named Eleanor Bumpurs in her own home. Bumpers, who lived in a public housing complex in the Bronx, had fallen four months behind on her rent. When officials from the city housing authority tried to evict her, she refused, and they called the police. Five officers responded by storming into her apartment. Bumpurs, who had a history of mental illness, grabbed a butcher knife as two officers pushed her against a wall with their plastic shields and a metal pole. A third officer fired two shots from his 12-gauge shotgun, striking Bumpurs in her hand and chest.Eleanor Bumpurs' death dominated the city's news for two months and led the NYPD to revise its guidelines for responding to emotionally disturbed individuals.At St. George's prep school, some 175 miles away in Rhode Island, the incident deeply haunted Richard Wayner. He was one of the school's few Black students and had grown up in a residential tower not far from where Bumpurs had lived. He earned straight As and was so admired that in 1984 his peers elected him senior prefect, the prep equivalent of student body president, making him the first Black class leader in the school's 125-year history. Harvard soon beckoned.Wayner was frustrated with how the St. George's community seemed to ignore the conversations about racial justice that were happening outside the cloistered confines of Aquidneck Island. It bothered Wayne that almost no one at St. George's seemed to know anything about Bumpurs' killing. "You had your crew, you put your head down, and you tried to get through three or four years of prep school with your psyche intact," Wayner said of those days.As senior prefect, one of the duties was to deliver an address each week at the mandatory Sunday chapel service. One Sunday, perched from the chapel podium, Wayner described the shooting as a sea of white faces stared back at him. He concluded with the words: "Does anyone think that woman deserved to die?"Near the front of the chapel, a single hand went up for a few brief seconds. It was Tucker Carlson.Eleanor Bumpurs was shot and killed by the New York Police Department on October 29, 1984APThen a sophomore, Tucker had a reputation as a gleeful contrarian – an indefatigable debater and verbal jouster who, according to some, could also be a bit of a jerk. "Tucker was just sort of fearless," said Ian Toll, a St. George's alumnus who would go on to be a military historian. "Whether it was a legitimate shooting may have been a point of debate but the fact was that Tucker was an underclassmen and the culture was to defer to the seniors." Wayner himself never saw Tucker's hand go up, and the two kept in touch over the years. (Note on style: Tucker Carlson and the members of his family are referred to here by their first names to avoid confusion.)  Four decades later, glimmers of that prep school provocateur appear on Tucker's Prime Time show on Fox, which garners an average of between 3 to 4 million viewers a night. His furrowed visage and spoiling-for-a-fight demeanor are all too familiar to those who have known him for decades. In the words of Roger Stone, a Republican political operative, frequent guest, and longtime friend of Tucker's: "Tucker Carlson is the single most influential conservative journalist in America… It is his courage and his willingness to talk about issues that no one else is willing to cover that has led to this development."Tucker's name has even been floated as a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2024. "I mean, I guess if, like, I was the last person on earth, I could do it. But, I mean, it seems pretty unlikely that I would be that guy." he said on the "Ruthless" podcast in June, dismissing this possibility.Tucker's four decades in Washington, and his transition from conservative magazine writer to right-wing television pundit, have been well documented. But less well known are his early years and how they shaped him: his bohemian artist mother, who abandoned her young family and cut Tucker and his brother out of her will; the Rhode Island prep school where he met his future spouse; and his formation into a contrarian debater who could both amuse and infuriate his audience with his attention-getting tactics.Tucker declined to participate in an interview with Insider, saying in a statement. "Your level of interest in the boring details of my life is creepy as hell, and also pathetic," he wrote. "You owe it to yourself and the country to do something useful with your talents. Please reassess."California roots Tucker Carlson's West Coast roots burrow as deep as a giant redwood. He was born in San Francisco in May 1969 as the excesses of the Sixties peaked and the conservative backlash to the counterculture and the Civil Rights movement started to take shape. Tucker's mother, Lisa McNear Lombardi, born in San Francisco in 1945, came from one of the state's storied frontier families. Lisa's mother, Mary Nickel James, was a cattle baron heiress. Her great-great-grandfather had owned 3 million acres of ranchland, making him among the largest landowners west of the Mississippi. Her father Oliver Lombardi was an insurance broker and descendant of Italian-speaking Swiss immigrants. Lisa enrolled at UC Berkeley, where she majored in architecture. She met Richard Carlson, a San Francisco TV journalist from a considerably less prosperous background, while still in college. Lisa and Richard eloped in Reno, Nevada in 1967. The couple didn't notify Lisa's mother, who was traveling in Europe with her new husband at the time. "Family members have been unable to locate them to reveal the nuptials," a gossip item published in the San Francisco Examiner dished.Tucker arrived two years later. A second son, Buckley, was born two years after that. As Richard's career began to flourish, the family moved first to Los Angeles and then, in 1975, to La Jolla, a moneyed, beach-front enclave about 12 miles north of San Diego. When Lisa and Richard divorced a year later, in 1976, Richard got full custody of their sons, then 6 and 4. According to three of Tucker's childhood classmates, Lisa disappeared from her sons' lives. They don't recall Tucker talking about her, or seeing her at school events. Marc Sterne, Tucker's boarding school roommate who went on to be executive producer of the Tony Kornheiser Show, says the two didn't talk much about Tucker's relationship with his mother and he got the impression that Tucker and Richard were exceptionally close. When Sterne's own parents split up that year, he said Tucker was supportive and understanding. Lisa spent the next two decades as an artist – moving first to Los Angeles, where she befriended the painter David Hockney, and later split her time between France and South Carolina with her husband, British painter Michael Vaughan. In 1979, Richard Carlson married Patricia Swanson, heiress to the Swanson frozen foods empire that perfected the frozen Salisbury steak for hassle-free dinners. She soon legally adopted Tucker and Buckley.  When Lisa died in 2011, her estate was initially divided equally between Tucker, his brother Buckley, and Vaughan. But in 2013, Vaughan's daughter from another marriage found a one-page handwritten document in Lisa's art studio in France that left her assets to her surviving husband with an addendum that stated, "I leave my sons Tucker Swanson McNear Carlson and Buckley Swanson Peck Carlson one dollar each." A protracted battle over Lombardi's estate involving Vaughan and the Carlson brothers wound up in probate court. The Carlsons asserted the will was forged but a forensic witness determined that Lisa had written the note. The case eventually went to the California Appellate Court, which allowed the Carlson brothers to keep their shares in 2019."Lisa was basically sort of a hippie and a free spirit," said one attorney who  represented the Vaughan family and recalled having conversations about the case. "She was very liberal and she did not agree with Tucker's politics. But she stuck the will in the book, everyone forgot about it, and then she passed away."In a 2017 interview with The New Yorker, Tucker described the dissolution of his family as a "totally bizarre situation — which I never talk about, because it was actually not really part of my life at all." Several pieces of art produced by Tucker's mother, Lisa Lombardi, and her then-partner Mo Mcdermott in the home of a California collector.Ted Soqui for InsiderLisa When Lisa left her husband and two young sons, she was escaping suburban family life in favor of the more bohemian existence as an artist. One of Tucker and Buckley's former teachers said their mother's absence "left some sour grapes." "I felt they sided with the father," Rusty Rushton, a former St. George's English teacher said. After the divorce, Lisa returned to Los Angeles and tried to break into the city's thriving contemporary art scene. She befriended Mo McDermott, an LA-based British sculptor, model, and longtime assistant to David Hockney, one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. A few years before he met Lisa, the scene was captured in Jack Hazan's 1974 groundbreaking documentary "A Bigger Splash," which followed Hockney and his coterie of gay male friends idly lounging around the pool in his Hollywood Hills home."When love goes wrong, there's more than two people who suffer," said McDermott, playing a slightly exaggerated version of himself, in a voiceover in the documentary.Lisa and McDermott became a couple and Lisa won admission into Hockney's entourage. Hockney lived a far more reclusive lifestyle than his pop art compatriot Andy Warhol but some four dozen or so artists, photographers, and writers regularly passed through his properties."She was more like a hippie, arty kind of person. I couldn't ever imagine her being a mother," said Joan Quinn, the then-West Coast editor of Andy Warhol's Interview Magazine, who knew Lisa during those years and still owns several of her works. "She was very nervous all the time… She was ill-content."The pair were often seen at Hockney's Hollywood Hills home and at Friday night gallery openings on La Cienega Boulevard. They collaborated on playful, large-scale wood sculptures of animals, vegetables, and trees. A handful of their pieces could be seen around Hockney's hillside ranch."Hockney had me over to meet them. He wanted a gallery to handle their work," said Molly Barnes, who owns a gallery in West Hollywood and gave the pair shows in 1983 and 1984. "They were brilliant and David loved Mo. He thought they were the best artists around.""She was quiet and intellectual and somewhat withdrawn," Barnes said. "She had come from a lot of money and that reflected on her personality. She wasn't a snob in any way but she had the manners of a private school girl and someone who was fighting the establishment."A sculpture by Tucker's mother, Lisa Lombardi, and her then-partner Mo Mcdermott in the home of a California collector.Ted Soqui for InsiderNone of them recall Lisa discussing her two sons. McDermott died in 1988. After his death, Hockney discovered that McDermott had been stealing drawings from him and selling them. Hockney said the betrayal helped bring on a heart attack. "I believe I had a broken heart," Hockney told The Guardian in 1995. (Hockney did not answer multiple inquiries about Lisa or McDermott.)In 1987, Lisa met Vaughan, one of Hockney's peers in the British art scene known as the "Bradford Mafia." They married in February 1989 and for years afterward they lived in homes in the Pyrenees of southwest France and South Carolina's Sea Islands.Lisa continued to make art, primarily oversized, wooden sculptures of everyday household items like peeled lemons and dice, but she exhibited her work infrequently. She died of cancer in 2011, at which point Carlson was a decade into his media career and a regular contributor on Fox News. Richard In contrast to Lisa's privileged upbringing, Richard's childhood was full of loss. Richard's mother was a 15-year-old high school girl who had starved herself during her pregnancy, and he was born with a condition called rickets. Six weeks later, his mother left him at an orphanage in Boston called The Home for Little Wanderers. Richard's father, who was 18, tried to convince her to kidnap the infant and marry him, but she refused. He shot and killed himself two blocks from her home.A Massachusetts couple fostered Richard for two years until he was adopted by a wool broker and his wife, which he described in a 2009 reflection for the Washington Post. His adoptive parents died when he was still a teenager and Richard was sent to the Naval Academy Preparatory School. He later enlisted in the Marines and enrolled in an ROTC program at the University of Mississippi to pay for college.In 1962, Richard developed an itch for journalism while working as a cop in Ocean City, Maryland at the age of 21, and the future NBC political correspondent Catherine Mackin, helped him get a copy boy job at the Los Angeles Times. Richard moved to San Francisco three years later and his career blossomed. He started producing television news features with his friend, Lance Brisson, the son of actress Rosalind Russell. They filmed migrant farm workers in the Imperial Valley living in cardboard abodes in 110 degree weather, traipsed the Sierra Nevada mountains to visit a hermit, and covered the Zodiac Killer and Bay Area riots (during one demonstration in 1966, they sent television feeds from their car where they trapped for four hours  and a crowd roughed up Brisson, which required four stitches under his left eye). Another time, they rented a helicopter in search of a Soviet trawler but they had to jump into the Pacific Ocean when the chopper ran low on fuel near the shore and crashed.In 1969, Richard and Brisson co-wrote an article for Look Magazine that claimed San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto had mafia ties. Alioto sued the magazine's owner for libel and won a $350,000 judgment when a judge determined the article's allegations were made with "actual malice" and "reckless disregard for whether they were true or not." (Richard was not a defendant in the case and has stood by his story. Brisson declined an interview.)Richard moved back to Los Angeles to join KABC's investigative team two years later. One series of stories that delved into a three-wheeled sports car called the Dale and the fraudulent marketing practices of its founder, Geraldine Elizabeth Carmichael, won a Peabody award in 1975. The series also outed Carmichael as a transgender woman. (Richard's role in Carmichael's downfall was explored in the HBO documentary "The Lady and the Dale.") Soon after arriving as an anchor for KFMB-TV, San Diego's CBS affiliate, Richard ran a story revealing that tennis pro Renee Richards, who had just won a tournament at the La Jolla Tennis Club, was a transgender woman."I said, 'You can't do this. I am a private person,'" Richards, who years later would advise Caitlyn Jenner about her transition, urged the television journalist to drop his story, according to a 2015 interview. "His reply? 'Dr. Richards, you were a private person until you won that tournament yesterday.'" By the time he left the anchor chair in 1977 to take a public relations job with San Diego Savings and Loan, Richard had soured on journalism. "I have seen a lot of arrogance and hypocrisy in the press and I don't like it," he told San Diego Magazine in 1977. "Television news is insipid, sophomoric, and superficial… There are so many things I think are important and interesting but the media can be counted on to do handstands on that kind of scandal and sexual sensation."Years later, Richard said that he never tried to encourage his eldest son in politics or journalism, but that Tucker had a clear interest in both from an early age. "I never thought he was going to be a reporter or a writer. I never encouraged him to do that," Richard told CSPAN of his eldest son in 2006. "I actually attempted not to encourage him politically, either. I decided those are the things that should be left up to them."A LaJolla, California post card.Found Image Holdings/Corbis via Getty ImagesA La Jolla childhoodAfter the divorce, Richard and his boys stayed in La Jolla in a house overlooking the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club. Friends of Tucker's would later say that the trauma of their mother's absence brought the three of them closer together.  "They both really admired their dad. He was a great source of wisdom. He's one of the great raconteurs you'll ever meet. They loved that glow that came from him," said Sterne, Tucker's boarding school roommate. "They both looked up to him, it was clear from my eyes."In an essay included in his book "The Long Slide: Thirty Years in American Journalism," Tucker described Richard as a kind parent who imbued family outings with a deeper message.One of Tucker's earliest memories, he writes, was from just after the divorce, when Tucker was seven and Buckley was five: the brothers gripping the edge of a luggage rack on the roof of his family's 1976 Ford Country Squire station wagon, while their father gunned the engine down a dirt road."I've sometimes wondered what car surfing was meant to teach us," Tucker wrote. "Was he trying to instill in us a proper sense of fatalism, the acknowledgement that there is only so much in life you can control? Or was it a lesson about the importance of risk?... Unless you're willing to ride the roof of a speeding station wagon, in other words, you're probably not going to leave your mark on the world."More often, the boys were left unsupervised and found their own trouble. Tucker once took a supermarket shopping cart and raced it down a hill in front of their house with Buckley in its basket. The cart tipped over, leaving Buckley with a bloody nose. He also recalled building makeshift hand grenades with hydrochloric acid and aluminum foil – using a recipe from their father's copy of "The Anarchist Cookbook"  and tossing them onto a nearby golf course."No one I know had a father like mine," Tucker wrote. "My father was funnier and more outrageous, more creative  and less willing to conform, than anyone I knew or have known since. My brother and I had the best time growing up."Richard sent Tucker to La Jolla Country Day, an upscale, largely white private school with a reputation as one of the best in Southern California, for elementary and middle school. In his book, "Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution," Tucker described his first grade teacher Marianna Raymond as "a living parody of earth-mother liberalism" who "wore long Indian-print skirts," and sobbed at her desk over the world's unfairness. "As a conservative, I had contempt for the whiny mawkishness of liberals. Stop blubbering and teach us to read. That was my position," he wrote. "Mrs. Raymond never did teach us; my father had to hire a tutor to get me through phonics.""I beg to differ," Raymond countered in an interview, saying that she was also Tucker's tutor during the summer after first grade and was even hired again. "I'm a great teacher. I'm sure he liked me." For her part, she remembered Tucker as a fair-haired tot who was "very sweet" and "very polite." (When The Washington Post reached out her her, she said Carlson's characterization had been "shocking.")  Friends from La Jolla remember that Tucker loved swimming the mile-and-a-half distance between La Jolla Shores Park and La Jolla Cove, jumping off cliffs that jut out into the Pacific Ocean, riffing on the drums, and playing Atari and BB gun games at the mall with his friends. "He was a happy kid. We were young, so we used to go to the beach. We did normal kid stuff," said Richard Borkum, a friend who is now a San Diego-based attorney. When they weren't at the beach or the mall, Borkum and another friend, Javier Susteata, would hang out at the Carlson home listening to The Who, AC/DC, and other classic rock bands. Borkum said the adults at the Carlson household largely left them alone. "I'm Jewish and Javier was Mexican and I'm not sure they were too happy we were going to their house," Borkum said.Another friend, Warren Barrett, remembers jamming with Tucker and going snow camping at Big Bear and snorkeling off Catalina Island with him in middle school."Tucker and I literally ate lunch together every day for two years," Barrett said. "He was completely the opposite of now. He was a cool southern California surfer kid. He was the nicest guy, played drums, and had a bunch of friends. And then something must have happened in his life that turned him into this evil diabolical shithead he is today."LaJolla is a upscale beach community outside of San Diego. Carlson and his family moved their in 1975.Slim Aarons/Hulton Archive/Getty ImagesSan Diego's next mayorRichard, meanwhile, was exploring a second career in public service. By 1980, he had risen to vice president of a bank headed by Gordon Luce, a California Republican power broker and former Reagan cabinet official. The following year, Richard's public profile got a boost when he tangled with another veteran television journalist, CBS's Mike Wallace. The 60 Minutes star had interviewed Richard for a story about low-income Californians who faced foreclosures from the bank after borrowing money to buy air conditioners without realizing they put their homes up for collateral. Richard had his own film crew tape the interview, and caught Wallace saying that people who had been defrauded were "probably too busy eating their watermelon and tacos." The remark made national headlines and Wallace was forced to apologize.Pete Wilson, the U.S. Senator and former San Diego mayor, encouraged Richard to run for office. In 1984, Richard entered the race to challenge San Diego Mayor Roger Hedgecock's re-election. "He was a very well-regarded guy," Hedgecock told Insider. "He had an almost Walter Cronkite-like appearance, but because he was in local news he was all about not offending anybody. He didn't have particularly strong views. He was nice looking, articulate, and made good appearances, but what he had to say was not particularly memorable other than he wanted me out of office."Sometimes Tucker tagged along for campaign events. "He would always show up in a sport coat, slacks and a bowtie and I thought that's really nice clothing for someone who is a kid," Hedgecock remembers. He was a very polite young man who didn't say much."Five days before voters went to the polls, Hedgecock went on trial for 15 counts of conspiracy and perjury, an issue that Richard highlighted in his television campaign ads. Richard still lost to Hedgecock 58 to 42 percent despite pouring nearly $800,000 into the race and outspending Hedgecock two to one. (Hedgecock was found guilty of violating campaign finance laws and resigned from office in 1985 but his convictions were overturned on appeal five years later.)People are seen near a beach in La Jolla, California, on April 15, 2020.Gregory Bull/AP PhotoPrep school In the fall of 1983, a teenaged Tucker traded one idyllic beachfront community for another.At 14, Tucker moved across the country to Middletown, Rhode Island, to attend St. George's School. (Buckley would follow him two years later.) The 125-year-old boarding school sits atop a hill overlooking the majestic Atlantic Ocean, and is on the other side of Aquidneck Island where Richard Carlson went to naval school. The private school was known as a repository for children of wealthy East Coast families who were not as academically inclined as those who attended Exeter or Andover. Its campus had dorms named after titans of industry, verdant athletic fields, and a white-sand beach.Senators Claiborne Pell and Prescott Bush graduated, as did Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, and poet Ogden Nash. Tucker's class included "Modern Family" actor Julie Bowen; Dede Gardner, the two-time Oscar-winning producer of "12 Years a Slave" and "Moonlight"; and former DC Entertainment president Diane Nelson. Billy Bush – "Extra" host, and cousin to George W. Bush – was three years behind him.Tuition at St. George's cost $13,000 per year in the 1980s (it's now up to $67,000 for boarding school students) and student schedules were tightly regimented with breakfast, classes, athletics, dinner, and study hall encompassing each day. Students were required to take religion classes, and attend chapel twice a week. Faculty and staff would canvass the dorms on Thursdays and Sundays to ensure no one skipped the Episcopal service. Tucker impressed his new chums as an hyper-articulate merrymaker who frequently challenged upperclassmen who enforced dorm rules and the school's liberal faculty members."He was kind of a California surfer kid. He was funny, very intelligent, and genuinely well-liked," said Bryce Traister, who was one year ahead of Tucker and is now a professor at the University of British Columbia. "There were people who didn't like Tucker because they thought he was a bullshitter but he was very charming. He was a rascal and a fast-talker, as full of shit as he is today."Back then Tucker was an iconoclast more in the mold of Ferris Bueller than preppy neocon Alex P. Keaton, even if his wardrobe resembled the "Family Ties" star. Students were required to wear jackets, ties, and khakis, although most came to class disheveled. Tucker wore well-tailored coats and chinos, pairing his outfit with a ribbon-banded watch and colorful bowtie which would later become his signature. "He was always a very sharp dresser. He had a great rack of ties. He always knew how to tie a bowtie but he didn't exclusively wear a bowtie," said Sterne, Tucker's freshman year roommate. "He always had great clothes. It was a lot of Brooks Brothers." Their crew crew held court in each others' dorm rooms at Auchincloss, the freshman hall, kicking around a Hacky Sack and playing soccer, talking about Adolph Huxley, George Orwell, and Hemingway, and dancing to Tom Petty, the Grateful Dead, and U2 on the campus lawn. Televisions weren't allowed so students listened to their Sony Walkman swapping cassette recordings of live concerts. Tucker introduced several bands to his friends."He loved classic rock and he was and still is a big fan of Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead," said Sterne, who saw a Dead show with Tucker at RFK Stadium in 1986.Sometimes the clique got slices at Aquidneck Pizza and played arcade games in town, hung out in history instructor William Schenck's office, and smoked pot and Marlborough Red cigarettes on a porch in the main building's common room that faced the ocean, according to multiple sources. When the school administrators banned smoking indoors the following year so they congregated behind the dumpster behind the dining hall. Vodka (often the brand Popov) mixed with Kool-Aid was the drink of choice and students stockpiled bottles under their beds.Tucker was an enthusiastic drinker, half a dozen classmates recall. In his book, "The Long Slide," Tucker credits Hunter S. Thompson's "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" for enticing him to try drugs in 10th grade, The experience gave him "double vision and a headache." By the time he got to college, Tucker writes, "I switched to beer."By the late 1990s Tucker stopped smoking. He eventually cut alcohol too in 2002 after drinking so much while covering George W. Bush in New Hampshire during the 2000 primary that he accidentally got on the wrong plane, according to a friend.Most of Tucker's fellow students remember him best as a skilled speaker."He was always eager to take the less palatable side of the argument and argue that side," said Mahlon Stewart, who attended prep school and college with Tucker and is now a geriatric specialist at Columbia University. "Back then it was comedic. I thought it was an act.""His confidence was just amazing. He could just put out some positions and be willing to argue anything no matter how outlandish," Keller Kimbrough, a former classmate who's now a professor at the University of Colorado. "We were talking about politics and religion one time Tucker pulled this card out of his wallet and said, 'Well actually I'm an ordained minister, I'm an authority on the subject.' This was a stunt. He could literally play the religion card." "When he got the job at Fox I just thought 'Wow that's perfect for him, that's exactly what he can do.'"Their dorm room discourses were never serious. Tucker would pick a side in a debate between whether the color red or blue were better, and the crowd would erupt whenever he made a good point, friends said.  "Even at age 15 he was verbally dexterous and a great debater," Ian Toll said. "His conservative politics was fully formed even back then. He believed in strong defense and minimal government."His teachers saw a pupil who was primed for law school."Language and speaking came naturally to him. He took pleasure in it," said Rusty Rushton, Tucker's former English teacher. Tucker's politics, though, "seemed fluid to me," Rushton said. "I don't think of him as a deeply ensconced ideologue."He ditched soccer after sophomore year to act in a school theater production of Ayn Rand's courtroom thriller "Night of January 16th" (Julie Bowen starred as the prosecuting attorney. Tucker played a juror). But Tucker found his voice in competitive debate when he eventually joined the school's debate club. The team traveled to other private school campuses to compete against schools like Andover, Exeter, and Roxbury Latin in tournaments."He won some debate and basically did a victory lap afterward and got in the face of all the faculty there," one alum from a rival school who debated against Tucker said. "After defeating the student team, he started challenging the faculty, and said, 'Do any of you want to take me on? Are any of you capable of debating me?'"SusieIn the fall of Tucker's sophomore year, a new headmaster arrived at St. George's, Rev. George Andrews II. Andrews' daughter, Susie – who Tucker would eventually marry – was in Tucker's class. According to school tradition, a rotating group of underclassmen was charged with serving their classmates dinner and, one night in late September, Tucker and Susie had the shift at the same time. "They were sitting at a table at the far end of Queen Hall just leaning in, talking to each other," Sterne recalled. "You could see the sparks flying, which was cool."Susie floated between the school's friend groups easily. When she was seen mingling with Tucker, some questioned what she saw in him."People were saying, 'Come on Susie, why are you dating Tucker?' He's such a loser slacker and she was so sweet," Traister said. The pair started dating at the age of 15 and quickly became inseparable. Tucker gained notoriety on campus for repeatedly sneaking into Susie's room on the second floor of Memorial Schoolhouse, the school's stately administrative office that housed the headmaster's quarters. He had less time for his dumpster buddies now that the couple hung out on the campus lawn, attended chapel and an interdenominational campus ministry organization called FOCUS. His senior yearbook included a photo of Tucker squinting in concern to a classmate, with the caption "What do you mean you told Susie?While Susie was universally liked within the St. George's community, her father was polarizing.Andrews led the school during a turbulent period – it was later revealed – when its choirmaster Franklin Coleman was accused of abusing or having inappropriate conduct with at least 10 male students, according to an independent investigation by the law firm Foley Hoag in 2016. (Two attorneys representing several victims said 40 alumni contacted them with credible accounts of molestation and rape accusations at the hands of St. George's employees between 1974 and 2004 after a 2015 school-issued report detailed 26 accounts of abuse in the 1970s and 1980s. (Coleman was never criminally charged and he has not responded to Insider's attempts to reach him.) Over his eight-year tenure as school music director, from 1980 to 1988, Coleman invited groups of boys to his apartment for private parties. Sometimes he shared alcohol and pot with some of them, gave them back and neck rubs, showed pornographic videos, traveled with them on choral trips and stayed in their hotel rooms, and appeared nude around some of them, the report found. Several of Tucker's classmates and former faculty said they had no reason to believe he would have been aware of the accusations. "There were rumors circulating wildly that Coleman was bad news. The idea was he would cultivate relationships with young men," Ian Toll, a St. George's alum, said. "Anyone who was there at that time would have likely been aware of those rumors."Andrews told Foley Hoag investigators he was not aware of any complaints about Coleman until May 1988 (by then, Tucker had finished his freshman year in college) when school psychiatrist Peter Kosseff wrote a report detailing a firsthand account of misconduct. But Andrews acknowledged to investigators the school could have been aware of "prior questionable conduct" before then, the report said. Andrews fired Coleman in May 1988 after the school confronted Coleman with allegations of misconduct and he did not deny them. According to the investigation, Andrews told students Coleman resigned due to "emotional stress" and that he had the "highest regard and respect for him." On the advice of a school attorney, Andrews did not report the music teacher to child protective services. He also knew that his faculty dean wrote Coleman a letter of recommendation for a job at another school, according to investigators. Andrews left the school a few weeks after Coleman departed. By September 1989, he was named headmaster at St. Andrew's School in Boca Raton, Florida which he led for 18 years. (Andrews declined to speak about Tucker or his tenure at either school.) St. George's, meanwhile, reached an undisclosed settlement with up to 30 abuse survivors in 2016. Coleman found work as a choir director at Tampa Preparatory School in Tampa Bay, Florida before he retired in 2008. Tucker Carlson attended St. George’s School, a boarding school starting at age 14.Dina Rudick/The Boston Globe via Getty ImagesTrinity In the fall of 1987, Tucker enrolled at Trinity College in Hartford, CT, where Rev. Andrews had also attended.Nearly two-thirds of Trinity's student body back then originated from private schools and many came from wealthy backgrounds. Tuition in 1987 cost $11,700 plus an additional $3,720 for room and board—around $27,839 in today's dollars."When the Gulf War broke out" in 1990, one Trinity alum who knew Tucker recalled, "there was a big plywood sign in front of the student center that read, 'Blood for Oil,' and someone else threw a bucket of paint on it."The posh campus was situated in the middle of Hartford, Connecticut, the state's capital and one of its poorest cities. Discussions about race and inequality were sometimes at the forefront of campus politics, but many students avoided engaging in them entirely."There were issues about whether black students should only date other black students, that kind of thing," said Kathleen Werthman, a classmate of Tucker's who now works at a Florida nonprofit for people with disabilities. "My sophomore year, for new students, they had a speaker talking about racism, and one of the students said, 'I never met a black student, how are you supposed to talk to them?' And the idea that only white people can be racist was challenged too."Susie was at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tennessee. His brother remained in Rhode Island and other prep school friends had fanned out across the East Coast. Tucker moved into a four-bedroom dormitory overlooking the main quad. One suitemate, Neil Patel, was an economics major from Massachusetts who played intramural softball. (They would co-found the Daily Caller together two decades years later.) Other roommates played on the varsity soccer team and they formed a tight-knit group."I remember being struck by him. He was the same way he is now," said Rev. Billy Cerveny, a college friend of Tucker's who's now a pastor at Redbird Nashville. "He was a force of nature. He had a sense of presence and gravitas. You might get into an argument with him, but you end up loving the guy."Tucker often went out of his way to amuse his friends. Once during the spring semester, several activists set up a podium and microphone beneath his dorm window to protest the CIA's on-campus recruitment visits. The demonstration was open-mic so Tucker went up to the stage and told the crowd of about 15 people, "I think you're all a bunch of greasy chicken fuckers.""I think people laughed. He did," Cerveny said. "There was always a small collection of people any time there was an issue who tried to stir the pot in that way. Some people were dismissive and other people loved it, thinking 'Oh we're getting a fight here.'"As a sophomore, Tucker and his friends moved into a dingy three-story house on Crescent Street on the edge of the campus. He ditched his tailored jackets, khakis, and bowties for oversized Levi jeans, t-shirts, and untucked oxford shirts. Tucker commandeered a low-ceilinged room above the front porch with so many windows he had to hang up tapestries to keep out the sun. The tiny alcove had barely enough space for an eight-foot futon and several bookshelves Tucker built himself stacked with books he collected. Friends remember Tucker receiving an 8-by-10 manilla envelope that his father sent through the mail once or twice a month containing dozens of articles from newspapers and magazines.One of Tucker's friends, Cerveny, remembered stopping by Richard's home in Washington, D.C. and finding evidence of his hobbies, including the world's second largest collection of walking sticks."His house was filled with rare canes he collected from all over the world," Cerveny said. "The hallways had really amazing rows of canes hung on hooks that were specially made to mount these things on the house. One used to be a functional shotgun, another one was made out of a giraffe. His dad would pull out newspaper clippings of WWII Navy aircraft carriers. It changed the way I thought about a lot of things. I had never seen anything like that. Who collects canes?"During sophomore year, Tucker's friends decided to rush Delta Phi, a well-to-do fraternity also known as St. Elmo's. The Greek scene had a large presence on campus — about 20 percent of men joined them even though Trinity was a liberal arts school — and St. Elmo's had a reputation as freewheeling scamps. Once a year, a St. Elmo's brother would ride his motorcycle naked through the campus cafeteria. (Faculty voted in 1992 to abolish Greek life saying they were sexist and racist, and school administrators instead forced fraternities to become co-ed.)But Tucker refused to come aboard. Some classmates thought it was because he didn't want to be hazed."Tucker was not a joiner like that," Mahlon Stewart said. "He wouldn't have set himself up for whatever humiliation would have been involved. He would not have put up with that." But Cerveny, who pledged the fraternity, said it was a matter of faith."I remember explicitly him saying 'Look, I want to focus on what my faith is about and I thought this would be a big distraction,'" Cerveny said. "But he was very much in the mix with us. When we moved to a fraternity house [on Broad Street], we asked him to live with us."Tucker occasionally dropped in on his friends' fraternity events and occasionally brought Susie when she visited or Buckley when he drifted into town. Other times they hung out at Baker's Cafe on New Britain Avenue. Mostly Tucker stayed in his room."He was basically a hermit. It wasn't like he was going to a ton of parties" one Trinity St. Elmo's brother said. "He was not a part of the organizational effort of throwing big parties, or encouraging me to join the fraternity." Susie, who didn't drink or smoke, was a moderating influence. "Tucker and Susie had their moral compass pointing north even back then," Sterne said. "Tucker's faith was not something he was focused on in his early years but when he met Susie and he became close to her family, that started to blossom and grow in him. Now it's a huge part of his life."By the time his crew moved to another house on Broad Street, they each acquired vintage motorcycles and tinkered with them in their garage. Tucker owned a 1968 flathead Harley Davidson that barely ran and relied on a red Jeep 4X4 to transport friends around town (the Volkswagen van he had freshman year blew up). He smoked Camel unfiltered cigarettes, sipped bourbon, and occasionally brewed beer in the basement, including a batch he named "Coal Porter," according to GQ.When he wasn't reading outside of his courses or tinkering with his carburetor, Tucker took classes in the humanities and ultimately majored in history. Tucker dabbled in other fields including Russian history, Jewish history, Women's Studies, and Religious Studies, sitting in the back of lecture halls with his friends. Ron Kiener, who taught an introductory level course in Judaism, recalled Tucker performing "poorly" but earning a credit. "He did not get a stellar grade from me," Kiener said. "Based on what he says now he surely didn't get very much out of my courses."But Leslie Desmangles, who led courses in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Myth, Rite, and Sacrament, said Tucker was engaged and likely did just enough to pass his courses even if he wasn't very studious or vocal in class discussions."He was interested in understanding the nature of religious belief and studying different cultures and religions but I'm not sure if he had an interest in diversity," Desmangles said. "He was genuinely interested in ritual since a lot of the Episcopal church is highly ritualistic."Tucker's fascination with religion extended to his extracurricular activities too. He and several friends joined Christian Fellowship, a Bible study group that met weekly and helped the school chaplain lead Sunday services. Some members even volunteered with ConnPIRG, a student advocacy group on hunger and environmental issues, and traveled to Washington D.C. to protest the Gulf War. But Tucker steered clear of campus activism. He spent his free time reading and seeing Blues Traveler, Widespread Panic, and Sting perform when they came through Connecticut. Sometimes he skipped school to follow his favorite band, the Grateful Dead, on tour.He took an interest in Central American politics too. At the end of freshman year, Tucker and Patel traveled to Nicaragua. "We did not have a place to stay or any set plans," Tucker told the Trinity Tripod, his college paper, in March 1990. "It was very spontaneous. We are both extremely political and we felt that getting to know the country and some of its citizens would give us a better perspective on the situation." In February 1990, Tucker returned with three friends to Managua for 10 days to observe Nicaragua's elections. The National Opposition Union's Violetta Chamoro, which was backed by the U.S. government, defeated the leftist Sandinista National Liberation Front Daniel Ortega who had been in power since 1979. A month later Tucker and his classmate Jennifer Barr, who was separately in Nicaragua to observe elections and distribute medical supplies to the Sandinistas, shared their perspectives about their visits to a small crowd at the Faculty Club for the school's Latin America Week. Tucker thought press coverage of the election was too left-leaning and criticized the media for skewing a conservative victory, according to Barr."I don't think it was necessarily true," Barr said. "He was dismissive [about my views]. I did get a sense that he believed in what he was saying, and it was very different from my experience and my understanding of the race."Tucker's stance on U.S. politics at the time was less didactic. As the 1992 presidential election loomed his senior year, Tucker touted the independent candidacy of Ross Perot, a Texas business magnate, to his friends although it did not appear that Tucker was an ardent supporter."Tucker would go on and on about how Ross Perot was the answer to this or that, as a joke, and every one would participate" one St. Elmo's brother said. "He liked the way Ross Perot was basically throwing a wrench into the system. He wasn't a serious Ross Perot proponent. He was cheering on somebody who was screwing up the system."In Tucker's college yearbook, below his tousle-haired, bowtie wearing thumbnail photo, was a list of his extra-curricular activities: "History; Christian Fellowship 1 2 3 4, Jesse Helms Foundation, Dan White Society." Neither of the latter two – named, respectively, after the ultra-conservative North Carolina Senator, and a San Francisco supervisor who assassinated Harvey Milk in 1978 – ever existed. Tucker admired Helms for being a "bull in the china shop" of Congress, one classmate said. Some friends believed Tucker slipped in the off-color references as a lark."It's like a joke you and a friend would put in a series of anagrams that only you and two friends would remember and no one else would," the St. Elmo's friend said. "It's so niche that only someone like Tucker is thinking things like that or would even know the name of the person who killed Harvey Milk. He paid attention to things like that."Others claimed Tucker was the victim of a prank."It would not at all surprise me if one of the other guys in the [fraternity] house filled it in for him, and not just an inside joke, but pegging him with something that he got grief for," another close friend said. Protesters rally against Fox News outside the Fox News headquarters at the News Corporation building, March 13, 2019 in New York City.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesAn outsider among insidersBy the spring of 1991, Tucker's academic performance had caught up with him. He had accumulated a 1.9 grade point average and may have finished with a 2.1 GPA, according to one faculty member who viewed a copy of his transcript. Tucker would eventually graduate from Trinity a year late. Falling behind was not uncommon. About 80 percent of Trinity students completed their degrees in four years, according to Trinity College records. (A Trinity spokeswoman would not comment on Tucker's transcript due to FERPA laws, which protect student privacy.Tucker's post-collegiate plans fell through too. Tucker applied to the CIA that spring. The spy agency passed."He mentioned that he had applied and they rejected him because of his drug use," another college friend said, while declining to be named. "He was too honest on his application. I also probably should say I don't know whether he was telling the truth or not." Once the school year was over, Tucker and Neil Patel hit the road on a cross-country motorcycle ride. After that: Washington DC.  Tucker's family left Southern California for Georgetown after President Reagan named his father head of Voice of America. In June 1991, President George H.W. Bush appointed Richard ambassador to the Seychelles and the Carlson family upgraded to a nicer house in Georgetown with a pool in the basement. That summer, with Tucker's father and stepmother often out of town, the Carlson household was the center of Tucker's social lives, the place they retired to after a night drinking at Georgetown college dive bars like Charing Cross and Third Edition, and pubs like Martin's Tavern and The Tombs, immortalized in St. Elmo's Fire. In August, Tucker and Susie got married in St. George's chapel and held a reception at the Clambake Club of Newport, overlooking the Narragansett Bay. Back in Washington, Tucker's prep school, college, and his father's Washington-based networks began to mesh. Tucker took a $14,000-a-year job as an assistant editor and fact checker of Policy Review, a quarterly journal published at the time by the Heritage Foundation, the nation's leading conservative think tank. For the next three decades, Tucker thrived in the Beltway: He joined The Weekly Standard and wrote for several magazines before appearing on cable news networks as a right-of-center analyst and host at CNN, PBS, and MSNBC. His father embarked on a third career as a television executive where he ran the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and his brother became a political operative and a pollster. By the time Tucker reached the core of the conservative media sphere, a slot on Fox News's primetime opinion lineup, he shed friends from his youth who couldn't grapple with the hard-right turn he veered once he became the face of the network.One friend was not surprised with Tucker's act. In the spring of 2016, during the heat of Donald Trump's presidential campaign against Hilary Clinton and a few months before "Tucker Carlson Tonight" premiered on Fox, Tucker had lunch with his old prep school classmate Richard Wayner who made the speech about Eleanor Bumpurs all those years ago. Wayner believed Tucker's gesture from his pew was never serious. "As a 9th or 10th grader in a chapel full of people in a conversation, he was trying to get attention," Wayner said.The two stayed in touch over the years and Tucker at one point suggested he write a handful of pieces for the Daily Caller, the conservative news and opinion site that Tucker co-founded and ran in the 2010s. As they settled into their table at a Midtown Manhattan steakhouse, the two chatted about Wayner's experience on the board of St. George's (which Susie was about to join) and their respective careers. Tucker was floating around at Fox, and Wayner, now an investor and former Goldman Sachs investment banker, said the conversation drifted toward salaries."He was asking, 'How much do you make on Wall Street' and was like, 'Wow, Wall Street guys make a lot.'" Wayner said. When they left the restaurant and headed back toward the Fox News headquarters, several people recognized Tucker on the street even though he had jettisoned his trademark bowtie years ago. Wayner saw Tucker making the pragmatic decision to follow a business model that has made his conservative media counterparts a lot of money."I don't think he has a mission. I don't think he has a plan," Wayner said. "Where he is right now is about as great as whatever he thought he could be.""Tucker knows better. He does. He can get some attention, money, or both." he added. "To me, that's a shame. Because he knows better." Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 5th, 2022

Russian oil exports last week were the highest since the invasion, but the sanctioned shipments are traveling huge distances to reach buyers

Russian energy exports are hitting pre-invasion levels, but cargoes are traveling much larger distances than usual, according to Bloomberg. Aapsky/Getty Images Russian oil exports are rebounding to pre-invasion levels, but cargoes are traveling on far longer delivery routes.  Russian crude exports jumped to about 4 million barrels a day in the first week of April, the highest levels all year, per Bloomberg.  More shipments are being sent to Asia and the Mediterranean amid Western sanctions, according to the report. Oil shipments out of Russian ports have hit their highest volume since the war in Ukraine began, but the distance that cargoes must travel to make deliveries has ballooned.Through the first week of April, Russian crude exports jumped to roughly 4 million barrels a day — the highest level seen in 2022, according to Bloomberg. The rebound in exports comes after levels consistently fell each week following Russia's invasion. Export revenue and volume suggest that Russia is shrugging off some of its wartime constraints, but Western sanctions have pushed it to find alternative destinations for shipments. The US has ceased purchases of Russian oil, and the UK is expected to wean off of it by 2023. According to Bloomberg, more exports are making their way to Asia, where buyers are snapping up discounted prices. One reason for this is that Moscow's usual export markets in Europe are evaporating, as countries self-sanction from Russian energy. Now, per Bloomberg, there's been a spike in Russian crude shipments being sent to the Mediterranean and Asia, and ships are taking longer trade routes. Meanwhile, Ukraine's government has called on the world's leading energy traders to stop handling Russian crude, saying revenues are being put toward funding the country's attack . "The fact is that traders and trading and they are helping Russia to receive this blood money," President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's adviser told the FT. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytApr 11th, 2022

47 housewarming gift ideas that are genuinely useful

From low-maintenance plants to art for their bare walls, these thoughtful housewarming gifts will help make their new house feel like a home. Fly by Jing; AmazonWhen you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Whether your best friend just bought their first home or your sibling finished moving into a new apartment, you'll want to help them celebrate (especially if they're hosting you).Great housewarming gifts really run the gamut — they can be incredibly useful appliances they won't buy themselves or small but sentimental trinkets that symbolize an exciting new chapter in their lives.To aid in your search, we rounded up some of our favorite housewarming gifts, from must-have kitchen accessories to gorgeous decor you know they'll love.An elaborate cheese boardUncommon GoodsUncommon Goods Sliding Cheese & Snack Board This ingenious board slides out to nearly double its size, leaving room for all the cheeses, snacks, and charcuterie essentials they want. It also comes with four cheese tools that stash away neatly in the board itself.A customized bottle of wineMark & GrahamCheers Custom WineThis wine bottle label can be customized to include a family name and date, making it the perfect gift for a special event in their home or a belated wedding gift. You can choose between a cabernet or rosé, both made in California.A beautiful candle (or three)OtherlandOtherland CandlesOtherland's candles are well-known for their unique scents and sleek packaging, making them a foolproof, easy gift for practically anyone. You can choose one, buy a pre-made set, or build your own gift by mixing and matching candles you think your recipient would love the most.A classic Le Creuset for home-cooked dinnersLe CreusetLe Creuset Signature Enameled Cast Iron Round Oven (5 1/2-Quart)The Le Creuset Dutch oven is one of the most sought-after cookware pieces for any home kitchen. From braising to roasting, this popular Dutch oven evenly heats and is big enough to provide hearty portions. A set of gourmet olive oil and vinegarBrightlandBrightland The Essential Capsule Olive Oil and Vinegar SetBrightland makes some of our favorite olive oil, and this four-piece kit includes two bottles of oil and vinegar (respectively). It's a high-quality product, from the taste to the packaging, and one they will likely restock once they're out.Slipper socks to keep their feet warmBombasBombas Gripper SlipperBombas makes our favorite socks, and its slippers are no different. These feel like a mix of gripper socks and slippers, offering a comfy fit and a slip-free experience.A huge box of charcuterie suppliesWilliams SonomaWilliams Sonoma Beehive Cheese Gift CrateMoving into (or renovating) a new home makes it harder to cook full meals, so charcuterie boards are a great, lowkey way to enjoy a fancy dinner. This crate features cheeses, nuts, fruits, salami, crackers, and anything else they need for their cheese board.A stunning puzzle that doubles as wall artPiecework PuzzlesPiecework Puzzles Garden Party PuzzlePiecework makes 500- and 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzles out of high-quality, maximalist photographs, offering a unique challenge as well as a hangable piece of art when they're done.A delicious set of Sichuan crispsFly by JingFly By Jing Sichuan Flavor SetThe perfect gift for anyone who loves heat (or just a whole lot of flavor), this five-piece set features multiple chili crisps and sauces, as well as an 11-ingredient spice mix. It'll tide them over as they build up their hot sauce collection.The softest throw blanketAnthropologieAnthropologie Sophie Faux Fur Throw BlanketEven if they already have a throw, they likely don't have one this luxe and soft (and if they do, you can never have too many!) It comes in a range of colors, from bright pink and yellow to neutrals.A famed multi-purpose panOur PlaceOur Place Always PanThe Always Pan is internet-famous for its claim to replace eight pieces of cookware (and looking cute while doing it). It comes in multiple matte colors and functions as a frying pan, sauce pan, skillet, steamer, and more.A dried bouquet they can keep for yearsEast OliviaEast Olivia The Botanical - BudDried flowers are very trendy, and not just because they last longer than live bouquets. This arrangement is subtle and beautiful enough for any home, though it's also available in larger sizes as well.Gourmet delivery from their favorite restaurantGoldbellyGoldbelly Food GiftsGoldbelly is a great service for gourmet food delivered all across the country, whether your recipient is craving bagels from New York, BBQ from Tennessee, seafood from Maine, or sweets from practically anywhere in the US. If you're not sure what they'd like, you can also grab them a gift card, too.A set of trendy wine glassesAnthropologieAnthropologie Morgan Wine Glasses, (Set of 4)Whether they drink wine, cocktails, or mocktails, everything just tastes better in a cute glass. These rectangular pastel glasses will definitely elevate their hosting game.A mini personal fireplaceAmazonFLÎKR Fire Personal FireplaceIf their new digs don't include a fireplace, help them enjoy one anyway with this sleek personal fireplace. It's also a lot easier than readying a real bonfire: Instead of logs, all they need is some rubbing alcohol and a candle lighter to get the flame going.A gorgeous casserole dishGreat JonesGreat Jones Hot Dish Ceramic Casserole DishFor the dinner hosts who love snapping a pic of their masterpieces, this hot dish features a beautiful design that'll immediately elevate their Instagrams. It comes in a few different colors and can be used for everything from mains to desserts.A lovely heart-shaped spoonUncommon GoodsUncommon Goods Hand-Carved Heart Serving SpoonIf you're looking for a lowkey, affordable housewarming gift, this sweet serving spoon will be very appreciated. Each spoon is made by a collective of artisans in rural Kenya, making the one you gift truly unique.A chic table lampUrban OutfittersUrban Outfitters Little Glass Table LampIt's hard to imagine a design aesthetic that this minimalist lamp would clash with. Available in plain white or a few fun colors, it offers a warm, subtle light that any room could use more of.An electric kettle for the tea or coffee loverFellowFellow Stagg EKG Electric KettleYour giftee can wake up in their new home to coffee or tea with this sleek and modern electric kettle they'll love displaying on their kitchen counter. The Fellow Stagg EKG Electric Kettle has temperature control and a keep-warm mode that will maintain their water at a set temperature for up to an hour.   A set of stackable plates they'll love to displayOur PlaceOur Place Hand Painted Ceramic Main PlatesDinnerware sets are great housewarming gifts, and Our Place's Main Plates are functional, dishwasher and microwave safe, and stackable. Your giftee will enjoy using them for all their meals. An ingenious candle warmer lampCrystal Cox/Insiderluzdiosa Candle Warmer LampBeyond functioning as a chic lamp, this gift also warms candles without lighting them, making them last longer and avoiding the hassle of using matches. It's the kind of thing they may not have known existed but will be so glad they own now.A cookbook filled with comfort food recipesAmazon"Modern Comfort Food" by Ina GartenIf they're craving a nice, home-cooked meal after days of packing or unpacking their kitchen, gift them Ina Garten's "Modern Comfort Food" cookbook. It offers 85 classic recipes that are warm and cozy refined twists on childhood favorites. You can find more of our favorite cookbooks here.A quirky planterAnthropologieAnthropologie Grecian Bust PotThis pot simultaneously looks classic and eccentric, immediately giving their place a good dose of personality. It'll especially be appreciated if your giftee is a big history or Greek mythology buff.A set of adorable cheese knivesWilliams SonomaWilliams Sonoma Marble Honeycomb Cheese Knives (Set of 3)These marble cheese knives are the bees knees, featuring gold bees on each one. You can get them on their own or pair as a set with a matching cheese board or honeycomb-shaped coasters.An easy indoor garden systemClick and GrowClick and Grow Smart Garden 3They might not have a green thumb for an outdoor garden, but this self-watering indoor garden is almost impossible to kill. In time, they can grow small produce and herbs to help spice up their meals.Pretty crystal coastersAnthropologieAnthropologie Gilded Agate CoasterIf they don't have them already, coasters are always a small but highly appreciated gift. These crystal ones feature a gilded border for an extra elevated look.A high-brow print for hot dog loversUrban OutfittersJESHAKA Dance Art PrintSure, it's a parody of Henri Matisse's Dance featuring smiling hot dogs, but honestly, this is art all on its own. Gift it to a hot dog lover or just anyone with a great sense of humor.An oven pan with a functional designOur PlaceOur Place Oven PanThe checkerboard pattern has a hidden purpose: They can use it to measure out how far apart to set cookie dough. Plus, the pan looks cute as a serving dish, too.A fun board game to play togetherTargetWingspan Board GameIf your giftee is a fan of games, this one is a must-have. Featuring an adorable premise and setup (mini eggs included), it's a great way to spend time together when you come over.A personalized BBQ carving boardMark and GrahamMark and Graham BBQ Carving BoardMark and Graham makes a wide range of customizable products, including this carving board you can embellish with your giftees' names or initials in practically any font you can think of.A low maintenance houseplantThe SillThe Sill Parlor Palm PlantIf your giftee is a plant lover, they'll appreciate The Sill's low-maintenance Parlor Palm plant. This houseplant doesn't require much sunlight, making it one less thing they have to worry about while setting into their new spot. The cutest mini waffle makerCrystal Cox/InsiderDash Mini Waffle MakerEven the tiniest kitchens can accommodate this mini waffle maker, which can be used for everything from traditional waffles to hashbrowns and even paninis. A tracker tag to locate their keys or bagsAmazonTile ProEvery new homeowner's worst nightmare is losing their keys, making TilePro a worthwhile gift. They can attach this gift to any essential item; if it's ever lost, they can track down their item via Bluetooth. A soothing sheet set for a restful night's sleepSijoSijo Eucalyptus Sheet SetA premium sheet set will ensure they get a great night's sleep in their new surroundings. These hypoallergenic eucalyptus sheets are eco-friendly, super-cooling, and softer than silk. A set of woven placematsWest ElmWest Elm Handwoven Fishnet Abaca Placemats (2-Pack)Once they're settled in, your giftee is likely looking forward to some entertaining in their new space. These woven textured placemats will complement any dinnerware set with their neutral light brown color, and make a great addition to a kitchen or dining room table.  A cheerful dumpling nightlightSmokoSmoko Lil B Dumpling Ambient LightFor fans of all things cute, this little dumpling can be used as a nightlight or just added ambience in any room. It's the perfect dose of adorableness to charm their new home with.A nostalgic candleHomesickHomesick New Home CandleIt won't take long for their new home to truly feel and smell like theirs, but commemorate the fresh feeling of a blank canvas with this "New Home" scented candle. They can light it whenever they want to be transported back to the magic time when they first stepped into their new space. A cold brew coffee makerOXOOXO Brew Cold Brew Coffee MakerMorning coffee is a given for the homeowner that works from home. This OXO coffee maker prepares up to 14 cups of hot or cold-brewed coffee that's smooth and low on acidity. A custom map of their new city or hometownGrafomapGrafomap Custom Map PosterGift the new homeowner a map of their favorite place, childhood home, or new town. Your giftee will enjoy this thoughtful home accent and can hang it on any wall. A tortilla press kit for a fun night in the kitchenVerve CultureVerve Culture Cast Iron Tortilla Press KitFresh tortillas are a game changer when it comes to tacos. Gently encourage your new neighbor to host Taco Tuesday with this tortilla press (just let them know you'll bring the guacamole).A bar cart to store their favorite wines and glassesAmazonFirsTime & Co. Francesca Bar CartA bar cart is something your giftee probably wouldn't buy on their own, but would love and appreciate as a gift. They can unpack all their favorite wine glasses and dinnerware and store them in this metal bar cart. A blanket that splits right down the middleUncommon GoodsUncommon Goods Couple's Split Blanket and Sheet SetIf they live with a partner, this ingenious split blanket makes sharing the covers a lot easier. This blanket and sheet set splits down the middle, allowing both partners to sleep comfortably with no interruptions. A monthly pasta subscription with unique flavorsFood52Sfoglini Pasta Subscription Box (3 Months)If they are a fan of pasta, they will enjoy this monthly pasta subscription from Sfoglini, a pasta company known for being the first to make cascatelli, the "perfect" pasta shape. Your giftee can enjoy unique pasta flavors and shapes for three or six months. An Alexa smart plug for all their home appliancesRick Stella/InsiderAmazon Smart PlugYou can turn their new home into a smart one with this Amazon Smart Plug. They can plug any appliance or device into the smart outlet and control it through the Alexa app or any Alexa-enabled device. An Instant Pot and air fryer duo for all their cooking needsJames Brains/InsiderInstant Pot 11-in-1 Air Fryer Duo Crisp plus Electric Pressure Cooker (8 Quart)This multitasking air fryer is a pressure cooker, slow cooker, and air fryer all in one. Whether your giftee enjoys cooking or needs a kitchen appliance that'll do all the cooking for them, the Instant Pot Duo Crisp is an excellent gift.A bamboo bath tray to hold their favorite book and drinkWayfairRebrilliant Gardner Freestanding Bamboo Bath CaddyAfter a long move, your new homeowner can unwind by reading their favorite book with a nice drink in their new tub with this bamboo bath caddy. The tray is adjustable and fits most tubs.A countertop wine rack to display their favorite winesAmazonSoduki Rustic Wood Countertop Wine RackIf you're looking for an affordable and thoughtful gift, this Amazon countertop wine rack is perfect for the wine enthusiast turned new homeowner. They can display and store their favorite wines right on their kitchen island or bar table. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 25th, 2023

Big Tech"s wipeout sends workers scrambling

We're taking you inside the mass layoffs hitting Silicon Valley's biggest companies. Plus, a look at the biggest four-day workweek experiment yet. Hi, I'm Matt Turner, the editor in chief of business at Insider. This is Insider Weekly, a roundup of our top stories. Get this newsletter in your inbox each Sunday – sign up here.On the agenda today:Inside the tech industry's week from hell.Why JPMorgan is suing this startup founder for millions of dollars of fraud.A real-world experiment proved that we should shift to a four-day workweek.The US is facing the biggest financial crisis in history.Breaking news this morning: At least 10 people have died at a mass shooting at a Lunar New Year celebration in California, police confirmed to Insider. This is a developing story. Follow our coverage here.Up first: I just returned to New York after a few days in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum. It was intense and informative, packed with meetings with business leaders and government ministers from around the world. I also moderated a panel about the industrial metaverse.I posted a few videos and notes on LinkedIn, if you want a behind-the-scenes look at the meeting. I've also written a short dispatch about my takeaways below. Dispatch from DavosDavos, SwitzerlandHanna Erasmus and EyeEm/Getty ImagesMore than 1,500 business leaders descended on Davos in the Swiss Alps last week. I was there to take it all in. After meetings with senior figures in business and government, plus panel discussions and dinner conversations, here are my tweet-length takeaways:Sustainability: Climate change, sustainability, and the energy transition were front of mind. There's consensus on what needs to happen. But the "how" is still a work in progress.AI: The viral popularity of ChatGPT has moved AI to the mainstream. Many marveled at the potential, some expressed concern over the risks, and Microsoft rivals gritted their teeth whenever the buzz came up. Economy: I sensed a subtle shift in the mood. The reopening of China and a potential thawing of US-China relations, plus signs of slowing inflation in the US, had attendees feeling a little less negative.Future of work: The right approach to remote work is still a mystery. In the meantime, there are dire predictions for office buildings.I'll be writing more on these topics in the coming days, so keep an eye out. And let me know if you have any questions about the mood among the business elite: mturner@insider.com. Tech's week from hellGoogle CEO Sundar Pichai giving a speech to college students in New Delhi, India in 2015.Saumya Khandelwal/Hindustan Times via Getty ImagesIt was a wipeout at Silicon Valley's tech giants this week. On Tuesday, Insider's Ashley Stewart broke the news that Microsoft staffers were bracing for layoffs; the company announced 10,000 cuts the next day.And layoff news percolated throughout the industry the rest of the week. On Wednesday, Insider's Kali Hays reported that Twitter is bracing for more layoffs, and Alphabet on Friday announced 12,000 job cuts at Google.Then, of course, there's Amazon, which kicked off its largest job cuts in company history on Wednesday, affecting a whopping 18,000 people. Upon hearing the news, many staffers went to Slack to cobble together what was going on and which teams would be impacted the most. Insider obtained a list of more than 35 Amazon teams that were affected. Inside the tech industry's brutal job cuts.Read more:Microsoft is telling some managers to embrace 'good attrition,' using massive layoffs to push underperforming employees out the door quickerGoogle has finally buckled under pressure to conduct layoffs — here are the units that could be affectedThe rise and fall of Charlie JaviceCharlie Javice; Arif Qazi/InsiderCharlie Javice became a superstar in the world of finance when she was barely out of high school. But it all came crashing down — less than a year after selling her financial-aid startup, Frank, to JPMorgan for $175 million.JPMorgan has slapped the 30-year-old entrepreneur with a massive lawsuit, claiming she defrauded investors by lying about the number of users on her service. In 2021, she claimed 4.25 million people were using Frank; in reality, it never had more than about 250,000 users. An Insider investigation reveals that Javice had a history of exaggerating her accomplishments.Read the full story here.No more working on FridaysArif Qazi/InsiderWe just got the most convincing evidence yet that the four-day workweek is a positive change for employees. Thirty-three companies took part in a six-month trial of the policy — and all reported increased revenue and an improvement in employee well-being.There were some other really interesting takeaways, like how small companies saw huge gains. One startup doubled its gross profits and productivity doubled over the trial period. More about the real-world experiment.Read more:Why the four-day workweek isn't the kind of perk most workers want: It's 'an upper-class issue'We're facing the biggest financial crisis in historyHouse Speaker Kevin McCarthy holds the speaker's gavel high after winning election as speaker of the House early Saturday morning.Win McNamee/Getty ImagesThe US technically hit its debt ceiling this past week — and failing to raise it by summer could imperil the entire financial system. Trouble is, the new GOP House majority is using the debt limit as leverage to push through their policy priorities, like cutting spending on Democratic favorites like Social Security and Medicare.This has happened before. Republicans averted a debt crisis three times under former President Trump, and again two years ago. But with a Democratic White House, the GOP is playing hardball.What happens if America stops paying its bills.This week's quote:"Unfortunately, your role has been eliminated. You are no longer required to perform any work on Amazon's behalf effective immediately." An email sent to laid-off Amazon staffers by Amazon's HR boss Beth Galetti — informing them that their role was being cut. More of this week's top reads:A man faced backlash after using AI to create an entire children's book in one weekend.Goldman Sachs' job cuts may not have gone far enough.A leaked transcript reveals the investment giant Blackstone's real-estate strategy.I asked ChatGPT to write my resignation letter, but got career counseling instead.A woman bought a house at the peak of the market and interest rates — and regrets it.We bought a $2.5 million cabin on a luxury cruise ship so we can live at sea.What it's like to fly business class on the world's longest flight — an 18-hour trip.Curated by Matt Turner. Edited by Dave Smith and Lisa Ryan. Sign up for more Insider newsletters here.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJan 22nd, 2023

Debt Ceiling Battle To Test GOP Resolve Under McCarthy

Debt Ceiling Battle To Test GOP Resolve Under McCarthy This week the United States Treasury activated so-called extraordinary measures after the US hit the debt ceiling. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says the move will allow the US to keep the lights on until June 5 - so that the government can continue paying pensions, interest on its bond obligations, and military salaries. But these 'extraordinary measures' are nothing more than a band-aid, as it will ultimately be up to Congress to agree on how to raise the debt ceiling. Failure to do so, or find creative ways to remain beneath the $31.4 trillion debt limit - would mean default, financial crisis, and at minimum - a deep recession. Now, newly minted House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) - who made a boatload of concessions to GOP holdouts in exchange for their votes - has been pressing for Democrats to come to the bargaining table. Democrats, meanwhile, have been giving McCarthy the cold shoulder, and have characterized several ideas from the Republicans as nonstarters, The Hill reports. "Republicans are creating a crisis that need not exist," said Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA), top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, accusing the GOP of playing "political games." The impasse has heightened public concern in recent days, particularly as the Treasury Department has begun what it calls “extraordinary measures” to keep the U.S. government from defaulting on its debt.  The standoff comes as House Republicans have ramped up calls to tie spending cuts to any bill raising or suspending the debt limit — legislation that caps how much outstanding national debt the government can hold to fulfill its financial duties. Democrats, by contrast, have instead insisted on a clean bill to address the debt ceiling. -The Hill Democrats, meanwhile, are demanding a "clean" bill - which isn't tied to any spending cuts. As Politico notes, a debt ceiling battle right now would be 'especially bad' this year. For one, the place where that debt is traded, the Treasury market, has already been under strain because of the Federal Reserve’s relentless interest-rate-hiking campaign. Rising rates make even recent lower-rated debt less valuable, so there are fewer buyers right now. Also, the market relies on a small number of large dealers to intermediate trading for a huge volume of debt, and they can only hold a finite amount of assets on their books at any one time. These and other factors mean trading and pricing aren’t as smooth as they would ideally be, so U.S. officials are trying to reform how the market is structured to make it work better. Since the Fed is still engaged in its battle against high inflation, it might be more hesitant to intervene and buy Treasury bonds to prop up the market, at least as dramatically as it otherwise would. That’s because buying bonds would run at cross-purposes with its efforts to slow down the economy. According to John Fagan, who led the Treasury Department's markets room from 2014 to 2018, the Fed is 'battle-tested,' but "that’s the only factor I can think of that would be more favorable than last time around." Otherwise, "Everything else looks worse." According to Fagan, if the US does go past the "X-date" when it can't meet its obligations, liquidity problems could get seriously worse. The White House has of course sided with Democrats, and has called for Congress to confront the debt ceiling "without conditions."  "It is essential for Congress to recognize that dealing with the debt ceiling is their constitutional responsibility," said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre earlier this week. The has set the stage for a spring budget battle When the White House unveils its annual budget proposal in early March, Republicans will be able to use it as an opening bid for negotiations. The last time this happened in 2021, Republicans and Democrats agreed to a short-term extension of the borrowing cap less than two weeks from default. Two months later, Congress finally approved a $2.5 trillion increase to the debt ceiling after the Treasury warned that it was about to breach the statutory limit on its ability to borrow. That might not be so easy this time around - with McCarthy and the GOP largely in disarray, and Democrats - including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) having so far rejected even the prospect of negotiations. That said, it's entirely possible that Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) could demand that Democrats rein in some spending. Another option for Congress to resolve the debt ceiling impasse would be a procedural tool known as the discharge petition - in which rank-and-file Republicans could advance legislation that McCarthy and other GOP leaders in the majority don't support if they align themselves with Democrats. But while the mechanism “can be used to address several different bottlenecks in the legislative process,” Molly Reynolds, a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution, cautioned that “it’s not an especially elegant strategy.” The process is arduous and politically fraught, given that it undercuts the authority of the House speaker and procedural control of the floor. Lawmakers would have to settle on a measure that has the support of enough Republicans and Democrats — and could secure 60 votes in the Senate — and send that measure to a committee. -NY Times In other words - unlikely.  And that is what the markets are starting to price in with a 'kink' appearing in the T-Bill curve around June/July... And more worrisome, US sovereign credit risk is spiking near record highs... Finally, as Jeffrey Frankel opined this week, 'this debt-ceiling fight may be different': As Washington gears up for yet another partisan showdown over whether to raise the debt ceiling, with congressional Republicans seeking concessions from Democrats in exchange for their votes, many are understandably nonchalant about it. Americans feel they have seen this movie before, and the story usually ends with the bickering politicians reaching a last-minute compromise. So, no need to ring the alarm bells. But this reboot could have a different, tragic ending. In the 1955 movie Rebel Without a Cause, James Dean’s character survives a deadly game of “chicken” by jumping out of his car at the last moment while his rival miscalculates and drives off a California cliff. With the US economy barreling toward the cliff’s edge, it is clear that intransigent Republicans have no intention of hitting the brakes. This could mean a once-unthinkable US government default. Unfortunately, letting Republicans drive the US economy off a cliff may be President Joe Biden’s best option right now. But the US still has at least five months to jump out of the car... By then, hopefully, crashing securities markets, outraged beneficiaries, and shifting voter attitudes would finally persuade enough holdouts to raise the debt ceiling. In the meantime, we have no choice but to let this game of chicken play out. Either way, this 'game of chicken' has a long way to go yet. Tyler Durden Fri, 01/20/2023 - 12:40.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJan 20th, 2023

The "carrier killer" missile Russia fired into a Ukrainian apartment building, killing dozens, is "notoriously inaccurate" and unpredictable, intelligence and experts say

The missile can't distinguish targets easily over land, making it a bad idea to fire it into a civilian area, unless you just don't care, experts say. Rescuers use special equipment in searching people trapped under the rubble of a high-rise residential building hit by a missile on January 15, 2023 in Dnipro, Ukraine.Elena Tita/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images Russia fired an anti-ship missile into an urban area in Dnipro, killing dozens of Ukrainians. Britain's defense ministry said the Kh-22 missile used in the attack is "notoriously inaccurate." One security expert told Insider that the big Soviet-era weapon can cause a lot of collateral damage.  Russian forces recklessly fired a large anti-ship missile first introduced in the 1960s into a residential area in central Ukraine over the weekend, killing dozens of civilians in one of the single deadliest attacks on non-combatants in the war to date.Western intelligence agencies and military experts say the weapon that Moscow used in the strike is unpredictable and "inaccurate" when used against targets on land.On Saturday, Russian forces sent a Kh-22 missile — which NATO identifies as a AS-4 Kitchen missile — plummeting into a residential area in the major city of Dnipro, which had a pre-war population of nearly 1 million people. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said 45 people were killed and 79 were injured in the strike that damaged or destroyed over 300 apartment units. "We will definitely find everyone who caused this terror," he said on Tuesday. "Everyone involved in this and other missile attacks against Ukraine will be found and held to account." Ukraine's military said the Kh-22 that hit the apartments in Dnipro was one of five launched from Cold War-era long-range Tupolev Tu-22M3 Backfire bombers. The Kh-22 used in the attack is a Soviet-era supersonic anti-ship missile equipped with a 2,000-pound warhead. Yuriy Ihnat, a spokesperson for Ukraine's air force, referred to it as an "aircraft carrier killer" and said it's designed to "destroy aircraft carrier groups at sea." —Andriy P. Zagorodnyuk (@Andriypzag) January 14, 2023Big missile, lots of collateral damageIan Williams, deputy director of the Missile Defense Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told Insider that the Kh-22 is guided by an unsophisticated radar intended to detect a ship against the relatively simple backdrop of water. Over land, it has trouble discriminating between targets, which makes it unpredictable when fired into an urban environment with residential areas. And even if hits the intended target, the destructive capacity of this missile is likely to cause a lot of extra destruction."It's a huge missile — it's really large," Williams said. "So any use of it in an urban environment like that, even if you happen to hit what you're hitting, there's going to be a lot of collateral damage."Britain's defense ministry said in a recent intelligence update that the Kh-22 is "notoriously inaccurate" when fired at ground targets in urban areas, citing the radar issues. It's unclear if Russia was deliberately aiming at the apartment complex, a less practical target, or if this strike was intended for Ukraine's electrical grid as past missile barrages have been and simply missed.With its ability to travel hundreds of miles, the Kh-22 can easily deviate from an intended target by hundreds of yards, Ukraine's military said.And these missiles are difficult to intercept, Williams said. The rocket-powered weapon travels at a high altitude and at supersonic speed, making it a challenge for air defense systems — especially those that are shorter range, like the ones Ukraine has been using to fend off other missile and drone strikes.      "They're tough to intercept with traditional air defenses," he said, adding that "you almost need a ballistic missile defense interceptor."Emergency workers clear the rubble after a Russian rocket hit a multistory building leaving many people under debris in the southeastern city of Dnipro, Ukraine, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023.AP Photo/Evgeniy MaloletkaUkraine's military said its forces do not have the capability to down the Kh-22 — hundreds of which have been fired by Russian forces since they started the war last February. These weapons have also been used in other strikes with high civilian death tolls, such as an attack on a shopping mall in Kremenchuk in late June.The UK defense ministry said at the time that Russia's Kh-22, when used in this way, "are highly inaccurate and therefore can cause severe collateral damage and casualties."The use of the Kh-22 appears to be part of an effort to overwhelm Ukrainian air defenses, which have been bolstered in recent months by military aid provided by NATO countries. One Russian strategy has been to fire a bunch of different missiles together, like cruise missiles, ballistic missiles, or air defense interceptors on a ballistic trajectory, Williams said. This method poses a challenge to air defense systems because radars focus on certain sectors of the sky, he explained. So if attention is on the horizon, defenses might be neglecting threats at a higher altitude, and if the attention is focused up high, threats could approach from a lower level. "Diversity of missile types and flight profiles can help you overcome a stiff air defense," he said. 'Cruelty is the point right now'Russia's use of the Kh-22 also calls into question Russia's stockpiles of precision munitions, which Western officials and experts have previously characterized as dwindling and in low supply. Though that may be the case, the Kremlin may also still have hundreds of these missile left in its arsenal, according to a report by Ukraine's state-run news agency Ukrinform.  Missiles like the Kh-22 "are unsuitable for precision strike," Britain's defense ministry said this week, adding that "evidence from the Ukraine war suggests that dysfunction of Russia's long-range strike capability is more profound. It highly likely struggles to dynamically identify targets, and to access rapid and accurate battle damage assessment.""This type of missile leads to the greatest human casualties, because the missile is extremely inaccurate," Ukraine's prosecutor general's office said, according to The New York Times. "Therefore, the use of such weapons for targets in densely populated areas is clearly a war crime."Firing the Kh-22 into Ukraine is "certainly indicative of their lack of caring about the potential effects of the munitions that they use," Williams said of Moscow, which has not shied away from carrying out attacks on densely population centers in urban areas, and has constantly put Ukrainian civilians in harm's way.  "I think cruelty is the point right now for the Russians," he said. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 18th, 2023

Airlines Are Terrible. Small Cities Are Still Paying Them Millions of Dollars to Stick Around

After deregulation in 1978, airlines abandoned small cities at the expense of big hubs. That's had major economic implications. For each of the past five years, Wendy Volk, a real estate agent in Cheyenne, Wyo., has raised money from local businesses, philanthropists, and government officials to pay millions to SkyWest, an airline that made $50 million last quarter. The payments are to ensure that the airline will keep running the only commercial flight out of the Cheyenne airport, which is scheduled and sold by SkyWest’s partner, United. In March of 2018, after Great Lakes Airlines filed for bankruptcy, Cheyenne became one of dozens of small American cities to lose commercial air service—in its case, for the first time in 90 years. The only way to convince an airline to serve the metro area of about 96,000 people, says Volk, a volunteer with the nonprofit Cheyenne Regional Air Focus Team (CRAFT), was to pledge a few million dollars a year, meant to offset any potential losses if the route itself wasn’t making money—which it wasn’t. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] In 2018, CRAFT came to a $2.1 million agreement with SkyWest, a regional airline that operates flights for the big carriers; the parties renegotiate the deal every year and it reached $2.5 million this year. As the airline industry continues its decades-long consolidation, more cities like Cheyenne are faced with the choice of either losing air service or coming up with these payments, called “minimum revenue guarantees,” so that multibillion-dollar airlines will deign to serve their relatively smaller communities. The trend has grown over the course of the pandemic: in the last year, medium-sized metro areas like Lincoln, Neb.; Pocatello, Idaho; and Tulsa, Okla., have used federal COVID-19 relief funds to pay airlines minimum revenue guarantees. The alternative is bleak; since 2019, 14 airports in the U.S. have lost all scheduled commercial air service, according to the Regional Airline Association, which represents airlines that provide these regional flights. Many other cities have lost connections; the three biggest U.S. airlines—American, Delta, and United—have pulled out of 68 cities combined since April 2020, according to a study from the consulting firm Ailevon Pacific. Raising money to keep afloat airlines, which don’t have the best reputation these days, may seem irrational on its face, but Volk says the loss is offset by preventing the huge blow to the local economy that would ensue were air service to stop completely. When regions don’t have commercial flights, companies don’t want to locate there, people don’t want to move there, and tourists don’t want to visit, she says. “When we didn’t have reliable air service, people just thought we were the sticks,” she says. “How can you have an airport and not have air service?” How deregulation destroyed the airline industry It wasn’t always this way. Until 1978, the airlines were regulated, and a federal agency called the Civil Aeronautics Board dictated where they flew and what they could charge. The U.S. government saw airlines as an essential service, kind of like the post office, and ensured that even small communities were connected to others by air. If airlines lost money on those routes, they’d make it up on more profitable routes between big cities because of the prices set by the government. But in the late 1970s, neoliberal economists like Cornell’s Alfred Kahn began raising concerns that regulating airlines was stifling competition and increasing prices for consumers. In response, Democrats, led by Sen. Edward Kennedy, pushed for changes in the hope they would bring more affordable air travel to millions of Americans. President Jimmy Carter signed the bill deregulating airlines in 1978, phasing out the Civil Aeronautics Board and allowing airlines to decide where to fly and what to charge. Around the same time, the government also deregulated the trucking industry, intercity buses, and the railroad industry. Many of the Congresspeople who initially voted for deregulation came to hate the results—West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd said it was one of only two votes he regretted in his career. Some airline experts say that deregulation led to the worst of both worlds: a consolidated industry with few airlines and little regulation. Airlines took a no-holds barred approach to competition, trying to drive each other out of business. There were massive waves of airline bankruptcies in the 1980s, and the industry went through a wave of consolidations and mergers in the 1990s, and then again between 2007 and 2012. Read More: Business Travel’s Demise Could Have Far-Reaching Consequences Today, four airlines—American, Delta, United, and Southwest—control 80% of the market and the airline industry is smaller and more concentrated than at any time since 1914, says William McGee, a longtime Consumer Reports editor who is now a senior fellow for aviation and travel at the American Economics Liberties Project. The promise that deregulation would allow new airlines to enter the marketplace and compete has fallen flat too; until 2021, when Breeze Airways started operations, the market had gone 14 years without a new entrant, he says. “There was a promise that was made with deregulation—that the advent of wide-body, further-range aircraft was making the world smaller and all Americans had a right to it,” he says. “Well, you don’t, right now.” Just about everyone has felt the effects of deregulation in recent years. Before deregulation, airlines were required to honor each other’s tickets, so people whose flights were canceled on one airline could easily move to another, says McGee. Ticket prices were more predictable, as were air routes, so you could buy a ticket for a few months out and be reasonably sure the airline wasn’t going to change the ticket or go out of business. Anyone who has had to fly to an out-of-the-way hub to get somewhere else, or on a small prop plane to get to a mid-sized market, can thank deregulation. Airlines developed hub-and-spoke models once they weren’t mandated to fly to and from certain cities. Deregulation also dramatically increased the responsibilities of the Federal Aviation Administration, which has been underfunded and understaffed in recent years, says McGee, as was evidenced by the agency’s recent meltdown leading to thousands of flight cancellations and even more delays. ‘Red states’ have suffered the most Still, deregulation’s impact on American travelers has not been felt evenly. After deregulation, airlines dropped cities that had once served as hubs and pulled out of routes that were unprofitable. Their actions caused a ripple effect—when airlines left, business moved too, since their workers and executives couldn’t get around the country as easily. “The states that have been most harmed by deregulation, and the states that have seen the biggest private fare increases on average and the biggest reductions in service, they’re overwhelmingly red states,” McGee says. You could argue that airlines are no different from any other business, and that they shouldn’t be required to fly to markets where they lose money. But for decades, the U.S. government treated air service like a public good. When it dropped that commitment, it left the fate of small communities to the whims of a free market, says Morgan Ricks, a professor at Vanderbilt Law School. “We decided to let the private sector decide, [and] what the private sector decides is [to] only do the profitable stuff, which is largely on the seaboards.” Ricks and colleagues recently published a paper arguing that regions of the country were becoming more economically equal between 1930 and 1980, but that the wave of deregulation in transportation—airlines, railroads, interstate trucking—reversed that trend. “Where the rural states start to really fall behind coincides with this moment in the 70s and 80s that we abandoned a set of principles about broad-based access to infrastructure resources,” he says. Indeed, even before the pandemic, the U.S. was diverging economically; there were big, “superstar” cities like Austin and San Francisco that attracted big companies and high-income workers, and there were small cities and rural areas that were losing residents and businesses. The economic fate of some of the struggling cities can be tied to a decline in airline service. Memphis, Tenn., for instance, has one of the slowest-growing economies of the top 100 biggest metropolitan areas in the U.S.; its home values are less than half those of its neighbor Nashville and it is losing big companies like ServiceMaster to cities like Atlanta. Perhaps not coincidentally, the Memphis airport has also lost thousands of flights in the last two decades; in 2019, it had 18,342 flights, 73% fewer than in 2003. Delta was a hub for Northwest Airlines, which merged with Delta in 2008, and eventually removed Memphis as a hub. The connection between jobs and airline service may seem hazy in an era where so many people work remotely and business travel is on the wane. But even if most of their workers don’t travel frequently, companies want to be able to ensure that their employees and products can get to other places easily. Caterpillar moved its headquarters from Peoria, Ill., to Chicago in 2018, for example, saying it wanted to be closer to a “global transportation hub.” Chiquita Brands International moved from Cincinnati to Charlotte because of inadequate air service. The chemicals giant Albemarle moved its headquarters to Charlotte from Baton Rouge for the same reason. “Air service is one of the most critical economic development tools in the tool chest—without it, companies aren’t going to be able to recruit the work-from-home crowd,” says Jeffrey Hartz, managing director at Mead & Hunt, an air service consulting firm. “Zoom and conference calls are great, but you still need that face-to-face meeting, you still need to get to your factories, and air service is critical.” As more communities recognize the value of air service, more have started to offer minimum revenue guarantees, like Cheyenne did. Often, Hartz says, the payments are just for a few years, until the city can prove that the route will be profitable for the airline. But other times, the deals may go on in perpetuity. Of course, he says, even communities that offer airlines money to serve them don’t always get airline service. Because of a pilot shortage (arguably self-inflicted when airlines encouraged pilots to take early retirement and buyouts during the pandemic), sometimes airlines that are offered minimum revenue guarantees don’t take them. That means communities like Cheyenne are going to have to offer up even more money just to be considered. Can air travel be saved? “Going forward, all industry forecasts call for further consolidation and continually rising fares and fees, accompanied by declining service on all but the most heavily trafficked routes,” Lina Khan, the current head of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), wrote a decade ago in a Washington Monthly essay arguing that deregulation was killing the airline system. Khan’s prediction proved right—in the last year alone, airfare prices were up 25%, the biggest jump since the Federal Reserve began tracking the index in 1989. Meanwhile, the amount of money the airlines are making per passenger mile has risen 84% since 2002. But even now, in a position of power, there’s not much she can do about it. Past calls to re-regulate the airline industry—even when coming from the former CEO of American Airlines—have led nowhere, in part because Congress has become more skeptical of the role of government in the free market in the decades since deregulation. There are other small fixes that advocates are pursuing: The FTC is now challenging a planned merger of Spirit Airlines and JetBlue under antitrust grounds. McGee, of the Economic Liberties Project, is advocating for new legislation that would eliminate a federal preemption clause in the 1978 Airline Deregulation Act that prevents states from taking action against airlines. Hartz, the consultant, says another solution could be to expand federal funding to help communities woo airlines back. In the meanwhile, communities like Cheyenne are left pining for the good old days of 50 years ago when they didn’t have to worry that airlines would leave them behind. Cheyenne had 28,467 enplanements in 1990; by 2019, it had roughly half as many. “We had air service for 90 years, and we took it for granted,” says Volk, a fifth-generation Wyoming business owner. “I didn’t realize how much it is a part of the equation, but you really need it to stay on the map.” Correction, Jan. 17 A previous version of this story misstated the location of the Pocatello metro region. Pocatello is located in Idaho, not Utah......»»

Category: topSource: timeJan 17th, 2023

China 2022 Auto Sales Rise on EV Boom Despite Odds

China's NEV sales jump 93.4% y/y in 2022. Will the impressive run sustain this year amid the withdrawal of subsidies, challenging economic conditions and COVID-19 disruptions? Vehicle sales in China, the world’s largest car market, witnessed the second straight year of growth in 2022 after snapping a three-year slump in 2021. Auto sales managed to maintain momentum last year even in the face of COVID resurgences, commodity inflation, chip crunch and supply chain snarls. According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), a total of 26.86 million vehicles were sold in the country last year, marking a 2.1% increase from 2021 levels. Importantly, sales of electric vehicles (EVs) almost doubled last year, hitting a record high.EV Sales Fend Off Challenges in a Sluggish DecemberIn December 2022, auto sales in China were down 8.4% year over year to 2.56 million units. This marked the second consecutive month of year-over-year decline since May. Surging COVID infections weakened demand and kept buyers away from showrooms. While the overall car market stalled and automakers suffered production disruptions, sales of new energy vehicles (NEVs) continued their run on the fast lane. NEV sales rose 51.8% to 814,000 units last month.For the full year, NEV sales rocketed 93.4% year over year to 6.89 million units. China further cemented its position as the biggest EV market in 2022, aided by favorable government policies and subsidies along with high oil prices. Led by the electrification boom, the market share of NEVs in China's auto sales hit 25.6% last year, up from 13.5% in 2021. BEVs comprised 73% of total NEV sales and jumped 81.7% in 2022.Take a look at the December, fourth-quarter and full-year 2022 sales numbers of prominent China-based EV makers like BYD Co BYDDY, NIO Inc. NIO, Li Auto LI and XPeng Inc. XPEV. While LI currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell), BYDDY, NIO and XPEV have a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.BYD hit a new record by selling 235,197 plugin vehicles in December. This was the fourth straight month when the plugin vehicle sales volumes of the company crossed 200,000 units. It sold 683,440 vehicles in the fourth quarter of 2022, up 157%. For the full year, the company sold 1,863,494 NEVs, up a whopping 209% year over year. Of the total sales, battery-powered EVs accounted for around 49%. BYD delivered 911,140 pure EVs last year, rocketing 184% year over year.NIO delivered a record-setting 40,052 vehicles in fourth-quarter 2022, representing a year-over-year uptick of 60%. December’s delivery count was 15,815 vehicles (comprising 6,842 SUVs and 8,973 sedans), up 50.8% year over year. NIO’s yearly deliveries were up 34% to 122,486 vehicles for 2022. The cumulative deliveries totaled 289,556 vehicles as of Dec 31, 2022.Li Auto delivered 46,319 units in the fourth quarter of 2022, up 74.6% sequentially and 31.5% year over year. In December, the company’s deliveries totaled 21,233 units, representing a 50.7% surge year over year. Last month, deliveries hit a fresh record, with Li Auto claiming to emerge as the fastest EV maker in China to cross the 20,000-delivery mark on a monthly basis. Total deliveries in 2022 jumped 47.2% year over year to 133,246 units and cumulative deliveries reached 257,334 as of 2022-end. XPeng delivered 22,204 units in the three months ended Dec 31. 2022. This marked a significant decline from 41,751 units sold in the corresponding period of 2021. The company delivered 11,292 EVs in December 2022, down 29.4% year over year and rocketing 94% from November 2022 levels. Deliveries of the flagship G9 SUVs jumped a whopping 160% sequentially to 4,020 units in December. For the full year of 2022, total deliveries climbed 23% from a year ago to 120,757 vehicles. Cumulative deliveries as of 2022-end totaled 258,710 units.Can EV Sales Blossom Without Subsidies in 2023?Demand for EVs has been rising amid climate change concerns and favorable government policies. The government began granting EV subsidies in 2010 to support commercialization. The subsidies were originally supposed to expire by 2020 end. But in April 2020, the government of China announced plans to extend subsidies for EVs for another two years to spur sales. Buoyed by favorable government policies, China recorded bumper EV sales last year. Since Jan 1, 2023, the government has withdrawn subsidies to EV buyers. Will that put brakes on the EV momentum in China?Well, industry watchers do not expect EV sales in the country to be much impacted by the slashing of subsidies, given that the demand for green vehicles is strong enough to grow without government aid. China’s NEV market is getting evolved from being policies/subsidies driven to demand driven. Over the past couple of years, companies have allocated large sums of money toward electrification and consumers’ interest in EVs has also increased noticeably. And while China has discontinued EV subsidies, other incentives like tax breaks remain.EV buyers are entitled to a 10% purchase tax exemption 2023-end. Also, the government is sharpening focus on EV credit system. Per the policy, a certain percentage of the total sales mix of an auto manufacturer should be battery-powered. Those who fail to comply with the target are liable to pay a fine. Companies that surpass the EV sales mix target can sell any surplus credits.While China’s decision to end EV subsidies shouldn’t greatly derail the country’s auto market in 2023, economic challenges, COVID-19 disruptions and shortage of semiconductors do pose headwinds. Cui Dongshu—Secretary-General of China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) said, “This year might remain challenging for auto makers as a result of a sluggish global economy, higher interest rates in the U.S., and a large inventory held by China’s manufacturers and dealers. China might expect to see around 1% in annual growth in its car market, with fewer sales in the earlier months before they pick up speed toward the end of the year.” As far as the NEV market is concerned, he said, “ The sale of new-energy cars this year might also see a pullback from explosive growth seen in the past. Growth could slow to around 30% this year from 2022.” That marks a sharp decline from more than 90% growth last year.It's to be seen if automakers resort to better incentives, sweeter financing deals and deeper discounts to bolster demand if customers get unwilling to shell more for these discretionary items. Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. It’s a little-known chemical company that’s up 65% over last year, yet still dirt cheap. With unrelenting demand, soaring 2022 earnings estimates, and $1.5 billion for repurchasing shares, retail investors could jump in at any time. This company could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in little more than 9 months and NVIDIA which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report NIO Inc. (NIO): Free Stock Analysis Report Byd Co., Ltd. (BYDDY): Free Stock Analysis Report Li Auto Inc. Sponsored ADR (LI): Free Stock Analysis Report XPeng Inc. Sponsored ADR (XPEV): Free Stock Analysis ReportTo read this article on Zacks.com click here.Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 17th, 2023

We asked House lawmakers about scandal-plagued Rep. George Santos. Most Republicans want nothing to do with him.

Several GOP colleagues want him out, and dozens more are avoiding him. But George Santos is staffing up, and even starting to make some friends. George Santos officially became a member of Congress in the early hours of January 7, 2023.AP Photo/Alex Brandon George Santos has now been a member of Congress for one week. Several of his GOP colleagues want him to resign, and his future remains uncertain. In interviews with Insider, lawmakers offered a range of views on the scandal-plagued congressman. In the early hours of January 7, George Santos officially became a member of Congress.C-SPAN cameras perched above the floor zoomed in on the freshman Republican as he and 432 of his colleagues took the oath of office after a historic 15 votes for House speaker that lasted four days.—CSPAN (@cspan) January 7, 2023For weeks, Santos had been the subject of countless media reports about his long list of resume fabrications and high probability of ethics issues. By the time he'd arrived in Washington, Santos was facing investigations from federal, state, and local law enforcement authorities, as well as the Rio De Janeiro prosecutor's office. But the drama around Kevin McCarthy's speaker election, lasting days longer than anticipated, had seemingly delayed a reckoning that Santos, his new colleagues, and the institution as a whole were due.This week, that reckoning arrived.Seeking to gain an understanding of how Santos is being received by his new colleagues, Insider spoke with over 20 lawmakers in the halls of the Capitol over the course of this week. While a number of Republicans expressed grave concern about what they see as a serial fraudster and a liability for the conference, some offered a non-judgmental, even welcoming attitude. Stuck in the House chamber for days on end last week, the congressman initially sat by himself before eventually finding a receptive crowd among the chamber's more right-wing lawmakers. But it's plainly evident that most Republicans simply want to avoid Santos and his baggage.Santos has admitted to lying about his employment, his education history, and his purported Jewish heritage, but hasn't yet addressed a slew of concerns about his campaign's finances. "Obviously, there were concerns about what we had heard, and so we're going to have to sit down and talk to him about it," said House Majority Leader Steve Scalise at a Tuesday briefing with reporters, saying the matter would be "handled internally."But Santos is clearly a problem for House Republicans. He's also presented a prime opportunity for Democrats eager to highlight malfeasance in the opposing party. And for journalists — whether they're investigating a long paper trail left by two congressional campaigns or camping outside his Capitol Hill office, ready to chase him down the halls — he's become the latest obsession. The House's two Jewish Republicans, Reps. David Kustoff of Tennessee and Max Miller of Ohio, previously shared a stage with Santos at an November event hosted by the Republican Jewish Coalition, which has since disinvited him from future events after his claim of being the Jewish descent of Holocaust survivors was exposed as a lie. Kustoff embraces Santos and Miller at the Republican Jewish Coalition Annual Leadership Meeting in Las Vegas on November 19, 2022.David Becker / Washington Post via Getty ImagesKustoff said it would be "up to his constituents to make a decision" about Santos's future, but made clear he doesn't "think it's likely" he'll speak with him again.Miller, a one-time Trump White House aide with his own unsavory history, was seen walking and talking with Santos through a tunnel beneath the Capitol Complex on Monday evening."Do you mind? We're having a conversation," said Santos when Insider first attempted to ask him about a new rules package that will severely hobble the Office of Congressional Ethics, which is likely to investigate some of the congressman's behavior."Off the record — we're having a private conversation," said Miller. But when Santos was heading back towards the chamber about 20 minutes later, he went out of his way to chide this reporter for initially mis-identifying Miller as an aide."Make sure you report accurately, because you called Max Miller a staffer, an aide. He's a congressman from the 9th district of Ohio," said Santos. "Get your facts straight!"But three days later, Miller — who actually represents Ohio's 7th district — became the eighth House Republican to publicly call for Santos to resign.'I don't intend to speak with him'By the end of this week, Republican leadership had made clear that they won't push Santos out of Congress just yet, despite resignation calls from several of his House Republican colleagues (mostly fellow freshmen from New York) a high-profile disavowal by the Nassau County GOP, and a week of headlines that seemed to distract from a raft of mostly-symbolic legislation that Republicans had teed up to kick off their new majority."He seems to propel a lot of headlines for quite some time," said Republican Rep. Tim Burchett of Tennessee, who's told Santos that he's "praying for him" and has adopted a non-judgemental attitude towards the new congressman. "I try to befriend everybody that's in a little bit of a bind."Santos has in turn made clear that he will not resign and has begun hiring new staff for his office, some of whom come from the furthest-right corners of American politics.Many Republicans' public pronouncements about Santos largely mirror the approach taken by McCarthy: the congressman has been duly elected, and some respect should be afforded to that, even as authorities continue to investigate him. "I can see the uneasiness up here with him," said Burchett. "That's just human nature."Rep. Pat Fallon of Texas, among the first of Santos's GOP colleagues to approach him on the House floor last week, sought to downplay the interaction when asked about it, saying it was just "hey, how are you." "He seems to be, you know, a nice guy. I read the stuff. Obviously I'm very disappointed that there were things that he said that weren't true," said Fallon. "I did mention that to him, and he said he's more disappointed than anyone."Fallon, seen beside Santos on the House floor on Thursday, January 5, says the New York congressman told him that he's "more disappointed than anyone."Win McNamee/Getty ImagesOthers have been forceful, such as Reps. Nancy Mace of South Carolina or Nick LaLota of New York, both of whom are among the Republicans demanding Santos' resignation."I'm not gonna have anything to do with somebody that can't be trusted, and clearly defrauded the voters of New York," said Mace, one of several House members who met Santos at an orientation for new members of Congress in 2020, the first time he ran for Congress. Santos had traveled to Washington to learn the ropes of lawmaking even as it was clear that the election would eventually be called for Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi. "I've met him, I've spoken to him, and he literally pulled the wool over everybody's eyes," said Mace."I don't intend to speak with him. His conduct is far below what his office requires," said Lalota. "The more we engage in the Santos drama, the less we're able to focus on what we need to focus on."Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, set to be the chair of a new select committee on China, said he doesn't want Santos on his own committee and doubts that he'll be seated on any other committees that pertain to national security."I get annoyed every time you guys ask me a question about this guy," said Gallagher. "I don't even know this guy. It's odd that he occupies any space in my brain."But Santos has become friendly with some of his Republican colleagues, a number of whom approached him during last week's speakership drama."He's under fire," observed Republican Rep. Clay Higgins of Louisiana. "So I made it a point to shake his hand, and welcome him to Congress. I gave him my cell and told him my staff would be at his avail as he tries to stand up his office.""I don't know what's true and what's not true," Higgins added of Santos's fabrications. "The media lies.""That's the one that's got the ethics?" said Republican Rep. Ralph Norman of South Carolina, who said that Santos "seems nice" even as he appeared unaware of the extent of his controversies. "I didn't know he was under investigation in Brazil… that's sad, I'll tell you that."Santos sat between Greene and Ogles on Thursday, January 5.Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images"As far as the questions surrounding him, you know, I don't have the particulars, and it's not my place or business to judge," said Republican Rep. Andy Ogles of Tennessee, who sat besides Santos and Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia during speaker votes. "He is, however, a human being, and he sat next to me, and we have great conversations."Greene, for her part, has been perhaps the most forceful defender of Santos, who she appears to have been friendly with for at least a couple of years. While she acknowledged that Santos lied about his resume, she later chastised former Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard for giving the congressman "zero grace" during a tougher-than-expected interview on Fox News in December.—George Santos (@Santos4Congress) November 30, 2020But Greene declined to speak about Santos to Insider, calling this reporter a "jerk" for revealing that she was vacationing in Costa Rica during the House passage of the omnibus bill in December. "No, you can — you can leave me alone," said Greene.Rep. Andy Biggs was also among the lawmakers that Santos has apparently met; the two were photographed speaking with one another on the House floor on January 4. But the Arizona Republican denied ever meeting Santos when asked about their interaction."Never talked to him once," said Biggs. "I've never met the guy."Santos and Biggs on the House floor on Wednesday, January 4.Win McNamee/Getty Images'I have zero respect for him'Democrats have wasted little time calling attention to Santos. At a press conference on Thursday, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries pointedly declared that Santos was "an issue that Republicans need to handle."But New York's third congressional district, which Santos now represents, is viewed as a Democratic-leaning seat, and a special election triggered by his early departure — coupled with the likely victory of Democrat Jennifer McClellan in a February special election in Virginia — could shave Republicans' current four-vote margin down to two in a matter of weeks."Kevin McCarthy is afraid of losing his majority," said Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego of Arizona, saying the GOP leader had found a "bullshit excuse" to keep Santos around despite resignation calls from his own rank-and-file. Gallego, whose office sits just feet from Santos's office, acknowledged having "lots of media" in the hallways but said he had yet to meet his new office neighbor.Among the Democrats that Santos has met is Rep. Ritchie Torres of New York — also at new member orientation in 2020."He did introduce himself, and made a point of mentioning that he was gay," said Torres, who is also gay. "I just found it to be an odd exchange." (Former Democratic Rep. Mondaire Jones of New York, also gay, recently recounted a similar interaction with Santos at that year's orientation.)Torres is now one of Santos's most vocal critics, championing a bill with fellow Democratic Rep. Dan Goldman of New York called the Stopping Another Non-Truthful Office Seeker (SANTOS) Act to require candidates to disclose their educational, military, and employment background to the Federal Election Commission, hitting them with a $100,000 penalty if they're found to have lied. Torres credited his legislative director for devising the bill's name. "It's a brilliant acronym," he said.The duo also filed a complaint with the House Ethics Committee over Santos's financial disclosure and hand-delivered it to his office on Tuesday in a made-for-TV moment.—Mychael Schnell (@mychaelschnell) January 10, 2023 "I told him I had a complaint to give him, and he asked me to give it to his staff member," Goldman said, recounting the brief interaction with Santos."This is very near and dear to my heart," Goldman added. "To allow someone like George Santos to be sworn in as a member here is a desecration of this great institution."And four other Democrats with military backgrounds, including Rep. Pat Ryan of New York, sent a letter to McCarthy this week urging him to block Santos from receiving classified information."I don't say this lightly: I have zero respect for him as a member," said Ryan. "He's the only one of the entire body I would say that about."At one point during the days of Speaker votes, Santos was photographed speaking with Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York on the edge of a larger group of Republicans. Asked about the exchange, Ocasio-Cortez said that "chatting is a generous term" to describe the interaction. Santos and Ocasio-Cortez briefly spoke on the sidelines of a gaggle of GOP lawmakers on the House floor on Wednesday, January 4.Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images"He said, 'you know, we may have some things in common,'" said Ocasio-Cortez, recounting the interaction. "And I laughed at him and I said, 'oh, really?' and that was all."'A long way to go to earn trust'Rejected by his fellow New York Republicans and under watch from party leadership, Santos may find himself throwing in his lot with the more combative right flank of the House GOP.He's hired a handful of new staffers to build out his office, including a former communications staffer for ultra-conservative Republican Reps. Madison Cawthorn and Paul Gosar. He's also brought on Vish Burra, a Republican operative who's worked as a producer for Steve Bannon's "War Room" podcast."George Santos is a National Treasure," wrote Burra in a since-deleted tweet over a video of Santos from the day before the January 6 riot in which he claimed his own congressional election was stolen in 2020. "This is why the corporate press is trying to silence him."By Wednesday, Santos had begun to assume a combative attitude towards his detractors, tweeting at former Rep. Adam Kinzinger to "go on @CNN and cry about it" after the Illinois Republican called on him to resign.Santos walking with operations manager Vish Burra in the Cannon Tunnel at the Capitol on Thursday, January 12.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call via Getty ImagesAnd on Thursday morning, he sat for his first interview in weeks on "War Room," where he fielded softball questions from Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, who has his own history of federal investigations. "I could ask you what it's like to be an embattled congressman, but I kinda know a little bit about that scene," Gaetz said to Santos, who went on to sidestep repeated questions from Gaetz about where he got the $700,000 he reported lending to his campaign.But Santos' future as an effective public servant looks bleak. It's unclear who would co-sponsor legislation with him, given most congressional Republicans' desire to avoid associating with him. It's unlikely that he'll be able to provide many services for his constituents, given local officials' pledge not to work with him. And it's difficult to imagine Santos winning re-election in two years — let alone making it out of a Republican primary, given the local party's disavowal of him.McCarthy told reporters this week that Santos has "a long way to go to earn trust," comments that mirrored his pronouncement that Cawthorn, who made wild claims about Republicans snorting cocaine and having orgies, had "lost my trust" amid his own web of controversies last year. Republicans in Washington later worked to sideline and defeat the young congressman.What does seem likely is that an aura of controversy — and its attendant media scrutiny — will surround Santos until either Republicans decide to remove the distraction or officials at the federal, local, or state level file charges against him.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJan 14th, 2023

How Warner Bros. Discovery layoffs, content cuts, and reorganization shocked Hollywood and fired up Wall Street

Here's everything to know to get caught up on the merger of WarnerMedia and Discovery, including what challenges lie ahead and how WBD CEO David Zaslav plans to tackle them. Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav attends the 2022 Time100 gala in New York City.Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME Warner Bros. Discovery formed in 2022, combining a rich array of properties from HBO to CNN. The mega-merger faces challenges including huge debt and rising content costs amid economic headwinds. CEO David Zaslav has slashed content and staff. Read about how his strategy's working and what's ahead. David Zaslav has been enjoying a stock runup after Wall Street analysts expressed increased optimism about Warner Bros. Discovery, with much cost-cutting behind it and growth ahead as it plans to launch a new streaming service.AT&T's WarnerMedia merged with Discovery in 2022 in a $43 billion deal, creating a content behemoth combining Warner's HBO, CNN, and famed Warner Bros. film studio with Discovery's lifestyle and reality fare. The promise was to create a media powerhouse with a new streaming giant that could compete with Netflix and Disney.But the threat of a recession, inflation, a declining ad market, and toughening streaming market have made CEO Zaslav and his team's job of merging the companies — and slashing WBD's debt load of about $50 billion — significantly harder.As the company looks to wring $3 billion-plus in synergies from its units, management has axed creative projects and headcount. Zaslav is facing strategy headaches at CNN, the task of launching a new streamer, and growing competition for top sports rights — all the while batting away rumors of a sale to Comcast and a stock price that's fallen more than 50% since the deal closed, before a jump in January.Here's everything to know to get caught up on the merger, challenges ahead, and how Zaslav plans to tackle them.New leadership to tackle integration challenges and synergiesZaslav quickly assembled a team of Discovery vets who've been together for decades to help him integrate and lead the new company. As part of the merger, top WarnerMedia leaders left, starting with WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar and including most of his deputies like WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group CEO Ann Sarnoff and HBO Max General Manager Andy Forssell.The new team set out to evaluate every property in search of cost savings and ways to juice ad revenue and viewership across the organization.Read more: David Zaslav is about to shake up Hollywood as the new Discovery-WarnerMedia chief. Insiders describe an aggressive deal-maker and demanding boss.Meet the 6 key executives helping CEO David Zaslav integrate Discovery and WarnerMedia, building the new company into a streaming powerWarner Bros. Discovery streaming chief JB Perrette is driving the integration of HBO Max and Discovery+. Here's what insiders say about his low-key leadership style.How Warner Bros. Discovery CEO will tackle his top 3 challenges: streaming integration, rebuilding CNN, and finding a new leader for DC ComicsWarner Bros. Discovery overplayed its hand with hiked ad rates, insiders say, and advertisers are 'nervous' about layoffs that 'cut to the bone'Layoffs and culture clashes as 40,000 employees combineOnce the deal closed, Zaslav and his team faced the gargantuan task of integrating two companies with 40,000 employees globally. Waves of layoffs followed as he and his management team sought to find a promised $3 billion in "synergies," a figure they later increased to $3.5 billion.One of Zaslav's earliest and most dramatic moves was to shutter CNN's streaming service, CNN+, just weeks after it launched, eliminating hundreds of jobs. Buyouts and layoffs on ad sales teams followed.WBD also axed most of HBO Max's non-scripted division and TBS/TNT's scripted teams, and pulled back on CNN's originals.Read more:WarnerMedia-Discovery merger is expected to create $3 billion in savings — here are some of the jobs at risk21 streaming and media free agents on the market after Warner Bros. Discovery layoffsWarner Bros. Discovery insiders fear post-merger structure will chip away at past diversity efforts and innovation: 'Are we going to lose this advantage?'Warner Bros. Discovery touts its huge reality TV portfolio but insiders predict staff cuts and 'intense pressure' to trim unscripted budgets at HBO and HBO MaxWarner Bros. Discovery cost-cutting measures rankle CNN staffers as layoffs across divisions loomA new content strategy that could tarnish crown jewel HBOWBD also looked for savings and revenue by shifting its content strategy ahead of combining HBO Max and Discovery+ into a mega streaming service to launch this spring. The hope is that the new streamer will reduce churn, cut costs, and grow subscriptions by maximizing the content and features of both brands. It's a tricky job that must be executed without disrupting the user experience. There are also questions about how to brand the new service and get consumers to pay more; HBO Max is already at the high end of the streaming market, now at $16 a month for the ad-free version.WBD shocked entertainment insiders by canceling high-profile projects like "Batgirl" and yanking episodes of shows including "Sesame Street" from HBO Max, and it has made other moves that concerned Hollywood creatives. Changes to WBD's crown jewel, HBO, and its programming have been seen by some stakeholders as a threat to the brand's prestige.Read more:Netflix, HBO Max, and more streamers are scrapping original kids series and battling for more IP-based hits like 'CoComelon' in a 'bummer year for animation'Warner Bros. Discovery nearly axed the TV writers workshop known as its own 'farm team,' then rushed to announce a new plan amid Hollywood backlashHBO drama reruns could be headed to TNT or TBS as Warner Bros. Discovery eyes a shakeup of its cable channelsHBO Max could stay as the name for Warner Bros. Discovery's upcoming streamerHBO layoffs, cuts, and 'ill will' over show cancellations have damaged its reputation among TV creatorsRebuilding CNN after hundreds of staff cuts2022 was a year of sweeping layoffs and organizational changes at CNN. Zaslav surprised onlookers in picking Chris Licht, who was a longtime acquaintance but who had never run a news enterprise of CNN's size, and tasking him to overhaul the network. Following in the footsteps of the popular Jeff Zucker, Licht has had a tough start. He's made a series of cost-cutting moves, including hundreds of layoffs. He's also made sweeping programming changes and tried to position the network as less partisan, leading to some head-scratching and confusion about what the strategy is.Read more:CNN CEO Chris Licht is facing an increasingly angry newsroom as more layoffs loom, plans are murky, and staff have lost confidence after 'horrible programming decisions'20 top CNN execs who are on the market after Warner Bros. Discovery layoffs and the shutdown of CNN+ in 2022CNN's new streaming service is shutting down just weeks after its pricey launch, 'a combination of the wrong strategy and wrong capital allocation''Hubris. Nothing more.' Insiders blame Jeff Zucker and Jason Kilar for the rapid demise of CNN+ as Warner Bros. Discovery leadership looks forward.DC Comics, box office battle, and sports rightsZaslav has sought to improve relations with Hollywood and theater owners, but the cancellation of big projects, while delighting Wall Street, has sowed distrust among the creative set. He's found new leadership for DC Comics — James Gunn and Peter Safran — ending a long search, but the unit faces roadblocks, with many different parties in the mix, each with their own vision. WBD wants to remain a big player in sports, so Zaslav will be battling rivals for ever-costlier sports rights, starting with the NBA. To succeed, he'll also have to balance investing in WBD's streaming business without hurting the linear TV business. Read more:CEO David Zaslav is setting priorities for Warner Bros. Discovery, with plans to marshal streaming power, preserve legacy businesses, and shake up cultureDC's movie and TV division has finally found its own version of Marvel's Kevin FeigeWarner Bros. Discovery looks to max out its massive sports portfolio with a possible TV push for Bleacher ReportWarner Bros. Discovery salaries revealed: Pay data shows how much the company recently offered for jobs at HBO and more, despite waves of layoffs and cutsRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJan 13th, 2023

20 lottery winners who lost it all — as millions vie for Mega Millions" second-largest jackpot

The Mega Millions jackpot soared to $1.35 million this week. But for some past lottery winners, life became worse after snagging the win. A lottery ticket vending machine offers Mega Millions tickets for sale on January 09, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois.Scott Olson/Getty Images While it may be tempting, buying a lottery ticket is almost certainly not worth it. And even if it does pan out, winning the lottery does not solve all of life's problems. History has countless examples of winners whose lives took a turn for the worse after hitting the jackpot. The Mega Millions jackpot grew to an estimated $1.35 billion — the second largest in history — after no winner claimed the prize in Tuesday night's drawing. But for some previous lottery winners, snagging the jackpot didn't change their lives for the better.YouTube/ABCLara and Roger Griffiths bought their dream home … and then life fell apart.The Daily MailBefore they won a $2.76 million lottery jackpot in 2005, Lara and Roger Griffiths, of England, reportedly never argued.Then they won and bought a million-dollar barn-converted house and a Porsche, not to mention luxurious trips to Dubai, Monaco, and New York City.Media stories say their fortune ended in 2010 when a freak fire gutted their house, which was underinsured, forcing them to shell out for repairs and seven months of temporary accommodations.Shortly after, there were claims that Roger drove away in the Porsche after Lara confronted him over emails suggesting that he was interested in another woman. That ended their 14-year marriage.Bud Post lost $16.2 million within a nightmarish year — and his own brother allegedly put out a hit on him.seksan Mongkhonkhamsao/Getty ImagesWilliam "Bud" Post won $16.2 million in the Pennsylvania lottery in 1988, but he was $1 million in debt within a year."I wish it never happened," Post said. "It was totally a nightmare."A former girlfriend successfully sued him for a third of his winnings, and his brother was arrested for allegedly hiring a hit man to kill him in the hopes he'd inherit a share of the winnings.After sinking money into family businesses, Post sank into debt and spent time in jail for firing a gun over the head of a bill collector."I was much happier when I was broke," he said, according to The Washington Post.Bud lived quietly on $450 a month and food stamps until his death in 2006.Martyn and Kay Tott won a $5 million jackpot, but lost the ticket.REUTERS/Mike SegarMartyn Tott, 33, and his 24-year-old wife Kay, from the UK, missed out on a $5 million lottery fortune after losing their ticket.A seven-week investigation by Camelot Group, the company that runs the UK's national lottery, convinced officials their claim to the winning ticket was legitimate. But since there is a 30-day time limit on reporting lost tickets, the company was not required to pay up, and the jackpot became the largest unclaimed amount since the lottery began in 1994."Thinking you're going to have all that money is really liberating. Having it taken away has the opposite effect," Kay Tott told The Daily Mail. "It drains the life from you and puts a terrible strain on your marriage. It was the cruelest torture imaginable."Sharon Tirabassi won $10 million, but eventually returned to her old life.IBN/screenshotIn 2004, Sharon Tirabassi, a single mother who had been on welfare, cashed a check from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. for more than $10 million Canadian dollars.She spent her winnings on a "big house, fancy cars, designer clothes, lavish parties, exotic trips, handouts to family, loans to friends," and in less than a decade she was back "riding the bus, working part-time, and living in a rented house.""All of that other stuff was fun in the beginning, now it's like, back to life," she told The Hamilton Spectator.Luckily, Tirabassi put some of her windfall in trusts for her six children, who would be able to claim the money when they turned 26.Evelyn Adams gambled it all away in Atlantic City.Atlantic City's boardwalk, featuring the Bally's casino.Photo by Getty ImagesAgainst all odds, Adams won the lottery twice, once in 1985 and again in 1986.The New Jersey native won $5.4 million, but AskMen.com reports that she gambled it away in Atlantic City.Adams also told The New York Times in 1993 that the publicity she received led to a bombardment of requests for financial assistance."I was known," she said, "and I couldn't go anywhere without being recognized."Tonda Lynn Dickerson was forced to pay gift tax.General view outside of Waffle House on March 26, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona.Christian Petersen/Getty ImagesTonda Lynn Dickerson, a former Waffle House waitress, got served a big plate of karma when she reportedly refused to split her winnings with colleagues and was forced to pay the taxman $1,119,347.90.How did it happen? Dickerson placed her winnings in a corporation and granted her family 51% of the stock, qualifying her for the tax.Gerald Muswagon ended up feeling sorry for partying.Hisham Ibrahim/Getty ImagesIn 1998, Gerald Muswagon won the $10 million Super 7 jackpot in Canada.But he couldn't handle the instant fame that came with winning the grand prize, according to Canada's Globe and Mail."He bought several new vehicles for himself and friends, purchased a house that turned into a nightly 'party pad' and often celebrated his new lifestyle with copious amounts of drugs and alcohol," The Globe and Mail reported. "In a single day, he bought eight big-screen televisions for friends."Muswagon also poured money into a logging business that failed because of low sales.He was eventually forced to take a job doing heavy lifting on a friend's farm just to make ends meet, according to The Globe and Mail. According to media reports, Muswagon hanged himself in his parents' garage in 2005.Suzanne Mullins couldn't dig herself out of debt.Bank officer calculates loansSeksan Mongkhonkhamsao/Getty ImagesSuzanne Mullins won $4.2 million in the Virginia lotto in 1993.She split the yearly payments three ways with her husband and daughter, leaving Mullins with about $47,000 a year. She quickly found herself in debt — her lawyer said she shelled out $1 million for her uninsured son-in-law's medical bills."It's been a hard road," Mullins' lawyer Michael Hart told the Associated Press in 2004. "It's not been jet plane trips to the Bahamas."She used future payouts to take out a $200,000 loan with a company that served a specific market — lottery winners who need their money faster.Mullins later switched to a lump-sum payout, but never paid back the debt. The loan company filed suit and won a $154,000 settlement that was all but worthless. Mullins had no assets.Americo Lopes quit his job, lied about winning, and then got sued.AP Images Construction worker Americo Lopes won the New Jersey lottery, quit his job, and lied about it, claiming that he needed foot surgery, according to reports from The New York Times.After coming clean to a former coworker, he and a few others ganged up on Lopes for not splitting the winnings as promised. In a fraud suit, the coworkers claimed they had all pitched in for the winning ticket.The court ordered Lopes to split the prize.Ibi Roncaioli was murdered by her husband after she squandered her winnings.Tim Boyle/Getty ImagesOntario resident Ibi Roncaioli walked away with $5 million in a 1991 Lotto/649 drawing, but she didn't tell her husband how she decided to spend it.When Joseph Roncaioli, a gynecologist, found out Ibi gave $2 million of her fortune to a secret child she'd had with another man, he poisoned her with painkillers, according to reports from the Toronto Star.He was convicted on manslaughter charges and reportedly asked Ibi's family to help foot the bill for her funeral.Michael Carroll lived in the fast lane and blew it all.Screenshot/YouTubeMichael Carroll was just 19 when he won Britain's £9.7 million ($15 million) jackpot in 2002, the Daily Mail reports.But according to media reports from the time, an alleged penchant for crack, parties, prostitutes, and cars put him back at square one in five years.Last we heard, the former garbageman was hoping to get his old job back.Andrew Jackson Whittaker Jr. was undone by robberies and a casino lawsuit.Screenshot/YouTubeIn 2002, West Virginia building contractor Andrew Jackson Whittaker Jr. walked away with $114 million, after taxes, on a $315 million multistate Powerball draw.That was just about his last stroke of good fortune.Thieves ran off with $545,000 that Whittaker had stashed in his car in 2003. And he lost $200,000 the same way a year later. He was also sued by Caesar's Atlantic City, which said Whittaker had bounced $1.5 million in checks.Within four years, his fortune was reportedly gone.Billy Bob Harrell Jr. had his prayers answered, but his luck ran out after he couldn't say no.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderA Pentecostal preacher working as a stock boy at Home Depot got his prayers answered when he hit the $31 million Texas jackpot in 1997.At first life was good, with Billy Bob reportedly quitting his job, traveling to Hawaii, and buying a ranch, six other homes, and new cars. He donated 480 turkeys to the poor, according to Time.But like many others who win the lottery, he just couldn't say no when people asked for a handout. He also ran into financial trouble with a company that gave lottery winners lump sums in exchange for their annual checks, but it left him with far less than what he'd won.Media reports from the time say he eventually divorced and died by suicide. Shortly before his death, he told a financial adviser that "winning the lottery is the worst thing that ever happened to me."Willie Hurt's addiction did him in.A drug addict, not Hurt, lights an improvised crack pipe.YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP via Getty ImagesIn 1989, Willie won a $3.1 million jackpot in the Michigan Lottery.Two years later, Hurt was divorced, lost custody of his children, and was charged with attempted murder — and according to media reports, picked up a crack-cocaine addiction.Stories from the time say the habit sucked away his entire fortune.Denise Rossi didn't disclose the jackpot in her divorce filing.Reuters/Mark Blinch When Denise Rossi won $1.3 million in the California lotto, she kept the news to herself and abruptly demanded a divorce from her husband Thomas without a word, according to The Los Angeles Times.Thomas was shocked but agreed to divorce her anyway. During the proceedings, Denise continued to keep her good fortune a secret.Two years later, Thomas intercepted a letter at his new Los Angeles home revealing the truth.He sued Denise for not disclosing her winnings in the divorce, and the judge awarded Thomas every cent.Even Denise's lawyer admitted to People that Denise could have kept half her winnings if she had been honest with her then husband. "Her failure to disclose was a fraud," the lawyer said.Meanwhile, Thomas Rossi is enjoying his $48,000-a-year payouts."If it wasn't for the lotto, Denise and I would probably still be together. Things worked out for the best," he said.Janite Lee spent it all on charity and political donations.A Patriotic skimmer hat sits full of bundles of $100 billsGetty ImagesAfter winning an $18 million lottery jackpot in 1993, Janite Lee saw her winnings gone within a decade.The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Lee, a wigmaker from South Korea, blew it on charity.A reading room was named after her at Washington University's law school, and she was a major donor for the Democratic Party.But her giving hand, coupled with a little gambling and a lot of credit-card debt, reportedly did her in. She filed for bankruptcy in 2001.Luke Pittard wound up flipping burgers at McDonald's.Daniel Goodman / Business InsiderWelsh-born Luke Pittard won a £1.3 million jackpot ($1.9 million) in 2006, but spent almost all of it on a trip to the Canary Islands, a wedding, and a house.A year and a half later, Pittard was forced to return to his job at McDonald's."They all think I'm a bit mad but I tell them there's more to life than money," Pittard told the Telegraph in 2008. "I loved working at McDonald's before I became a millionaire and I'm really enjoying being back there again."Rhoda and Alex Toth both landed in court for tax evasion.Wikimedia CommonsAlex and Rhoda Toth hit the $13 million jackpot in Florida in 1990. Within 15 years, they were destitute.According to the Tampa Bay Times, the couple spent heavily on a three-month trip to Las Vegas, which included stays in a $1,000-a-night penthouse suite at the Mirage. Back home, they bought 10 acres of land.The two were eventually accused of tax evasion by the IRS after it was discovered they filed for bankruptcy protections and falsely reported gambling losses. At the time of their indictment, they were said to owe the IRS $2.5 million.Alex died before his case went to trial; Rhoda served two years in prison.Vivian Nicholson was a clotheshorse who couldn't stop shopping.Vivian Nicholson is not pictured.Spencer Platt / Getty ImagesDaily Mail UK reports that Vivian Nicholson got a taste of the good life when her husband Keith won a fortune — £152,300 — in Britain's football pools in 1961.She famously promised the media she would "spend, spend, spend" following the windfall — and she kept her word.The couple blew much of Keith's winnings on haute couture, sports cars, and a new home, their extravagant lifestyle becoming the stuff of headlines. When Keith died in 1965, Vivian was hit with a huge tax bill and declared bankruptcy.She struggled with alcohol and depression before her death in 2011 — two years after a West End musical celebrated her life in the play "Spend, Spend, Spend."Teen mom Callie Rogers was too young to spend her money wisely.iStockCallie Rogers was just 16 when she won £1.9 million (about $3 million) in the UK's lottery in 2003, and she was too young to know how to manage her money or where it would lead her, according to Gawker.After briefly vowing to manage her winnings responsibly, Rogers made quick work of her fortune. She reportedly spent millions on vacations, clothing, cars, breast implants, and (according to British tabloid The Sun) more than $300,000 on cocaine.She also reportedly spent more than a quarter of a million dollars on a bungalow and house for her mother.Rogers eventually became a mom of three, and has said on the record she's teaching them to be careful with money."I'm glad they'll grow up knowing the value of money," she told The Sun."I was too young to win the lottery. It nearly broke me, but thankfully, I'm now stronger than ever."Editor's Note: This is an updated version of an story including reporting from Pamela Engel, Mandi Woodruff, and Michael B. Kelley.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 11th, 2023

9 of the fastest-growing industries to start a business, according to the founders of Ritual, Feed, and Kaiyo

Founders surveyed by Insider said AI technology, healthcare, wellness, and cannabis were among the industries poised to gain market value in 2023. Alpay Koralturk of Kaiyo, Katerina Schneider of Ritual, and Lauren Bush Lauren of Feed.Kaiyo/Ritual/FEED If you're starting a business in 2023, it helps to enter a lucrative market. Insider asked 68 founders for their predictions of 2023's best industries for business. Many listed AI, healthcare, wellness, cannabis, and e-commerce as promising sectors. If you're starting a business in 2023, it helps to enter a market that's poised to grow in value and demand — especially as experts warn of a recession on the horizon.The industries with the most potential will be the ones that can withstand a recession and won't be deterred by dwindling venture-capital funding, entrepreneurs told Insider. Insider surveyed 68 founders for their predictions on the types of businesses with the most potential to succeed this year.Of course, it's impossible to foresee the future, but these founders described how technology could transform new endeavors, how customers will want more sustainable products, and why they expected a big year for cannabis and psychedelics. Entrepreneurs might see big returns if they can tap into these demands.Here are the best industries to start a business in, according to the founders' predictions.1. Artificial intelligence and blockchainA man uses facial recognition for payment.Weiquan Lin/GettyOf the many trends founders spoke of, artificial intelligence was the most frequently mentioned. Several founders said the technology would become more integrated into their industries and into society at large. Austin Drabik, a cofounder of the hiring-technology company Helm, believes AI will have widespread adoption in 2023."We're seeing exponential growth in this space already, but the value and benefits are becoming more and more clear for its application to nearly every other industry," he said. Matt Woodruff, a cofounder and the chief product officer of the software-as-a-service company Constellation, believes the tech companies that can innovate AI will gain significant market value. "We already are seeing consumers dabble in the AI craze now, flooding Instagram with photos of them using AI art applications," he said. "The businesses who embed the right technology like AI throughout their processes and in every area of operations are the ones who will stand out in 2023."While blockchain had a rough year — cryptocurrency values plummeted 60% — some founders said they believed the decentralized technology would make a comeback. Ronan Levy, a cofounder and the CEO of the psychedelics-therapy company Field Trip Health & Wellness, compared last year's market crash to the dot-com bubble near the turn of the century."It will pave the way for smarter, more sophisticated, and better-managed blockchain companies to emerge and become a central part of the fabric of our economy and society," he said. Tim Dierckxsens, a cofounder of the Web3 company Venly, sees blockchain and nonfungible tokens gaining momentum this year."Whether it is a business case around fan engagement, loyalty program, in-game asset ownership, royalty distribution," Dierckxsens said, "the technology is maturing, and the businesses are starting to see the benefits."2. Supply-chain management, manufacturing, and logisticsA warehouse worker checking a computer system.Thomas Barwick/Getty ImagesThe past two years have upended supply chains as we knew them: Manufacturing delays early in the pandemic became a regular occurrence, the war in Ukraine prompted global inflation, port blockages pushed import hubs east, and some companies pulled their manufacturing out of China."The industry has experienced intense volatility, and the pandemic showed a lot of cracks in the way our supply chain functions," Suki Mulberg Altamirano, the founder of Lexington Public Relations, said.Now brands are investing in their own logistics to combat a long-term supply-chain crisis. Armon Petrossian, a cofounder and the CEO of the data company Coalesce, believes logistics, manufacturing, and energy markets will see unprecedented growth because of this."There will be a race to innovate to overcome the challenges in each of these industries and understand how businesses can leverage data to be more efficient in their processes," he said.3. Health food and wellness productsDrinks at a Whole Foods in Miami Beach, Florida.Jeffrey Greenberg / Universal Images Group via Getty ImagesCustomers are becoming more aware of how the products they purchase affect them and the environment, so they're demanding healthier alternatives and more transparency. Founders expect this trend to reach far and wide, from fashion and technology to food and wellness."With the looming recession, people are going to take more things into their own hands to avoid expensive doctor visits and save costs," Cynthia Plotch, a cofounder and the CEO of the women's health brand Stix, said. Katerina Schneider, the founder and CEO of the multivitamin and supplements company Ritual, believes cleaner and "better for you" brands are here to stay in 2023, from food and beverages to home goods and cookware.  "Over the last few years, we've seen a shift to consumers caring more than ever about their health, the transparency around the sourcing of ingredients, and the alignment around mission-driven brands," she said. "Additionally, it's no longer enough to be just clean; brands have to be clear with their standards around what is in their products."While a recession may motivate customers to cut costs, Beatrice Dixon, a cofounder and the CEO of the feminine-care brand The Honey Pot Co., said people would continue to spend on groceries and essentials."The realities of coming out of several years of a pandemic have elicited a need for humans to prioritize wellness, namely what they put in and around their bodies," she said.Chelsea Neman Nassib, the founder and CEO of the art marketplace Tappan Collective, believes customers are also becoming more socially conscious."People have become more considerate with their buying power and are looking for ways to spend that align with their values," she said.Luis Gramajo, a cofounder of the cookie brand Wunderkeks, said customers were demanding more from the food industry, both in product quality and in branding."The new generations are buying brands that not only mean something to them, but also they feel represented by them," he said. "This is forcing companies to put a soul into their brands. We're seeing that trend in the food industry, and that's why it keeps growing."4. Sustainably made consumer productsA woman holds up a lab-grown diamond.AP ImagesJust as customers are demanding higher-quality food and wellness products, founders say that sentiment is true for other consumer products, such as clothing, jewelry, and furniture.Lauren Bush Lauren, the founder of the handbag brand Feed, said businesses offering long-term value would thrive this year."As an example, Patagonia offers products that are made to last, and the brand acts as a mentor for those of us seeking to lead a sustainable lifestyle," she said. Alpay Koralturk, the founder and CEO of the furniture-resale platform Kaiyo, believes greentech and climate-focused companies would gain value this year."There's a large amount of federal money that will be deployed," he said. "VCs are also getting more interested in the space."Carolina Cordon-Bouzan, the founder of the jewelry brand Montserrat New York, is hopeful that cost-conscious consumers will recognize lab-grown diamonds as a sustainable alternative to mined diamonds. "The diamond-jewelry industry has been stagnant for years and is ripe for change," she said. "Millennials and Gen Z are looking for more environmentally friendly alternatives, while upholding quality in their jewelry purchases."5. E-commerceA woman shops online.FG Trade/GettyThe past three years saw huge growth for e-commerce brands. At the beginning of the pandemic, many companies that weren't previously selling online were forced to create e-commerce sites to cater to an influx of at-home shoppers.Then, e-commerce sales hit record highs as entrepreneurs and side hustlers started their own brands online. Founders say this boom will continue, as shoppers have grown accustomed to online shopping. "E-commerce is one of the fastest-growing industries, and I am sure it will continue to boom," Sivan Baram, a cofounder of the social-shopping platform Radd, said.Wellness brands, in particular, could benefit from this trend, Gabriella Tegen, the founder and CEO of the e-commerce-subscription platform Smartrr, said, adding that the demand for supplements had skyrocketed since COVID-19's onset."Gen Z and millennials are especially embracing this trend," she said. "As a result, this group is fueling a new wave of lifestyle-product brands that are seeing a lot of success as online brands."Of course, online brands are finding it harder to market on social platforms, so Jonathan Zacharias, a cofounder and the president of the marketing agency GR0, sees subscription models becoming a viable channel for companies to lean in to. "The costs per acquisition for marketing are skyrocketing," he said. "The only businesses that make sense now in e-commerce are ones where you can afford to pay a lot for a new customer because they continue to buy the products."6. Healthcare and mental wellnessA doctor with patients.Getty ImagesMany of the founders Insider surveyed saw 2023 as a big year for advancements in healthcare, from technology innovations and mental health to feminine care and sexual wellness. Ariela Safira, the founder and CEO of the mental-wellness membership startup Real, believes that mental-health care will begin to be focused more on children. "While mental health for the adult population needs changing urgently, kids' mental health is plummeting at a rate we've never seen before," she said. "From the pandemic to social media, this generation of kids is facing anxiety, depression, and self-harm at rates we've never seen before."Ashley Tyrner, the founder and CEO of the produce-delivery service FarmboxRx, believes that healthcare will gain momentum in 2023 and innovation will reach rural locations."We are really beginning to look at a whole-person model of care" and "wake up to the realities that rural America faces when trying to access healthcare," she said.Mulberg Altamirano, the founder of Lexington Public Relations, sees menopausal healthcare as a growing market."Women are seeking targeted health and wellness products at all stages of life, and this is poised to be a fast-growth sector," she said. Daphne Chen, a cofounder and the CEO of the at-home STD- and STI-screening-kit company TBD Health, said COVID-19 had taught people the importance of preventive measures and routine testing. In the same way, she believes this innovation will translate to sexual wellness. "As a result, there's been accelerated adoption of healthcare services like at-home testing that make it more convenient to get tested and treated," she said.7. Cannabis and psychedelicsMarijuana.REUTERS/Hannah BeierIn the past two years, several states have passed legislation to legalize cannabis for recreational use, including New York and New Jersey, which are expected to be one of the largest markets of legal cannabis in the nation. In 2022, New York City opened its first licensed recreational-cannabis dispensary, and Colorado became the second state to legalize medicinal psychedelics.As more retail operations open in the US and business models mature, founders expect it to be a big year for the industry's growth. Levy, the Field Trip founder, added that legalization efforts in Mexico, Thailand, and Germany could launch further opportunities."As the world continues to open up to cannabis, the cannabis industry will continue to grow into a massive sector," he said.Payton Nyquvest, the founder and CEO of the psychedelics company Numinus, said the market for psychedelic medicine, which is becoming more common in the mental-health industry, was "on the cusp of realizing its potential."8. ResaleClothing in an Oxfam store.Grace Dean/InsiderResale is another industry that has been trending upward since the pandemic started — fueled by both an increase in entrepreneurs selling secondhand goods and a greater consumer interest in thrift shopping to recycle resources and reduce waste.Abigail Price, the founder and CEO of the vintage-home-decor shop Abbode, thinks this trend will keep growing in 2023."The new-fashion industry is struggling, but the secondhand market is continuing to boom," she said. "Consumers are getting sick of fast fashion and looking like everyone else, and buying secondhand items has become completely normalized."9. Personal branding and professional servicesSmall-business owners should create social-media content to attract customers.Carlina Teteris/Getty ImagesLast year, at least 52 major companies announced layoffs. So far, prominent firms like Amazon, Salesforce, and Compass have said they will cut staff this year.As more people are looking for work, Lola Bakare, the founder and chief marketing officer of the marketing agency Be/Co, said everyone was looking to revamp their personal branding."My colleagues in that space are making bank," she said. "The age of the professional micro influencer is just getting started, especially for B2B companies who need quality, not quantity, when it comes to leads."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytJan 10th, 2023

PS5 vs. Xbox Series X: After 2 years of testing both, it"s clear that the PS5 is a better buy for most gamers

We've spent two years playing the PS5 and Xbox Series X, and while they're both gaming powerhouses, only one feels like a must-have. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.The Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, side by side.Phil Barker/Future Publishing via Getty Images via Getty Images The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X have been on the market for a little over two years. Though supply is still limited, both consoles have set sales records and offer a full library of games. The Series X is a media powerhouse, but the PS5's exclusives deliver a more impressive gaming experience. The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are the respective flagship video game consoles for Sony and Microsoft; both have helped set company records since their launch in November 2020 and remain difficult to find in stores.But, despite similar performance and price tags, the PS5 has managed to be more popular with shoppers. Sony recently announced that more than 30 million PS5 consoles have been sold, while Microsoft has reportedly sold about 20 million units between the Xbox Series X and Series S, according to VGChartz.Sony has driven PS5 sales with blockbuster exclusives like God of War: Ragnarok and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. Meanwhile, Microsoft continues to add value to the Series X with Xbox Game Pass, its Netflix-style gaming subscription. That said, the Series X lacks must-have exclusives since nearly every new Xbox game is also available on Windows and older Xbox One consoles.Ultimately, each system has its own strengths and weaknesses that might push buyers in one direction or the other. After two years with both consoles and several quality of life updates from Microsoft and Sony, we've broken down what each system does best to help you decide which is right for your needs.PS5 and Xbox Series X boast similar performanceCyberpunk 2077 offers improvements on PS5 and Xbox Series X.CD Projekt RedIn head-to-head comparisons for newly released games, the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X deliver similar performance for graphics and loading times. In terms of hardware, the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 improve on previous consoles with new solid state drives and enhanced processors. In practice, that means new games need just a fraction of the loading times required on PS4 and Xbox One, and installing games takes significantly less time too.The new graphics processors are capable of ray tracing, an advanced lighting feature first introduced for PC games. Ray tracing gives games on PS5 and Xbox Series consoles more realistic reflections and lighting based on the in-game environment, creating visuals that are too demanding for older machines.The new consoles can also improve the overall resolution and frame rate of demanding games originally designed for Xbox One and PS4, like Cyberpunk 2077.Exclusive PS5 titles are the best showcase for new gaming technologyThe Last of Us Part 1 has been remade with impressive current-gen graphics on the PS5.The Last of Us Part IPS5 boasts a growing list of exclusive titles that aren't available on Xbox or computers — like God of War: Ragnarok, Gran Turismo 7, Horizon: Forbidden West, Returnal, and Demon's Souls — and they all serve as great showcases for new gaming tech. Comparing the PS5 remasters of The Last of Us Part I and Spider-Man to their PS4 versions also perfectly demonstrates what's possible with the newer console.Spider-Man: Remastered utilizes ray tracing to spread live reflections across the landscapes of New York City, and the PS5's extra processing power lets the game run at 60 frames per second, twice the frame rate of the PS4 version. Load times that took minutes in PS4's Spider-Man now take just a few seconds on PS5, allowing developers to replace entire loading screens with a quick fade to black.Other PS5 exclusives, like Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, employ similar features to eliminate load times and present ray-traced visuals or a smoothly animated 60 frames per second. While a few games on Xbox Series X also demonstrate some of these features, the fact that they're also designed for the weaker Series S and Xbox One usually limits the upper-levels of their performance.New Xbox games being available on PC and older consoles makes the Series X feel less importantStarfield is one of the biggest Xbox exclusives coming in 2023, but it'll also be on PC.Starfield / XboxMicrosoft has taken a more inclusive approach with games on Xbox platforms. New Xbox originals, like Halo Infinite and Forza Horizon 5, are still designed to work on older Xbox One consoles and Windows PCs.These games still perform at high levels on the Series X, but there are compromises in design that make them feel less advanced when compared to PS5's top offerings that have been built specifically with the console's strengths in mind.You can also get even better performance with these titles on a powerful PC, which makes the Series X feel less essential for a premium gaming experience.The PS5's unique features create an added level of immersionHorizon Call of the Mountain will be available on the PS VR2.Horizon Call of the Mountain / SonyThe Xbox Series X also fails to match some of the PS5's console-specific features. Sony's exclusives make special use of the PS5's DualSense controller, which has a built-in speaker and sensitive haptic feedback that's not available on Xbox.While these features don't make a huge difference in gameplay, they do bring an added level of immersion and make playing the PS5 feel like a more distinct experience. The upcoming PlayStation VR2 will further add to the number of unique experiences on the PS5.Xbox Series X does have other console-exclusive features like quick resume, which stores the exact place you stopped playing and lets you swap between games without lengthy initial loading screens. However, quick resume doesn't work for every game and mostly speeds up navigation rather than enhancing your gameplay experience.Xbox Series X has a better subscription service and support for more classic gamesXbox Game Pass lets you play tons of games for a monthly subscription fee.MicrosoftXbox does beat PlayStation when it comes to backwards compatibility, which is a feature that lets you play games from older consoles. Xbox Series X can play games dating back to the original Xbox, which was released in 2001. PlayStation 5 can play PS4 titles, but games from the PS3 and earlier are more difficult to access. Sony has made dozens of the most popular PS1, PS2, and PSP titles downloadable for PS5, but it hardly compares to the hundreds of games available with the Xbox Series X's true backwards compatibility. You can also easily get access to more than 100 new and classic games with an Xbox Game Pass subscription ($10/month), including Microsoft's latest exclusives. Sony also has a subscription service of its own, called PlayStation Plus, which offers hundreds of games on PS5, but it doesn't include new Sony day-and-date releases like Microsoft has on Game Pass.As an added bonus, the Series X will also enhance some older titles with HDR contrast and boost the frame rate of some games to 120 frames per second, creating smoother looking animations and better visuals overall.PS5 feels like a must-have for hardcore gamers, but the Xbox is a powerhouse for both gaming and mediaAs media players, the PS5 and Xbox Series X both offer a robust set of features, but the Xbox's adoption of Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos sound formats make it slightly more appealing as a streaming device. Xbox offers movies and TV shows for sale via the Microsoft Store, while the PlayStation Store discontinued movie purchases in August 2021. Xbox has also been quicker to adopt new apps and services, like the recently added option to join Discord voice chats directly from the console.However, while the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are similar in terms of quality and performance, the PS5's exclusive games and gameplay-focused features make it more enticing for buyers who want an immersive experience and don't want to miss major releases.Xbox Series X succeeds as a powerful media center with access to more than 15 years worth of Xbox games, but the ability to also play the newest Xbox titles on PC and Xbox One make the Series X less of a must-have machine.Ultimately, if you're lucky enough to get your hands on the PS5 or Xbox Series X amid the ongoing supply shortage you won't be disappointed; both systems offer awesome exclusives and an impressive upgrade over the last generation of consoles.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 5th, 2023

More than 300 people live year-round in Death Valley, one of the hottest places on Earth. Here"s what it"s like.

Death Valley is one of the hottest places on Earth, but it's home to more than 300 people year-round. Kids who live in Death Valley, California, enjoy the playground in the Cow Creek residential area.Courtesy of Crystal Taylor With average daytime temperatures of nearly 120 degrees in August, Death Valley is one of the hottest regions in the world. More than 300 people call the area home, most of them employees of the National Park Service and local hotels.  Two residents told Business Insider what it's like to live in such extreme temperatures. Death Valley reached a scorching 130 degrees on an August 2020 afternoon. That's 54 degrees Celsius, or roughly the internal temperature of a steak. By September 2022, Death Valley shattered the world record for the hottest temperature recorded in the month of September, hitting 126 degrees.Record-setting or not, most days in July and August feel like you're walking into an oven, said Brandi Stewart, a year-round Furnace Creek station resident and the public information officer for Death Valley National Park."It's pretty oppressive," Stewart said. "You go outside and you just immediately feel it, you feel it on your skin. It's dry; you don't feel yourself sweat because it evaporates so quickly."Death Valley's 300 to 400 year-round residents experience highs of 110 to 125 degrees Fahrenheit throughout August. At night, temperatures dip into the low 90s. Yet despite the scorching heat, residents manage to work, socialize, and even exercise outside. Stewart and Patrick Taylor, chief of interpretation and education for Death Valley National Park, told Business Insider what it's like to live in one of the hottest places on Earth.It takes time to get used to the heat Taylor's first summer in Death Valley was "pretty hard," he said.When a body isn't adjusted to extreme heat, high temperatures can overwhelm it quickly, causing profuse sweating and exhaustion before worse outcomes like heat stroke. Most human bodies adapt after a few weeks, though, primarily by sweating more, reducing core temperatures, and altering blood vessels to increase blood flow to the skin.Taylor estimates that it took him — and most others — about a year to adjust fully to Furnace Creek's highs. He has now spent a total of seven years there."I don't know if anyone actually enjoys it when it's 125, but it's not as intimidating," he said.Plus, Stewart said, Death Valley's heat is dry, which means sweat evaporates quickly and cools the body more efficiently.She knew she'd gotten accustomed to the heat, she said, after she started bundling up on 80-degree days."I've been on the phone with people today and yesterday, and they'll say, 'It's 80 degrees outside and I'm wearing shorts and a T shirt,'" she said. But in that climate, Stewart added, "I'm probably wearing pants and a long sleeved shirt."Children host a bake sale at the Cow Creek complex.Courtesy of Crystal TaylorIn the winter in Death Valley, highs hover in the 60s, while temperatures drop to the high 30s at night.The Death Valley community stays closeCow Creek, Timbisha Shoshone Village, and Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley's three main year-round communities, are remote: The nearest town is an hour's drive. Some local kids take the hour-long bus ride to school, though Taylor and his wife homeschool their five daughters.The Cow Creek complex has about 80 housing units, most of which are within walking distance of one another, Taylor said. There's a shared gym, playground, and county library. Most of the homes have two types of air conditioning: Ordinary A/C units and "swamp" or evaporative coolers, which take in dry, hot air and filter it through wet pads to cool it down.But not all residents use both systems — or any cooling system at all."Some employees never ever use air conditioning," Taylor said. "If it gets to 95 in the house, it gets to 95."He said they forgo air conditioning mostly to save money on utilities. Most residents' family members don't like visiting in the summer, Taylor added, so year-rounders spend a lot of time together.This branch of the National Park Service "tends to attract really motivated employees that wanna work hard and don't run off when things are challenging," he said.The approximately 150 National Park Service employees in the area have set up community groups — "there's a book club, a crafting club, people who like to go out running," Taylor said.Yes, Death Valley residents go running. Outside. Even in July."We'd never, ever tell a visitor to go running in Death Valley in the summer," Taylor said. "But if you run every day and your body is used to running at 119 degrees, then 120 isn't much of a difference."Residents take extra precautions when going outsideBrandi Stewart, a resident of Death Valley National Park, bakes cookies on her car's windshield.Brandi StewartIn the summer, Death Valley's heat makes even simple activities dangerous. Taylor and his family never leave the house without a backup satellite phone, just in case they lose cell reception.Stewart doesn't drive to the grocery store without her boyfriend and a huge jug of water; she also inspects her car constantly to avoid the possibility that it breaks down, stranding her in a remote area."The biggest fear I have is getting a flat tire and having my vehicle malfunction," she said. Taylor and Stewart both said they tell visitors to the park that they must take similar precautions. "A concern we have right now [is] that the attention we have to our heat records will bring more people out," Stewart said.Climate change is making life in Death Valley even tougherThe coronavirus pandemic has made it harder for the small group of Death Valley residents to gather, but they're staying in touch via technology like everyone else. "We're all going through the same thing together; we're all experiencing these high temperatures. It fosters this sense of community, that you're going through this hard thing all together," Stewart said. They're also facing another enormous threat: climate change.In Death Valley, six of the 10 hottest months on record have occurred in the last 20 years. In July 2018, the area set a world record for hottest month ever recorded, with average temperatures of 108.1 degrees Fahrenheit — breaking its previous record of 107.4 degrees the year before.  Taylor said the temperature changes have made it harder to connect with fellow residents."When we look at our trends over the last decade or so, [Sunday] aside, it doesn't seem like generally the daytime highs are noticeably higher than they've been historically. The big trend is the overnight lows," he said.Ten years ago, Death Valley's average low temperature in August was 86 degrees, according to NOAA. Last year, it was 90. In the same time frame, average low temperatures in September have increased from 74 to 80."We used to go out and play at night, and now we can't go out and socialize as much as we used to," Taylor said. "Maybe before, we'd have a barbecue; now it's too hot to do that four months out of the year instead of one month."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 1st, 2023

Our predictions for big themes in 2023, from China tensions to the abundance agenda and tech discipline

Now that it's 2023, I want to share some of the things I'm personally fascinated with that I think will be big themes for the year ahead. Hi, I'm Matt Turner, the editor in chief of business at Insider. Welcome back to Insider Weekly, a roundup of some of our top stories. I hope you had a chance to see in the New Year in style. On the agenda today:How one worker cheated on a key exam to boost their tech career.This Goldman Sachs alum became the go-to dealmaker for the Yankees and Ben Affleck.Your complete guide to navigating the stock market in 2023.These are eight of the coolest electric vehicles hitting the streets this year. But first: Now that it's 2023, I want to share some of the things I'm personally fascinated with that I think will be big themes for the year ahead. If this was forwarded to you, sign up here.  3 big themes for 2023China tensions: The fate of the world economy may depend on what happens to a company in Taiwan most Americans have never heard of. Without radical changes, TikTok could vanish from the US. The renewed "Made in America" trend is going to make things like clothing and electronics more expensive. These are all huge storylines for 2023 driven by increasing tensions between China and the US. Abundance agenda: While many one-off purchases have gotten less expensive over time (think a new car, TV, or computer), recurring costs like college tuition, healthcare, housing costs, childcare, energy, and food, have increased in the US.  The abundance agenda posits that the US (and much of the Western world) has the ability to change course if it makes it easier to invest in these long-term goals: to train more doctors, build more houses, and develop renewables. I'm fascinated to see whether this argument gains momentum in 2023. Tech discipline: The cushy perks of tech work are disappearing. Big tech companies are making their performance reviews tougher. Tech founders are applauding Elon Musk's brutal crackdown at Twitter and may look to follow suit. Silicon Valley's newfound financial discipline will continue into 2023, likely leading to more moon shots getting killed, startups going under, and more consolidation and take-private deals. I'd love to hear from you. What do you think are the big themes that will shape 2023?  You can reach me at mturner@insider.com.Now for this week's stories…Inside 'exam dumps'Tyler Le/InsiderCompanies from Salesforce to Amazon Web Services use technical certifications to prove that workers are competent with certain software tools. But with a quick Google search, tech workers can access "exam dumps," or answer keys to the exams. We spoke with a tech worker who used "exam dumps" early in their career to pass the technical certifications. They said that while they probably wouldn't have passed without cheating, they now see the practice as harmful.Here's what the tech worker told us.Read more:If you want to land a job or get a raise in the tech industry, you have to pass a test — and pretty much everyone is cheating on the examsThe rise of the 'bait-and-switch' job interviewDealmaker for the Yankees and Ben AffleckGerry Cardinale at RedBird's Manhattan officeCrystal Cox/InsiderIn 2009, Goldman Sachs' then-CEO Lloyd Blankfein made dealmaker Gerry Cardinale turn down the chance to buy a majority stake in the Liverpool soccer club. So Cardinale started thinking about leaving the bank to hang his own shingle.In 2014, he launched RedBird Capital. Now he's a go-to dealmaker in sports and entertainment with $7.5 billion in assets. He bought the soccer club AC Milan in August and graced the stage of The New York Times DealBook conference alongside his business partner Ben Affleck.Here's how he got to this point.Read more:7 of the world's biggest sports clubs are for sale, worth a collective $22 billion. See how they rank in price.How to navigate the stock market this yearA trader looks at his screens on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York January 8, 2008. U.S. stocks fell, erasing an earlier rally, as shares of mortgage-related companies dropped sharply with traders citing rumors of more financial problems at Countrywide Financial Corp, the largest U.S. mortgage lender. REUTERS/Brendan McDermidMost investors are betting that the US will enter a recession at some point in 2023. To help make it through the downturn, Insider created a guide to what top analysts and firms are expecting for 2023, complete with stories that address investors' biggest questions.From how to improve your investing strategy this year to where to invest and which stocks to buy, we've got everything you need to know for the year ahead.Check out our comprehensive guide.Read more:Here are the boldest predictions for 2023: Crashing stocks, another Great Depression, and a meatless nation19 books to read in 2023 to think like a Wall Street investorThe coolest electric cars hitting streets next yearHyundaiHyundaiTons of new electric models have exploded onto the scene in recent years — and with several automakers planning to unleash new EVs in the coming year, 2023 will be no different.From the outrageously large GMC Hummer EV SUV (which costs $106,000) to the futuristic Polestar 3, there will be no shortage of sleek new electric vehicles in the new year. See all the EVs you'll have to choose from.Read more:2022 was the year automakers figured out how to make electric cars really workMeet 30 leaders driving the electric-vehicle revolution at white-hot companies like Rivian, GM, and LucidThis week's quote:"I do limb-lengthening reconstruction, not that bullshit cosmetic limb-lengthening." Dr. S. Robert Rozbruch, a surgeon who performs 350 to 400 limb-lengthening surgeries and deformity corrections a year. Read his story here.More of this week's top reads:Americans are still moving to Florida. They might regret it.Insider outlined the most transformative CEOs of 2022. Meet them here. An Airbnb multimillionaire explains why he's optimistic about the platform in 2023.ChatGPT wrote their cover letters — and here's how hiring managers responded."Southwest canceled my flight. It became a 41-hour nightmare."Tenants' battle with their $31 billion landlord could foreshadow what's to come across America.In 2022, overconfident, self-aggrandizing leaders came falling back to earth. Wanted: Two lighthouse keepers for a tiny island in the San Francisco Bay.Curated by Matt Turner. Edited by Jordan Parker Erb and Lisa Ryan. Sign up for more Insider newsletters here.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJan 1st, 2023

Warren Buffett"s luck changed this year, allowing him to spend a record sum on stocks and end his deal drought. Here are his 6 highlights of 2022.

Buffett built huge stakes in Chevron and Occidental Petroleum, called out stock-market gamblers, trashed bitcoin, and struck a deal to buy Alleghany within two weeks. Warren Buffett.Getty Images / Matthew Peyton Warren Buffett spent a record sum on stocks and made a major acquisition in 2022. The Berkshire Hathaway CEO tore into bitcoin, adjusted some overseas bets, and gave a surprise gift. Here are the investing icon's 6 highlights of 2022. Warren Buffett's luck changed in 2022. After years of battling to find bargains and watching Berkshire Hathaway's cash stack up, the famed investor seized his chance to put his conglomerate's mountain of money to work.Buffett spent a record sum on stocks, executed a major acquisition, and made some striking changes to his overseas bets. He also crowed about four of Berkshire's key holdings in his yearly letter, trashed bitcoin at the annual shareholders' meeting, and made a surprise donation to his children's charities.Here are Buffett's 6 highlights from 2022:The annual letterWarren BuffettYouTube / University of Nebraska–LincolnBuffett published his famous annual letter to Berkshire shareholders in February.The investor vented his frustration with Berkshire's mammoth $144 billion cash pile, blaming a lack of bargains in the stock market. He also celebrated the "Four Giants" among Berkshire's businesses: insurance, railroads, energy, and its enormous Apple stake.Moreover, Buffett appeared to respond to criticism of his tax practices by noting Berkshire paid $3.3 billion of federal income tax in 2021 — nearly 1% of all the corporate income taxes collected by the US government that year.Here's a roundup of the best quotes from Buffett's letter, and here are the key insights it contained.Acquiring AlleghanyWarren BuffettAP ImagesBuffett struck a deal to buy Alleghany for nearly $12 billion in March. Berkshire completed its takeover of the insurer in October, ending a years-long drought on the acquisition front.The investor showcased his trademark approach to dealmaking, which prizes trust and simplicity. He proposed the merger over dinner with Alleghany's CEO, who previously ran a Berkshire subsidiary, and the pair formally announced a deal less than two weeks later.Buffet also refused to budge on the deal terms, and when Alleghany enlisted Goldman Sachs as a financial advisor, he insisted the investment bank's fee was subtracted from Berkshire's offer price.An epic buying spree REUTERS/Rick WilkingBerkshire plowed a net $41 billion into stocks in the first quarter of 2022, setting a new record for its quarterly spending on equities. Buffett and his team built large stakes in HP, Chevron, Occidental Petroleum, Citigroup, Paramount, and Taiwan Semiconductor in the first nine months of 2022. Berkshire also spent over $5 billion on buybacks and made other sizeable purchases, lifting its spending on stocks and acquisitions for the year to an astounding $70 billion or so.The annual meetingMarkets InsiderBuffett hosted Berkshire's annual shareholder meeting in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska in April, after two years of virtual gatherings due to the pandemic.The investor called out the reckless speculation in the stock market, underlined the grave threat posed by inflation, and declared he wouldn't pay $25 for all the bitcoin in the world.Here's a roundup of the best quotes from the meeting, and here are the key takeaways. Insider also visited Berkshire's "Bazaar of Bargains," and interviewed several CEOs of subsidiaries, including See's Candies' Pat Egan, Dairy Queen's Troy Bader, Brooks Runnings' Jim Weber, Borsheims' Karen Goracke, and Cort's Jeff Pederson.Oil stocks, Japan, and BYDBillionaire financier and Berkshire Hathaway Chief Executive Warren Buffett (2nd R), Microsoft founder Bill Gates (R), Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charlie Munger (2nd L) and BYD Chairman and President Wang Chuanfu (L) gesture at the national launch ceremony for the BYD M6 vehicle in Beijing September 29, 2010. REUTERS/Jason LeeBuffett made some big moves in 2022 that deserve special attention. For example, he poured a total of about $30 billion into Chevron and Occidental, propelling the pair of oil-and-gas companies onto the list of Berkshire's most-valuable holdings.The investor and his team also revealed in November they had boosted their billion-dollar bets on Japan's five largest trading houses.In contrast, they sold BYD shares for the first time in 14 years. Berkshire has now slashed its position in the Chinese electric-vehicle maker by around 22%, and pocketed an estimated $1.2 billion profit from the disposals.An unexpected giftLucas Jackson/ReutersBuffett made his usual annual donation of Berkshire stock in June, dividing the $4 billion gift between the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and four of his family's charities.Unexpectedly, he contributed a further $759 million worth of Berkshire stock to his three children's foundations for Thanksgiving, saying he was proud of their charitable work and wanted to show his appreciation.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytDec 31st, 2022