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Category: topSource: bizjournalsMay 13th, 2022

GDS Holdings Limited Reports First Quarter 2022 Results

SHANGHAI, China, May 18, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- GDS Holdings Limited ("GDS Holdings", "GDS" or the "Company") (NASDAQ:GDS, HKEX: 9698)), a leading developer and operator of high-performance data centers in China, today announced its unaudited financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2022. First Quarter 2022 Financial Highlights Net revenue increased by 31.5% year-over-year ("Y-o-Y") to RMB2,243.6 million (US$353.9 million) in the first quarter of 2022 (1Q2021: RMB1,706.0 million). Service revenue increased by 31.6% Y-o-Y to RMB2,243.5 million (US$353.9 million) in the first quarter of 2022 (1Q2021: RMB1,704.5 million). Net loss was RMB373.3 million (US$58.9 million) in the first quarter of 2022, compared with a net loss of RMB278.7 million in the first quarter of 2021. Adjusted EBITDA (non-GAAP) increased by 28.5% Y-o-Y to RMB1,051.2 million (US$165.8 million) in the first quarter of 2022 (1Q2021: RMB817.9 million). See "Non-GAAP Disclosure" and "Reconciliations of GAAP and non-GAAP results" elsewhere in this earnings release. Adjusted EBITDA margin (non-GAAP) decreased to 46.9% in the first quarter of 2022 (1Q2021: 47.9%). Operating Highlights1 Total area committed and pre-committed by customers increased by 18,188 square meters ("sqm") in the first quarter of 2022, to reach 575,009 sqm as of March 31, 2022, an increase of 24.5% Y-o-Y (March 31, 2021: 461,823 sqm). Area in service increased by 4,461 sqm in the first quarter of 2022, to reach 492,344 sqm as of March 31, 2022, an increase of 36.6% Y-o-Y (March 31, 2021: 360,542 sqm). Commitment rate for area in service was 95.3% as of March 31, 2022 (March 31, 2021: 95.0%). Area under construction was 168,128 sqm as of March 31, 2022 (March 31, 2021: 170,149 sqm). Pre-commitment rate for area under construction was 63.1% as of March 31, 2022 (March 31, 2021: 70.0%). Area utilized by customers increased by 12,545 sqm in the first quarter of 2022, to reach 332,019 sqm as of March 31, 2022, an increase of 32.2% Y-o-Y (March 31, 2021: 251,063 sqm). Utilization rate for area in service was 67.4% as of March 31, 2022 (March 31, 2021: 69.6%). "We kicked off 2022 with a solid first quarter," said Mr.William Huang, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "During the first quarter, we secured over 18,000 sqm of new bookings and further cemented our leading position in China's Tier 1 markets through both organic and acquisition-driven growth. In addition, we progressed our regionalization plan to deepen our presence in Southeast Asia through our partnership with YTL for green data center campus development in Malaysia, creating a unique platform with access to renewable energy in this emerging digital region." "We maintained a steady financial performance in the first quarter, achieving a revenue increase of 31.5% and Adjusted EBITDA growth of 28.5% year-over-year, " commented Mr. Dan Newman, Chief Financial Officer. "Our Adjusted EBITDA margin was 46.9% compared with 47.0% last quarter. Additionally, we raised US$620 million during the first quarter through a private convertible senior note and obtained debt financing and refinancing facilities of around US$532 million to continue building our capital base to support future business growth." First Quarter 2022 Financial Results Net revenue in the first quarter of 2022 was RMB2,243.6 million (US$353.9 million), a 31.5% increase over the first quarter of 2021 of RMB1,706.0 million and a 2.6% increase over the fourth quarter of 2021 of RMB2,187.4 million. Service revenue in the first quarter of 2022 was RMB2,243.5 million (US$353.9 million), a 31.6% increase over the first quarter of 2021 of RMB1,704.5 million and a 2.6% increase over the fourth quarter of 2021 of RMB2,185.9 million. The increase over the previous quarter was mainly due to the full quarter revenue contribution from additional area utilized in the previous quarter and the contribution from 12,545 sqm of net additional area utilized in the first quarter of 2022, mainly related to the Beijing 8 ("BJ8"), Langfang 3 ("LF3"), Langfang 10 ("LF10") and Nantong 3 ("NT3") data centers. Cost of revenue in the first quarter of 2022 was RMB1,757.2 million (US$277.2 million), a 34.2% increase over the first quarter of 2021 of RMB1,309.1 million and a 3.4% increase over the fourth quarter of 2021 of RMB1,700.1 million. The increase over the previous quarter was mainly due to an increase in utility cost as a result of higher power consumption due to higher area utilized and higher power tariffs following the power market reform initiated during the previous quarter, and an increase in depreciation and amortization cost related to the full quarter contribution from new data centers coming into service in the previous quarter, as well as new data centers coming into service in the first quarter of 2022, namely Changshu 2 ("CS2") Phase 2 and Wuhan 1 ("WH1") Phase 1 (through acquisition) data centers. Gross profit was RMB486.4 million (US$76.7 million) in the first quarter of 2022, a 22.6% increase over the first quarter of 2021 of RMB396.9 million, and a 0.2% decrease over the fourth quarter of 2021 of RMB487.3 million. The slight decrease over the previous quarter was mainly due to higher power tariffs leading to higher utility cost as a result of the power market reform initiated during the previous quarter, and higher depreciation and amortization cost related to new data centers coming into service during the fourth quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022. Gross profit margin was 21.7% in the first quarter of 2022, compared with 23.3% in the first quarter of 2021, and 22.3% in the fourth quarter of 2021. The decrease over the previous quarter was mainly due to higher power tariffs as a result of the power market reform initiated during the previous quarter, and higher depreciation and amortization cost related to new data centers coming into service during the fourth quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022. Adjusted Gross Profit ("Adjusted GP") (non-GAAP) is defined as gross profit excluding depreciation and amortization, operating lease cost relating to prepaid land use rights, accretion expenses for asset retirement costs and share-based compensation expenses allocated to cost of revenue. Adjusted GP was RMB1,174.6 million (US$185.3 million) in the first quarter of 2022, a 26.6% increase over the first quarter of 2021 of RMB928.0 million and a 2.3% increase over the fourth quarter of 2021 of RMB1,148.4 million. See "Non-GAAP Disclosure" and "Reconciliations of GAAP and non-GAAP results" elsewhere in this earnings release. Adjusted GP margin (non-GAAP) was 52.4% in the first quarter of 2022, compared with 54.4% in the first quarter of 2021, and 52.5% in the fourth quarter of 2021. The Adjusted GP margin stayed at a similar level as the previous quarter, which is an outcome of higher power tariffs leading to higher utility cost partially offset by a decrease of other cash costs in cost of revenue. Selling and marketing expenses, excluding share-based compensation expenses of RMB13.0 million (US$2.0 million), were RMB28.6 million (US$4.5 million) in the first quarter of 2022, a 40.2% increase from the first quarter of 2021 of RMB20.4 million (excluding share-based compensation of RMB15.3 million) and a 3.8% decrease from the fourth quarter of 2021 of RMB29.7 million (excluding share-based compensation of RMB12.4 million). The decrease over the previous quarter was primarily due to a decrease in marketing activities during the Chinese New Year season. General and administrative expenses, excluding share-based compensation expenses of RMB52.6 million (US$8.3 million), depreciation and amortization expenses of RMB121.1 million (US$19.1 million) and operating lease cost relating to prepaid land use rights of RMB20.7 million (US$3.3 million), were RMB105.3 million (US$16.6 million) in the first quarter of 2022, a 4.2% increase over the first quarter of 2021 of RMB101.1 million (excluding share-based compensation expenses of RMB59.7 million, depreciation and amortization expenses of RMB62.1 million and operating lease cost relating to prepaid land use rights of RMB8.2 million) and a 9.4% decrease from the fourth quarter of 2021 of RMB116.2 million (excluding share-based compensation of RMB50.8 million, depreciation and amortization expenses of RMB104.5 million, and operating lease cost relating to prepaid land use rights of RMB9.3 million). The decrease over the previous quarter was mainly due to a lower level of professional fees related to acquisitions. Research and development costs were RMB9.8 million (US$1.5 million) in the first quarter of 2022, compared with RMB9.3 million in the first quarter 2021 and RMB12.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2021. Net interest expenses for the first quarter of 2022 were RMB453.5 million (US$71.5 million), a 26.8% increase over the first quarter of 2021 of RMB357.7 million and a 2.4% increase over the fourth quarter of 2021 of RMB442.8 million. The increase over the previous quarter was mainly due to higher interest expenses on increased total gross debt balance to finance data center capacity expansion. Foreign currency exchange loss for the first quarter of 2022 was RMB4.7 million (US$0.7 million), compared with a gain of RMB1.2 million in the first quarter of 2021 and a loss of RMB3.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2021. Others, net for the first quarter of 2022 was RMB21.5 million (US$3.4 million), compared with RMB16.3 million in the first quarter of 2021 and RMB37.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2021. Net loss in the first quarter of 2022 was RMB373.3 million (US$58.9 million), compared with a net loss of RMB278.7 million in the first quarter of 2021 and a net loss of RMB312.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2021. Adjusted EBITDA (non-GAAP) is defined as net loss excluding net interest expenses, income tax expenses (benefits), depreciation and amortization, operating lease cost relating to prepaid land use rights, accretion expenses for asset retirement costs, share-based compensation expenses and gain from purchase price adjustment. Adjusted EBITDA was RMB1,051.2 million (US$165.8 million) in the first quarter of 2022, a 28.5% increase over the first quarter of 2021 of RMB817.9 million and a 2.3% increase over the fourth quarter of 2021 of RMB1,027.4 million. Adjusted EBITDA margin (non-GAAP) was 46.9% in the first quarter of 2022, compared with 47.9% in the first quarter of 2021, and 47.0% in the fourth quarter of 2021. The slight decrease over the previous quarter was mainly due to higher power tariffs leading to higher utility cost partially offset by a lower level of corporate expenses during the quarter. Basic and diluted loss per ordinary share in the first quarter of 2022 was RMB0.39 (US$0.06), compared with RMB0.21 in the first quarter of 2021, and RMB0.24 in the fourth quarter of 2021. Basic and diluted loss per American Depositary Share ("ADS") in the first quarter of 2022 was RMB3.15 (US$0.50), compared with RMB1.66 in the first quarter of 2021, and RMB1.92 in the fourth quarter of 2021. Each ADS represents eight Class A ordinary shares. Sales Total area committed and pre-committed at the end of the first quarter of 2022 was 575,009 sqm, compared with 461,823 sqm at the end of the first quarter of 2021 and 556,822 sqm at the end of the fourth quarter of 2021, an increase of 24.5% Y-o-Y and 3.3% quarter-over-quarter ("Q-o-Q"), respectively. In the first quarter of 2022, net additional total area committed was 18,188 sqm, including significant contributions from the Shanghai 18 ("SH18") Phase 1, Beijing 14 ("BJ14") Phase 1, Beijing 21 ("BJ21") and Beijing 22 ("BJ22") data centers. Data Center Resources Area in service at the end of the first quarter of 2022 was 492,344 sqm, compared with 360,542 sqm at the end of the first quarter of 2021 and 487,883 sqm at the end of the fourth quarter of 2021, an increase of 36.6% Y-o-Y and 0.9% Q-o-Q. In the first quarter of 2022, CS2 Phase 2 and WH1 Phase 1 (through acquisition) data centers came into service. Area under construction at the end of the first quarter of 2022 was 168,128 sqm, compared with 170,149 sqm at the end of the first quarter of 2021 and 161,515 sqm at the end of the fourth quarter of 2021, a decrease of 1.2% Y-o-Y and an increase of 4.1% Q-o-Q, respectively. In the first quarter of 2022, construction commenced on the SH18 Phase 1 and WH1 Phase 2 data centers. SH18 Phase 1 is the first phase of SH18 data center at the same site as our Shanghai 16 and Shanghai 17 data centers in the Minhang District of Shanghai. SH18 Phase 1 will yield a net floor area of 6,680 sqm and is 67.5% pre-committed. It is expected to come into service in the second half of 2022. WH1 Phase 2 is the second and final phase of WH1 data center which the Company completed the acquisition of during the first quarter of 2022. WH1 Phase 2 will yield a net floor area of 2,800 and is expected to come into service in the first half of 2023. Commitment rate for area in service was 95.3% at the end of the first quarter of 2022, compared with 95.0% at the end of the first quarter of 2021 and 93.8% at the end of the fourth quarter of 2021. Pre-commitment rate for area under construction was 63.1% at the end of the first quarter of 2022, compared with 70.0% at the end of the first quarter of 2021 and 61.3% at the end of the fourth quarter of 2021. Area utilized at the end of the first quarter of 2022 was 332,019 sqm, compared with 251,063 sqm at the end of the first quarter of 2021 and 319,475 sqm at the end of the fourth quarter of 2021, an increase of 32.2% Y-o-Y and 3.9% Q-o-Q. Net additional area utilized was 12,545 sqm in the first quarter of 2022, which mainly came from additional area utilized in the BJ8, LF3, LF10 and NT3 data centers. Utilization rate for area in service was 67.4% at the end of the first quarter of 2022, compared with 69.6% at the end of the first quarter of 2021 and 65.5% at the end of the fourth quarter of 2021. During the first quarter of 2022, the Company completed its previously announced acquisition of 100% equity interest in target companies which are developing a data center site in Wuhan, Hubei Province, containing two data centers, WH1 and Wuhan 2 ("WH2"). The two data centers will yield an aggregate net floor area of approximately 8,400 sqm once fully developed. WH1 Phase 1, with a net floor area of 1,400 sqm, is currently in service and 100% committed. WH1 Phase 2, with a net floor area of 2,800 sqm, is currently under construction. WH2, with a potential net floor area of 4,200 sqm, is currently held for future development. During the first quarter of 2022, the Company completed its previously announced acquisition of a greenfield site in the Nusajaya Tech Park, Johor, Malaysia, immediately adjacent to Singapore. The Company intends to develop the site into a data center campus comprising a total net floor area of approximately 18,000 sqm, or 54 MW of total IT power capacity, according to the initial design. The first phase of the development, with an IT power capacity of 18 MW, is expected to be delivered in 2024. During the first quarter of 2022, the Company completed its previously announced acquisition of a greenfield site in the Nongsa Digital Park, located in Batam, Indonesia, approximately 25 km from Singapore. The Company plans to construct two new data center buildings on the site, comprising a total net floor area of approximately 10,000 sqm or 28 MW of total IT power capacity. The Company expects to secure a supply of renewable energy to support the data center site. The development of a data center campus in Nongsa Digital Park will complement the Company's existing project in the Nusajaya Tech Park, Johor, Malaysia forming a strong core for its "Singapore Plus" strategy in the region. During the first quarter of 2022, the Company completed its previously announced acquisition of a majority equity interest in a target company which owns greenfield land in the Xianghe County of Langfang in Hebei Province, namely Xianghe Land Site 1. The target company has already obtained required energy quota and other approvals for data center development on the site. Approximately 10 km to the east of Tongzhou District of Beijing, the site is well located to serve the Beijing market. Xianghe Land Site 1 has a land area of approximately 65,000 sqm and, once fully developed, it will yield a net floor area of approximately 30,000 sqm. It is currently held for future development. The Company will subsequently acquire all the remaining minority equity interest in the target company when certain conditions are met. During the first quarter of 2022, as previously announced, the Company entered into a definitive agreement for the lease of a purpose-built building shell (currently under construction by the landlord) in Hong Kong which will house our Hong Kong 3 ("HK3") data center. HK3 is located in West Kowloon, approximately 3 km from the Company's existing Hong Kong 1 ("HK1"), Hong Kong 2 ("HK2") and Hong Kong 4 ("HK4") data center cluster in the Kwai Chung area. HK3 will yield a net floor area of 7,265 sqm. It is expected to be delivered in the second half of 2024, ensuring that we will have continuous new capacity across four purpose-built data centers coming into service in Hong Kong through 2022 to 2025. On March 8, 2022 the Company closed its previously announced sale of US$620 million in aggregate principal amount of 0.25% convertible senior notes due 2029 (the "Notes") to Sequoia China Infrastructure Fund I ("SCIF"), ST Telemedia Global Data Centres ("STT GDC"), and an Asian sovereign wealth fund which has a strategic relationship with GDS (collectively, the "Investors"). In conjunction with SCIF's investment in the Notes, GDS and Sequoia Capital China (together with its affiliates, "Sequoia China") have entered into a Strategic Cooperation Agreement pursuant to which GDS and Sequoia China will identify and pursue collaborative opportunities for business synergies between GDS and Sequoia China; the development and implementation of GDS's regionalization strategy; and strategic acquisitions and investments in the internet data center business in China and overseas. Liquidity As of March 31, 2022, cash was RMB11,320.9 million (US$1,785.8 million). Total short-term debt was RMB6,793.1 million (US$1,071.6 million), comprised of short-term borrowings and the current portion of long-term borrowings of RMB6,242.3 million (US$984.7 million) and the current portion of finance lease and other financing obligations of RMB550.8 million (US$86.9 million). Total long-term debt was RMB33,983.9 million (US$5,360.8 million), comprised of long-term borrowings (excluding current portion) of RMB19,594.1 million (US$3,090.9 million), convertible bonds of RMB5,804.5 million (US$915.6 million) and the non-current portion of finance lease and other financing obligations of RMB8,585.4 million (US$1,354.3 million). During the first quarter of 2022, the Company obtained new debt financing and re-financing facilities of RMB3,369.5 million (US$531.5 million), and further raised $US620 million from a convertible bond issuance. Recent Developments Shenzhen 11 AcquisitionThe Company has recently completed its previously announced acquisition of 100% equity interest in a target company which has developed a data center in the Longhua District of Shenzhen, Shenzhen 11 ("SZ11"). SZ11 will yield a net floor area of approximately 7,089 sqm. It is a scarce resource in a Tier 1 core location which the Company believes is highly marketable. Partnership with YTL for green data center campus development in Johor, MalaysiaThe Company recently signed a partnership with YTL Power International Berhad ("YTL Power"), an international multi-utility infrastructure group, to co-develop 168 MW of data center capacity, across 8 individual data center facilities, at the upcoming YTL Green Data Center Park in Johor, Malaysia. The first phase of the co-development will enter service in 2024. YTL Green Data Center Park ("the Park") is a visionary project initiated by YTL Data Center Holdings Pte. Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of YTL Power. Located in Kulai, Johor, approximately 30 kilometres from the cities of Johor Bahru and Singapore, the Park will comprise 500 MW of total data center capacity integrated with an equivalent amount of solar power generation. It is the first hyperscale data center campus in Malaysia to be powered by on-site renewable energy. GDS's presence at the YTL Green Data Center Park will complement its hyperscale data center projects at Nusajaya Tech Park, Johor, Malaysia and Nongsa Digital Park, Batam, Indonesia. Ulanqab 1 to become a B-O-T joint venture data centerThe Company recently signed a share purchase agreement for the sale of a 49% equity interest in the project company of Ulanqab 1 ("UL1"), a build-operate-transfer ("B-O-T") data center, under the new master joint venture agreement signed between GDS and GIC in the third quarter of 2021. Once the transaction is completed, UL1 will become the second B-O-T joint venture data center with GDS owning 51% equity interest and GIC owning 49%, after HL1 Phase 1 data center. Business Outlook The Company confirms that the previously provided guidance for total revenues of RMB9,320 – RMB9,680 million, adjusted EBITDA of RMB4,285 – RMB4,450 million and capex of around RMB12,000 million for the year of 2022 remain unchanged. This forecast reflects the Company's preliminary view on the current business situation and market conditions, which are subject to change. Conference Call Management will hold a conference call at 8:00 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time on May 18, 2022 (8:00 a.m. Beijing Time on May 19, 2022) to discuss financial results and answer questions from investors and analysts. Listeners may access the call by dialing: United States: +1-833-239-5565 International: +65-6713-5590 Hong Kong: +852-3018-6771 Mainland China: 400-820-5286 Conference ID: 1699103 Participants should dial in at least 15 minutes before the scheduled start time and provide the Conference ID to the Operator to be connected to the conference. Due to conditions surrounding the outbreak of COVID-19, participants may experience longer than normal hold period before being assisted to join the call. The Company thanks everyone in advance for their patience and understanding. A telephone replay will be available approximately two hours after the call until May 26, 2022 09:59 AM U.S. ET by dialing: United States: +1-646-254-3697 International: +61-2-8199-0299 Hong Kong: +852-3051-2780 Mainland China: 400-820-9035 Replay Access Code: 1699103 A live and archived webcast of the conference call will be available on the Company's investor relations website at investors.gds-services.com. Non-GAAP Disclosure Our management and board of directors use Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA margin, Adjusted GP and Adjusted GP margin, which are non-GAAP financial measures, to evaluate our operating performance, establish budgets and develop operational goals for managing our business. We believe that the exclusion of the income and expenses eliminated in calculating Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted GP can provide useful and supplemental measures of our core operating performance. In particular, we believe that the use of Adjusted EBITDA as a supplemental performance measure captures the trend in our operating performance by excluding from our operating results the impact of our capital structure (primarily interest expense), asset base charges (primarily depreciation and amortization, operating lease cost relating to prepaid land use rights and accretion expenses for asset retirement costs), other non-cash expenses (primarily share-based compensation expenses), and other income and expenses which we believe are not reflective of our operating performance, whereas the use of adjusted gross profit as a supplemental performance measure captures the trend in gross profit performance of our data centers in service by excluding from our gross profit the impact of asset base charges (primarily depreciation and amortization, operating lease cost relating to prepaid land use rights and accretion expenses for asset retirement costs) and other non-cash expenses (primarily share-based compensation expenses) included in cost of revenue. We note that depreciation and amortization is a fixed cost which commences as soon as each data center enters service. However, it usually takes several years for new data centers to reach high levels of utilization and profitability. The Company incurs significant depreciation and amortization costs for its early stage data center assets. Accordingly, gross profit, which is a measure of profitability after taking into account depreciation and amortization, does not accurately reflect the Company's core operating performance. We also present these non-GAAP measures because we believe these non-GAAP measures are frequently used by securities analysts, investors and other interested parties as measures of the financial performance of companies in our industry. These non-GAAP financial measures are not defined under U.S. GAAP and are not presented in accordance with U.S. GAAP. These non-GAAP financial measures have limitations as analytical tools, and when assessing our operating performance, cash flows or our liquidity, investors should not consider them in isolation, or as a substitute for gross profit, net income (loss), cash flows provided by (used in) operating activities or other consolidated statements of operations and cash flow data prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP. There are a number of limitations related to the use of these non-GAAP financial measures instead of their nearest GAAP equivalent. First, Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA margin, Adjusted GP, and Adjusted GP margin are not substitutes for gross profit, net income (loss), cash flows provided by (used in) operating activities or other consolidated statements of operation and cash flow data prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP. Second, other companies may calculate these non-GAAP financial measures differently or may use other measures to evaluate their performance, all of which could reduce the usefulness of these non-GAAP financial measures as tools for comparison. Finally, these non-GAAP financial measures do not reflect the impact of net interest expenses, incomes tax benefits (expenses), depreciation and amortization, operating lease cost relating to prepaid land use rights, accretion expenses for asset retirement costs, share-based compensation expenses and gain from purchase price adjustment, each of which have been and may continue to be incurred in our business. We mitigate these limitations by reconciling the non-GAAP financial measure to the most comparable U.S. GAAP performance measure, all of which should be considered when evaluating our performance. For more information on these non-GAAP financial measures, please see the table captioned "Reconciliations of GAAP and non-GAAP results" set forth at the end of this press release. Exchange Rate This announcement contains translations of certain RMB amounts into U.S. dollars ("USD") at specified rates solely for the convenience of the reader. Unless otherwise stated, all translations from RMB to USD were made at the rate of RMB 6.3393 to US$1.00, the noon buying rate in effect on March 31, 2022 in the H.10 statistical release of the Federal Reserve Board. The Company makes no representation that the RMB or USD amounts referred could be converted into USD or RMB, as the case may be, at any particular rate or at all. Statement Regarding Preliminary Unaudited Financial Information The unaudited financial information set out in this earnings release is preliminary and subject to potential adjustments. Adjustments to the consolidated financial statements may be identified when audit work has been performed for the Company's year-end audit, which could result in significant differences from this preliminary unaudited financial information. About GDS Holdings Limited GDS Holdings Limited (NASDAQ:GDS, HKEX: 9698)) is a leading developer and operator of high-performance data centers in China. The Company's facilities are strategically located in China's primary economic hubs where demand for high-performance data center services is concentrated. The Company also builds, operates and transfers data centers at other locations selected by its customers in order to fulfill their broader requirements. The Company's data centers have large net floor area, high power capacity, density and efficiency, and multiple redundancies across all critical systems. GDS is carrier and cloud-neutral, which enables its customers to access all the major PRC telecommunications networks, as well as the largest PRC and global public clouds which are hosted in many of its facilities. The Company offers co-location and a suite of value-added services, including managed hybrid cloud services through direct private connection to leading public clouds, managed network services, and, where required, the resale of public cloud services. The Company has a 21-year track record of service delivery, successfully fulfilling the requirements of some of the largest and most demanding customers for outsourced data center services in China. The Company's customer base consists predominantly of hyperscale cloud service providers, large internet companies, financial institutions, telecommunications carriers, IT service providers, and large domestic private sector and multinational corporations. Safe Harbor Statement This announcement contains forward-looking statements. These statements are made under the "safe harbor" provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as "aim," "anticipate," "believe," "continue," "estimate," "expect," "future," "guidance," "intend," "is/are likely to," "may," "ongoing," "plan," "potential," "target," "will," and similar statements. Among other things, statements that are not historical facts, including statements about GDS Holdings' beliefs and expectations regarding the growth of its businesses and its revenue for the full fiscal year, the business outlook and quotations from management in this announcement, as well as GDS Holdings' strategic and operational plans, are or contain forward-looking statements. GDS Holdings may also make written or oral forward-looking statements in its periodic reports to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") on Forms 20-F and 6-K, in its current, interim and annual reports to shareholders, in announcements, circulars or other publications made on the website of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the "Hong Kong Stock Exchange"), in press releases and other written materials and in oral statements made by its officers, directors or employees to third parties. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties. A number of factors could cause GDS Holdings' actual results or financial performance to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement, including but not limited to the following: GDS Holdings' goals and strategies; GDS Holdings' future business development, financial condition and results of operations; the expected growth of the market for high-performance data centers, data center solutions and related services in China; GDS Holdings' expectations regarding demand for and market acceptance of its high-performance data centers, data center solutions and related services; GDS Holdings' expectations regarding building, strengthening and maintaining its relationships with new and existing customers; the continued adoption of cloud computing and cloud service providers in China; risks and uncertainties associated with increased investments in GDS Holdings' business and new data center initiatives; risks and uncertainties associated with strategic acquisitions and investments; GDS Holdings' ability to maintain or grow its revenue or business; fluctuations in GDS Holdings' operating results; changes in laws, regulations and regulatory environment that affect GDS Holdings' business operations; competition in GDS Holdings' industry in China; security breaches; power outages; and fluctuations in general economic and business conditions in China and globally, the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, and assumptions underlying or related to any of the foregoing. Further information regarding these and other risks, uncertainties or factors is included in GDS Holdings' filings with the SEC, including its annual report on Form 20-F, and with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. All information provided in this press release is as of the date of this press release and are based on assumptions that GDS Holdings believes to be reasonable as of such date, and GDS Holdings does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement, except as required under applicable law. For investor and media inquiries, please contact: GDS Holdings LimitedLaura ChenPhone: +86 (21) 2029-2203Email: ir@gds-services.com The Piacente Group, Inc.Ross WarnerPhone: +86 (10) 6508-0677Email: GDS@tpg-ir.com Brandi PiacentePhone: +1 (212) 481-2050Email: GDS@tpg-ir.com GDS Holdings Limited GDS HOLDINGS LIMITEDUNAUDITED CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS(Amount in thousands of Renminbi ("RMB") and US dollars ("US$"))               As ofDecember 31, 2021 As of March 31, 2022     RMB RMB US$             Assets       Current assets         Cash 9,968,109   11,320,911   1,785,830     Accounts receivable, net of allowance for doubtful accounts 1,732,686   2,313,110   364,884     Value-added-tax ("VAT") recoverable 229,090   243,739   38,449  .....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaMay 18th, 2022

Peruvian rotisserie taking over Track 7 Brewing"s East Sacramento kitchen

A Peruvian rotisserie that has largely been hosting pop-ups around the region over the last year is planning to take over the kitchen of Track 7 Brewing Co.'s taproom in East Sacramento......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsMay 13th, 2022

33 thoughtful college graduation gifts for him, from time-saving tech to gift cards so he can buy whatever he needs

Make their transition out of college a bit easier this year with useful graduation gifts for him that span from the latest in tech to gift cards. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Make their transition out of college a bit easier this year with useful graduation gifts for him that span from the latest in tech to gift cards.Crystal Cox/Insider and Magic SpoonGraduating from college and entering a new life chapter is a reason for celebration. Whether he's setting up a new apartment, starting a new job, or taking a beat to figure out his next step, there's a gift you can give that will make the transition a bit easier or even just more fun.You'll find 33 gifts to give your new graduate, from the latest tech to gift cards to buy whatever his heart desires.Here are 33 of the best graduation gifts for him in 2022:Apple AirPods Pro for when he's on the moveCrystal Cox/InsiderGift the Apple Airpods Pro, available at Amazon, $174.99We love Apple's AirPods Pro for Apple users. They're no-hassle, work with Apple products, have decent sound and noise cancellation, are water-resistant, have a wireless charging case, and feel more comfortable than standard AirPods.You'll find more wireless earbuds we love here.A wireless charging padBed Bath & BeyondGift the Catch:3 Wireless Charging Station, available at Bed Bath & Beyond, $99.99He can toss his phone or AirPods onto this tray that doubles as decor and their tech will charge without being plugged in. If he's got AirPods and an Apple Watch, you may want to check out this option from Zagg, too.A nice mixology setWilliams SonomaGift the Williams Sonoma Mixology Shaker & Tools Set, available on Williams Sonoma, $96.95If he's old enough to drink, a nice mixology set is great for when they host friends. This kit comes with quality basics — you could pair it with their favorite spirit delivered right to their door.Our most recommended French pressAmazonGift the Bodum Chambord French Press, available at Amazon, $25.99Coffee is a crucial part of many adults' mornings. We love the Bodum Chambord French Press for a good cup; it's about as timeless as they come, unfussy, and affordable. You can find all our favorite French presses here, though this is our number one pick.A framed photo of their friendsFramebridgeGift a Framebridge Frame, available on Framebridge, from $45Most of us appreciate some nostalgia; frame a photo of the graduate's friends or some of their favorite memories from school, so they can take them anywhere they call home.A Fitbit he can use while exercisingFitbitGift the Fitbit Versa 3, available at Best Buy, $229.95If he loves being active, a Fitbit will keep track of interesting metrics such as heart rate, sleep quality, and exercise stats for him. We like the Fitbit Versa 3 the most, but you may find another option that works best for your graduate.You can read about all of the best Fitbit trackers here.Cereal that feels like childhood but is responsible like adulthoodMagic Spoon cerealMagic SpoonGift the Magic Spoon Variety Case, available at Magic Spoon, from $39A childlike cereal for grown-ups is a nice transition into adulthood. Magic Spoon tastes like the sugared cereal some of us daydreamed about as kids, but it's high in protein and low in carbohydrates. You can find a full Magic Spoon review here.A must-read financial guide bookAmazonGift "I Will Teach You to Be Rich," available at Amazon, $12.87Instead of skimping on lattes, it's wiser to choose the right accounts and investments so your money grows for you — automatically. Best of all, it frees you up to spend on the things you love.Executive Editor for Personal Finance Insider Libby Kane says she regularly buys a new copy of this book just to give it away, and it's an excellent introduction to making the most of your personal finances — especially if your graduate is young or new to managing money.A record player for his new homePottery BarnGift the Crosley Voyager Turntable, available at Best Buy, $89.95For the one who's constantly listening to music, a turntable for his new abode makes for a functional and decorative gift — perfect for setting a good mood in the home and elevating the aesthetic in any room. He can jam out to all of his favorite tunes, whether it's while he cooks in the kitchen or works in the office.A gift card to decorate their home as they chooseTargetGift a Target Gift Card, available at TargetGift a The Container Store Gift Card, available at The Container StorePick up a gift card to a store with affordable home goods such as Target or the Container Store so they can organize and decorate their new space with less stress.A facial cleanserFOREOGift the FOREO Luna 3 Men, available at FOREO, $199This facial cleansing brush has left both male and female reporters on our team with clear, smooth skin. This particular model works as a state-of-the-art facial scrub brush, pre-shaving, and anti-aging tool.Supporting the "fewer, better" mentality, the FOREO Luna 3 Men has a lifespan and level of quality that justify the price tag — so they can make great use of your gift for years to come. A pleasant way to wake up every dayNordstromGift the Hatch Restore Reading Light, Sound Machine & Sunrise Alarm Clock, available at Nordstrom, $129.99Help them transition to earlier mornings with an alarm clock that wakes them up by mimicking sunlight.A toiletry bag to use at home or for travelRainsGift the Rains Weekend Wash Bag, available at Rains, $50Rains is a Denmark-based company chiefly known for making high-quality, stylish raincoats. This wash bag is of the same spirit. It's completely waterproof, which is a necessity for any good toiletry bag. The pouch features adjustable buckles that enable him to alter the volume of the bag to his needs.A great streaming deviceRokuGift the Roku Ultra 3, available at Amazon, $179.99The Roku Ultra 3 stands out from other streaming device options thanks to its 4K and HDR support, speed, reliability, and large library of streaming services (Netflix, HBO Max, Rakuten Viki).Plus, if he wants to watch TV on the big screen without disturbing anyone, it comes with headphones for private listening.Read the full review of the Roku Ultra 2020 here.A Disney Plus subscriptionDisney PlusGift a Disney Plus subscription, available at Disney Plus, $7.99 per month or $79.99 per year ($5.83/month)Graduating from college usually marks the beginning of "adulting," but he'll eventually need a break from being a grownup. With everything from classic Disney movies and shows from his childhood to Star Wars and Marvel movies, a Disney Plus subscription is a sure way to stay entertained.Learn more about Disney Plus here. A made-to-measure suitIndochinoGift an Indochino Gift Card, available at Indochino, from $50Suits — especially the nice ones — are a large yet ultimately useful expense for most men, even if it's only for special occasions rather than his everyday job. This is one gift he'll likely wear for years to come — and something he will likely need before he has the budget to afford it. A Brooklinen gift card for new sheetsBrooklinenGift a Brooklinen Gift Card, available at Brooklinen, from $50Your graduate may appreciate an upgrade in bedding to match their new chapter or their new space. Brooklinen is a common recommendation for us — you get premium, cant'-wait-to-go-to-bed bedding at relatively affordable prices. Read our Brooklinen sheets review here.An Amazon Echo to play music, answer questions, and coordinate with other techAmazonGift the Amazon Echo, available at Amazon, $49.99From music and radio stations to trivia and much, much more, your graduate will have ample distractions and helpful, hands-free info (like the weather or quick measurement conversions) while they're busy running around their place.We also have other smart speaker recommendations from other brands here.An electric pressure cookerHappy Foods Tube/ShutterstockGift an Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart, available at Amazon, $55.30Just in case the idea of tossing tons of ingredients into a pot in the morning and coming home to a nicely cooked meal appeals to him, the Instant Pot is every recent graduate's best friend.Ultimately, if they spend most of their day at work or commuting, the last thing they'd want to do is come home to devote two of their three free hours to making a lavish dinner for one. Plus, it cuts down on how many dishes he'll have to wash.We even rank this Instant Pot as the best budget option in our guide to the best electric pressure cookers.A popular, stylish suitcaseThe Medium Flex looks quite similar to the original Away Medium suitcase.Emily Hochberg/InsiderGift the Away Carry-On Suitcase, available at Away, from $275An Away suitcase is a particularly thoughtful gift for grads living far from home or planning future travel. The cult-favorite luggage has an ejectable external battery that charges devices easily on the go, 360-degree wheels for no-hassle travel, and weighs only 7.6 pounds. Read our full review of Away suitcases here. A sleek wallet he can keep foreverBellroyGift the Bellroy Note Sleeve Wallet, available at Bellroy, from $89Bellroy wallets last pretty much forever, which is one reason why they take the top spot in the Insider Reviews buying guide to the best men's wallets. This Note Sleeve is a best seller. It's compact but big enough for 4-11 cards — the most important cards go in the easy-access slots and the rest can be stored in a pull tab. A foundational cookbook he will actually useAmazonGift "How to Cook Everything," available at Amazon, $19A lot of graduates are coming out of school with little knowledge of cooking outside of mac and cheese or $1 pizza. A cookbook is a nice way to make sure they can get off on the right foot post-graduation, enjoying the activity itself rather than defaulting to takeout. A Bonobos gift cardBonobosGift a Bonobos Gift Card, available at Bonobos, from $25No matter what he has in store for life after graduation, he'll surely want to upgrade his wardrobe. Bonobos is a high-quality menswear brand that sells everything from chinos, button-ups, and suits for the office to casual styles like jeans, polos, and T-shirts to wear on the weekends. Read our full reviews of Bonobos' chinos and Bonobos' Chelsea boots.An Amazon gift cardAmazonGift an Amazon Gift Card, available at AmazonIf what you really want to do is just give cash but are looking for a nicer equivalent, an Amazon Gift Card is a subtle way to accomplish the same freedom and utility. Amazon has virtually everything a new grad could desire (really, there is everything), so you know that no matter what they'll be getting something they genuinely want — which, in a lot of cases, is best since they know what they need better than anyone.An Amazon Prime membershipAmazonGift a year of Amazon Prime, available at Amazon, $139An annual Amazon Prime membership is one of those things that immediately make life easier and ultimately better. If you decide to gift one, the recipient will enjoy free two-day shipping; access to the Prime Now app, which provides free two-hour delivery on tens of thousands of items; Prime Video, Amazon's streaming video service; Prime Music; the Kindle Lending Library; Prime Reading; Prime Audible Channels; unlimited photo storage, and more. Read about Amazon Prime member benefits here.A fancy messenger bagLeatherologyGift the Leatherology Henderson Laptop Brief Bag, available at Leatherology, from $300This Leatherology bag is an option that inspires a bit more confidence than a JanSport. The startup makes great leather accessories for much less than you'd expect to pay, like a $300 messenger bag. You'll find a few more budget-friendly options at Herschel Supply. A customized business card holderEtsyGift the VITT Personalized Card Holder, available at Etsy, from $32.50While his company will likely give him business cards, he's not likely to already have a business-card holder he can feel good about pulling out of his pocket. A card holder like this monogrammable option from Etsy looks competent and thoughtful.A reusable Hydro Flask that keeps drinks at the perfect temperatureHydroflaskGift the Hydroflask, available at Amazon, $32.96We love Hydro Flask's insulated, dishwasher-safe bottles — they'll keep hot drinks hot or cold drinks ice-cold for hours. This is also one of the items featured in our list of the All-Time Best products we've tested.A small but powerful speakerBest BuyGift the Sonos One (Gen 2) wireless speaker, available at Best Buy, $219.99Sonos makes some pretty great speakers for recent grads. They work well, can be used as a sound system, have useful features like a morning alarm that may sound more pleasant than their phone, and aren't so expensive that they can't possibly build upon their collection. If he's planning on entertaining friends, the Sonos One is a great option, especially since it connects with Amazon Alexa. A great weekend bagDagne Dover/FacebookGift the Dagne Dover Landon Carryall, available at Dagne Dover, from $110Dagne Dover has earned a spot as one of our default recommendations for great bags. Their weekender/carry-on Landon Carryall is made out of a cool neoprene material and has ample organization. It has an internal laptop sleeve, an exterior phone pocket, and a detachable key leash, plus a few other helpful design features. Read our full review of the Dagne Dover Landon Carryall here.A Kindle for post-grad readingAmazonGift the Kindle Paperwhite, available at Amazon, $109.99Learning is an ongoing process, and graduation shouldn't be the end of it. Giving them a Kindle means they'll have the tools to keep being curious in their lives by having the device that makes it an easy and affordable process.If they already have a Kindle or they read on their phone or iPad, you might look into gifting them a Scribd membership. It's lesser-known than apps like Audible, but it's a better deal and will give them access to hundreds of thousands of books and audiobooks. Read our full review of the Kindle Paperwhite here.A toolkit, which they will undoubtedly need in "real life"AmazonGift the Cartman 148-Piece Tool Kit, available at Amazon, $29.99After graduation, you enter the "real world" and the real world includes putting together furniture, Googling how to fix leaky faucets when your landlord avoids your calls, and enticing your friends to help you mount your living room TV with pizza.He'll be glad he has the tools to handle whatever life throws at him confidently, and this is one gift he may not immediately buy for himself, but which you really want to have before the very second you need it. Nice noise-canceling headphonesAntonio Villas-Boas/Business InsiderGift the Sony WH-1000XM4 Headphones, available at Amazon, $348Our favorite noise-canceling headphones balance sound quality, noise cancellation, and comfort. They're perfect for long commutes, focusing during work, or relaxing. This is also one of the items featured in our list of the All-Time Best products we've tested.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 9th, 2022

2 German volunteers went to Ukraine to fight the Russians. Confusion, chaos, and then COVID-19, defeated them instead.

Ukrainian President Zelenskyy called on foreign fighters to help defend against Russian attacks. Many weren't what the Ministry of Defense had in mind. Lukas and Tobias, two German volunteers, arrive in the western city of Lviv, just over a week after Russia's invasion of Ukraine began.Alan Chin for Insider To help defend against Russian attacks, Ukrainian President Zelenskyy called on foreign fighters.  Volunteers poured in, but many were perhaps not what the Ministry of Defense had in mind. On March 2, two German volunteers arrived in Lviv, ready to become war heroes. Chaos ensued. The two Germans burst into the hostel in Lviv, Ukraine, at 2 a.m., bumping into the door frame and shouting questions about where the beds were and how to find the bathroom. It was March 2, a week into Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and the hostel was mostly filled with shell-shocked women and children escaping war to the east. The Germans were starkly out of place. Marie and Etterem, the Ukrainian-Turkish couple who ran the place, had been sleeping on the kitchen floor down in the basement—now doubling as an air raid bunker—to leave more room for guests. They got up to prepare tea for the newcomers, giving the men a chance to explain themselves."We are volunteer soldiers for the International Legion of the Ukrainian military," Lukas, the younger of the two men, said. His companion, Tobias, twitched with excitement as he interrupted with, "We're here to fight the Russians."Marie and Etterem thanked the men for their bravery and headed back to bed. The Germans stepped out onto the balcony for a smoke, inviting me—a jet-lagged journalist who had been staying at the hostel since the war began—to join their late-night conversation. Sharply dressed in pristine blue-and-white tennis shoes, with a nose piercing and studded ears, Lukas, 33, had been living in Montenegro for the last six months while working at his father's IT company. He had come with a small backpack containing little that might come in handy for a soldier, and just enough money to pay for a few nights at a hostel.As he would tell me later, Lukas was bored with his tech job and was looking for something "real." Ukraine seemed as real as it could get. When he told his family and his girlfriend that he planned to join the International Legion, they tried to hide his passport. He slipped out in the middle of the night. "It was my decision and no one could stop me," Lukas said.Tobias—a decade older, at 44—was a luxury watchmaker by trade and spent weekends DJ-ing at techno clubs. Tall and lanky, with gauged earlobes and an uneven buzz cut, he carried only a small, overstuffed suitcase on two wheels, a well-worn black backpack, and a khaki shoulder bag that he seemed unwilling to part with. A simple black watch hung on his wrist. Tobias had been watching the news from his home in Fulda, outside Frankfurt, and was moved by a striking image of a Ukrainian girl carrying a Kaloshnikov in Kyiv. She looked to be around the same age as his daughter, Luna. "What if that were my Luna?" he remembers thinking. "How could I let her do this fight alone?"  Over the last year, Tobias had fallen out with his father and sister, lost ownership of the business he'd spent years building, and relapsed into binge drinking and drugs. He hadn't seen either of his two kids in more than six months. "My family is everything, and I don't have them anymore," he said. So, why not go to Ukraine, he figured."Were we supposed to just stand by and watch?" Tobias asked, digging into his pocket for his lighter. "We are from Germany," he said, halting his incessant fidgeting to emphasize his words and allude to his country's WWII history. "Not again."Neither man had any military experience or combat training, or even a connection to Ukraine. Lukas, smoking a joint, pulled his jacket more tightly around himself. He had brought rolling papers, but not a scarf or gloves. It was just 26 degrees that night in Lviv, and snowing.'Please come, we will give you weapons'On February 26—two days after the start of the Russian bombardment—Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy invited foreign nationals who considered themselves friends of Ukraine to join the fight, saying, "Please come. We will give you weapons."A day after that, Ukraine's Ministry of Defense provided more details: "Anyone who wants to join the defense of Ukraine, Europe, and the world can come and fight side by side with the Ukrainians against the Russian war criminals." Practically unprecedented in modern times, it brought to mind the call for anti-fascist volunteers to Spain in the 1930s, when over 60,000 volunteers from 50 countries (George Orwell among them) rushed to the Republicans' side in the Spanish civil war.These foreign fighters would be incorporated into the military under a voluntary contract with the same rights and responsibilities as the 100,000 or more Ukrainian militiamen already organized within 25 Territorial Defense Force brigades around the country.The International Legion added to Ukraine's 200,000-plus active-duty troops and 900,000 reservists—Europe's second largest military force, according to the Council on Foreign Relations. Only Russia oversees a bigger military in the region, dwarfing the forces of its neighbors, with over 900,000 active-duty soldiers and two million reservists.Formed at breakneck speed, many of the recruits were perhaps not who the Ministry of Defense had hoped to attract or was prepared to train. And, although legislation already existed to recruit foreigners, the military infrastructure that is needed to prepare inexperienced volunteers for war was still developing.On March 2, Ukraine updated its guidelines, and specified that recruits must sign up at the nearest Ukrainian embassy, complete a background check, and pass a health screening before presenting for service. (By March 7, Ukraine said 20,000 foreign recruits from 52 countries had applied to join the International Legion. Some estimates suggest the number has grown to 40,000.)But by that time, Tobias and Lukas were already in Ukraine—heading to training in their sneakers and jeans. The Georgian LegionTobias and Lukas had met at the train station in Przemysl, a small town on the Polish-Ukrainian border, during the long wait for the next train to Lviv—40 miles to the east. Tobias had overheard Lukas chatting with another man in German and, happy to hear his mother tongue, introduced himself. Lukas had been telling people that he was heading to Ukraine as a humanitarian volunteer. But when Tobias mentioned that he already had a military contact inside Ukraine, Lukas came clean. Tobias (left) and Lukas at the train station in Lviv.Alan Chin for InsiderA few days earlier, back in Germany, Tobias had reached out to the Ukrainian embassy in Frankfurt and learned that Ukraine's borders were open for volunteer fighters from anywhere in the world. No visa was required, so travel wouldn't be a problem. Tobias went on Facebook in search of a contact for the International Legion. He discovered instead the Georgian Legion—a battalion of volunteer soldiers mostly from the ex-Soviet country, many of whom carried anger towards Russia from when President Putin attacked their country in 2008. Tobias was given an email address and instructed to reach out once he crossed into Ukraine. While Tobias might have thought he had nothing to lose, his family saw things differently. "It was like a rollercoaster," Tobias' daughter, Luna, told me when I reached her by phone. "Always waiting for messages to know if he was okay."Lukas had done even less research, jumping on a train without any plans, instructions, or contacts. Once in Ukraine, he figured, it wouldn't be difficult to connect with a recruiter for the Legion. And then, he met Tobias, who seemed to have all the information Lukas needed. The Germans decided to continue the journey together. On that first frigid night in Lviv, they arrived too late to meet their Georgian contact. Instead, they were told they should find a place to sleep, and a car would come for them the next morning to take them to the training center.  The hostel was the only place their taxi driver could find with two open beds in the packed city, which had become a transit hub for hundreds of thousands of people fleeing the bombardments of Kyiv, Kharkiv, and other cities.  Lukas (left) helps Tobias repack his bags as they prepare to meet their Georgian Legion escort at the hostel in Lviv, Ukraine.Katie Livingstone for InsiderThe next morning, after just a few hours of sleep, the Germans showered and repacked their bags. Lukas finished first and watched as Tobias struggled to stuff all his things into his two bags. After a while, Lukas gamely plopped onto Tobias' suitcase so that his companion could more easily zip it up.Sure enough, later that morning a dark blue skoda with two armed soldiers pulled up in front of the hostel. The car was unmarked, but the soldiers wore the telltale yellow armband meant to differentiate Ukrainian troops from Russian soldiers. Making their way to the car, the Germans promised me they would stay in touch. (Over the next three weeks, I would hear from them almost daily, and meet them for several more interviews. They asked that Insider use only their first names.)  Tobias and Lukas climbed into the back seat and off they sped to some unknown location to begin their service to Ukraine. 'Katastrophe'In a hushed phone call that first night, Tobias explained that he and Lukas had been taken to the Georgian Legion's barracks, just outside Lviv. The place was barren and disorganized. They had expected to receive gear and start training right away. Instead, they spent most of that day and night drinking and smoking with their new brothers-in-arms while trying to communicate in whatever lingua-franca passed for the moment. (Most of the soldiers were Georgian, and about a third were from other places.) "Katastrophe," Tobias repeated over and over again. "There's no organization, no organized training. Everyone just wants to kill the Russians." Lukas and Tobias depart the Lviv hostel for training with the Georgian Legion.Katie Livingstone for InsiderThe next morning, Tobias and Lukas were told the Georgians were evacuating the base after getting a report that Russians were heading their way. They should take a train to Kyiv, they were told.But the details were foggy. Still without any military gear, they told me they were instructed to pose as Red Cross volunteers and prepare reports on any suspicious activity that they observed en route. "They want us to spy on the people on the train," Tobias said. Once in the capital, they would meet up with another squadron at a safe-house. After that, they'd go to the front, they were told.When asked why the Legion would make such a request of two foreigners with no experience in the country who couldn't speak the local languages, Lukas said simply: "They asked, so we are going." Out of Lukas' earshot, Tobias offered another explanation. "The Georgian officer asked Lukas to stop smoking in the room twice last night. And he didn't want to. He's not thinking. Then, the officer asked us to go to Kyiv, and Lukas agreed. Katastrophe," Tobias lamented. He had agreed to accompany Lukas because he didn't want the younger man to go alone, he said.Fissures in the brotherhood were already becoming apparent.Meanwhile, since the war began, no Russian troops have been reported in Lviv by any media outlets. Instead, across Lviv, paranoia about Russian saboteurs was palpable. At the hostel where Tobias and Lukas stayed, Marie and Etterem said they received almost nightly calls from an intelligence officer asking if any of their guests seemed dubious. One night, prior to the Germans' arrival, police had burst into the small lodge and interrogated all of the male foreigners staying there, and then left without another word. Hundreds of check-points have gone up around greater Lviv and residents are told to call a hotline to report anything suspicious."I remember two crazy Germans," Mamuka Mamulashvili, the commander of the Georgian Legion, told me when I reached him over Skype. I showed him a picture of Tobias and Lukas, just to be sure, and Mamulashvili burst out laughing, explaining that he tries to personally interview every recruit. "That's them.""My officers told me there were these two guys trying to party in the barracks, and they had to go. They were gone the next day," Mamulashvili said. Mamulashvili said the Georgian Legion is a Special Forces battalion made up of combat-ready fighters, and that it has been repeatedly confused with Ukraine's newly-organized International Legion, which has training capacity for less experienced soldiers."I don't know anything about the 'spy story,' though," he added with a smirk, after I summarized what the Germans had told me.'Ukraine must know its heroes'Unlike the packed trains carrying mostly women and children toward the Polish border, the trains heading east had plenty of seats. Tobias and Lukas' trip to Kyiv was uneventful, even as their excitement grew. "We have gone past some blown-up buildings, and I think I saw an unexploded missile in a field," Tobias texted from the train."This isn't what I signed up for," Lukas admitted in an audio message, adding, "But we are ready." Tobias and Lukas arrived at Kyiv's central train station that evening, still wearing their civilian clothes. As instructed, they called their Georgian commander back in Lviv. The phone rang and rang. No one answered. Now at the war's doorstep, they had no plan and no idea where they would spend the night.By this point in the war—ten days after Kyiv was first hit—Russian missile assaults had driven over a million people to the west and into neighboring countries. That day, Russian troops had occupied the nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia, stirring up decades-old fears of nuclear war. Incessant bombing had started in Mariupol, southeast from Kyiv—the start of one of the worst civilian disasters in Ukraine since the war began.Tobias on the train from Lviv to Kyiv, where he and Lukas hoped to finally reach the front line.TobiasBut Ukrainian forces had stalled the 40-mile-long line of Russian troops heading into the capital from Belarus, repelling forces from the capital through a stunningly successful combination of air defense tactics and street combat. Zelenkskyy continued to speak to the Ukrainian people from Kyiv's iconic city squares, proving to the world that the capital was still in Ukrainian hands. Still, shelling was heard nightly and many residents of the capital took refuge in the city's subway stations, which had been built during the Cold War to withstand a nuclear attack. Without a better idea, Tobias and Lukas began approaching uniformed soldiers to ask if they could join their squads. They eventually found two friendly Ukrainian reservists in fatigues and, with the help of a translation app on their phones, introduced themselves. The reservists said their squadron had not yet been mobilized. They invited the Germans back to their makeshift barracks, in the back of a storefront, to sleep for the night. "Only civilians are protecting the train station! There's a ring of Russians around Kyiv! We don't know how to get out!" Tobias exclaimed on the phone that night. I checked the news and, in fact, trains were still leaving daily to the east. With their Georgian commander still not picking up their calls, the Germans passed the hours drinking the reservists' alcohol and smoking the last of the marijuana Lukas had brought—bonding over their united mission against Russia. Tobias (second from left) and Lukas (right) hang out with the Ukrainian reservists they met at the Kyiv train station. The Ukrainians invited them to stay at their makeshift barracks.TobiasThe next morning, the reservists drove Tobias and Lukas around Kyiv to search for a new group to join, the Germans told me. But no one would have them. "They told us to leave because the war is lost and it is too dangerous," Tobias said later. (In fact, the steadfast resolve of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians alike has been well documented. Insider was unable to speak to the reservists by phone to confirm details of the visit.)Their best bet was to return to Lviv and try to reconnect with the International Legion there, Tobias and Lukas decided.  Back at Kyiv's train station, they found, for the first time, they were heading in the same direction as throngs of other people. Children still in their pajamas from hasty escapes, elderly people with blank stares and almost no luggage. When a Lviv-bound train pulled up at the platform, the scene was chaotic, as hundreds of people tried to push their way onto the already crowded train. The Germans noticed a shell-shocked woman standing nearby, who seemed unable to jostle her things onto the train. They sprung into action, securing the woman a seat on the next train out and, as her escorts, finding just enough space to squeeze themselves into the train's corridor. The woman, named Yulia, was 38 and had fled the besieged northeastern city of Kharkiv. She carried just one small suitcase and said she wasn't sure if her apartment had been bombed. She said she thought it had.  On the long ride west, Tobias and Lukas hatched a plan to escort Yulia to Germany. "It's too dangerous for a woman to travel on her own," Tobias told me later that night, with conviction and satisfaction in his voice. But the next morning, after another night spent in the bunk-beds of the Lviv hostel, they changed their minds about leaving Ukraine so quickly. They accompanied Yulia to the bus station, and waved as she headed towards Poland, where she had family waiting for her."I am very grateful to these guys who literally dragged me onto the train to Lviv," she later posted on Facebook. (She also confirmed the details of Tobias and Lukas' story to Insider.) "I can't tell you how I felt at that moment, only tears of joy and gratitude. Ukraine must know its heroes—Sláva Ukrayíni! (Glory to Ukraine!)"Reinvigorated by their brief visit to Kyiv, Tobias and Lukas finally gave up on the Georgians and decided to focus on the International Legion. But it still wasn't clear how they would do that. So, once again, they began approaching men in uniform.Soon, a friendly man in fatigues was leading them to a small building that had just been repurposed into a military post for the International Legion. Inside, they were led past the long line of Ukrainian men presenting for service with the Territorial Defense Forces, to the much shorter line reserved for foreigners.Tobias and Lukas were asked a few questions and then heard the words they had been waiting for: The International Legion of the Ukrainian armed forces would welcome them at its training center. The Yavoriv training center was located at a former NATO base, 15 miles from the Polish border. Tobias and Lukas would spend the night at a way-station in Novoyavorivsk, not far from the base. Finally, it seemed, Tobias and Lukas were on the right course.'Drive as fast as the rockets!'The first day at the Yavoriv training center of the International Legion was a blur of activity. There were recruits from the US, Canada, Israel, and several other countries. Taking pictures at the base was forbidden and the recruits were told to switch their phones to airplane mode to avoid detection.As Tobias and Lukas would later tell me, Ukrainian soldiers took their passport details and had them sign documents, which they said they couldn't understand because they were written in Ukrainian. No copies were provided. Every recruit was given pants with a digital camouflage pattern (too thin for the winter, they said), several button-down shirts, some undershirts and underwear (several sizes too big, they said), boots, and a duffle bag. They were offered a Kalashnikov, but no ammunition since foreign recruits were not allowed to carry loaded weapons on the base.Days on the base started every day at 6 a.m. with breakfast in the mess hall, followed by marches in formation and combat exercises. They were taught about Russian weaponry and field tactics via PowerPoint presentations. Recruits sat shoulder to shoulder in packed rooms, often without enough chairs.Tobias in uniform during training at Yavoriv.LukasTo verify what the men were telling me, I went to one of the International Legion's offices in Lviv and interviewed Col. Anton Myronovych, a public affairs officer for the Ukrainian military.He told me the contracts he's seen are translated into English—it's the same contract as Ukrainian volunteers for the Territorial Defense Forces—and trainees receive copies of everything they sign. Foreign fighters are also entitled to the same pay and benefits as Ukrainians. "There's no difference between Ukrainians and foreigners in this situation," he said. Col. Myronovych said that troops in the International Legion are initially trained in separate groups according to their skill level, and later put into squadrons with skilled soldiers. When international battalions are sent to the front, he said, they are paired with Ukrainian battalions already on the battlefield to face the enemy as a united force. At Yavoriv, Lukas had grown tight-lipped. He said he couldn't talk while on the base. But Tobias was in high spirits. "They're crazy happy I have a license to drive trucks," Tobias said in a WhatsApp message after the first day of training. He imagined they might assign him to transport goods to the front since there were so few available drivers. "But this is also very dangerous," he said. "So I'll have to drive as fast as the rockets!"'Someone watching your back'One of the first people Tobias and Lukas met in Novoyavorivsk was Kevin, a sturdy, 58-year-old Irishman with bright white hair. Unlike most of the other recruits, Kevin had arrived in Ukraine with a bullet-proof vest and a helmet, and seemed well versed in modern weaponry and tactics. As a young man, he had served in the Irish special forces, and had later worked as a security contractor in some of the world's hotspots. (Kevin would later show me dog-eared pictures of from his military days, which he'd brought with him to Ukraine.) With high blood pressure and persistent pain from, he said, a crushed vertebra from a parachuting accident years ago, he was no longer in top form, but he thought he could still be useful in a fight.Like the Germans, Kevin had hoped to join a small squadron and get out to the front line as soon as possible. "When you see the suffering, the killing of women and children and the elderly, it's pretty hard to just sit back and watch it happen," Kevin told me later. Kevin displays two photographs from his younger days as a soldier.Katie Livingstone for InsiderWhen Kevin contacted the Ukrainian embassy in Ireland, they only insisted on recruits having some military experience, according to an email reviewed by Insider. After Kevin crossed the border, he found a military representative, who directed him to the training center at Yavoriv. In Tobias and Lukas, Kevin saw men with "good hearts." "We all agreed that we would help and look out for each other," Kevin told me when I first interviewed him. "In situations like this, it is essential to have someone watching your back and vice versa." Meanwhile, three other recruits had also joined the Germans' unofficial crew. There was William, a moody, 25-year-old Frenchman, who cited his hundreds of hours playing Call of Duty when asked about his military experience; Misha, 42 and Czech, who admitted he didn't know how to handle a gun but said he could survive off the land for months at a time if needed; and Erik, a 20-year-old medic from Germany, had brought along a well-stocked first aid kit and flak jacket from his time training (but not fighting) with the military back home.'I came to fight for Ukraine, not to die for Ukraine'Within about three days, doubt once again had set in. There wasn't any time for questions, or enough equipment for hands-on practice. Many of the recruits weren't taking the training seriously, and were smoking cigarettes during drills. Then, there was the constant clamor of air raid sirens—day and night—and the furious rush to take cover in case they signaled a true threat. And all over the base, the men noticed that fellow recruits were getting sick. On around the third day of training, Tobias started feeling unwell. A high fever kept him up at night. Kevin wouldn't admit it, but others noticed something wrong in him, too. William fainted twice during their morning exercises. The three men started skipping training to rest—which was fine, since no one required them to attend. There was no COVID-19 testing available on the base, but all three suspected they'd come down with the virus. With a hint of hyperbole, the men said that half of the recruits appeared to be sick, and some were giving up on training entirely and leaving the camp. (Col. Myronovych denied any large-scale Covid outbreak, or shortage of medical care.) "I am wondering if I made the right decision to come," Tobias wrote in a WhatsApp message.  "But it is too late to turn back now." At around the same time, Neumann, a German field medic who was helping to lead some of their drills, started showing signs of mounting stress, the men said. He had begun shouting during their lessons, they said, losing his patience more often with both the recruits and the Ukrainian officers. That afternoon, Neumann pulled Tobias, Kevin and a few others aside. He whispered urgently that he had overheard some of the Ukrainian officers talking. Behind their backs, officers were referring to recruits like them—those without combat training but with a will to fight—as "cannon fodder" and "mine meat." They'd be used to open up the battlefield and test their enemy's capabilities before risking more valuable, better-trained troops, he said. With tears streaming down his face, he urged the men to leave. Insider was unable to reach Neumann, and the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine did not respond to requests for comments on these accusations. When I asked Col. Myronovych about this, he said he didn't recognize the name Neumann, and denied that such an attitude existed.Foreign recruits have access to the same training resources and safety measures as Ukrainian members of the Territorial Defense Forces, Col. Myronovych said, adding that the Legion was doing the best they could to quickly and effectively train these rookie troops alongside veteran soldiers. "They cannot only fight and die in the first day. They have to survive. They have to stay safe. It's one of our goals—they have to come back alive." Back at Yavoriv, Neumann's warning terrified Tobias, Lukas, and the others. Erik's tactical first aid vest, which he brought with him from Germany.Used with permission"I came to fight for Ukraine, not to die for Ukraine," Erik told me later. "Being in these legions is like holding a loaded gun to your head and pulling the trigger." The six men decided it was time to leave, and went to their commanding officer to report their decision. After that, things moved quickly. They were immediately separated from the other troops, and forbidden from reentering the barracks or other communal areas unaccompanied. They were ushered back into the registration area to sign more forms and then into the storerooms to return their gear. Within a couple hours of their announcement, they were waiting for a taxi back to Novoyavorivsk, hoping to make it back to Lviv before the 10 p.m. curfew. Thanks to a last-minute cancellation on Booking.com, they ended up lucking out and finding an apartment in downtown Lviv that could house all six of them for the next week. It only had 2 double beds, but seemed warm and safe. At around midnight, the six soldiers arrived at the apartment, and promptly fell asleep on couches, floors, and beds. Close callThe next morning, at about 5:50 am — as the six men slept in their rented apartment in Lviv — 30 high-precision missiles hit the Yavoriv training center.Initial estimates said that 35 people had been killed and another 134 were wounded, making it one of the most devastating attacks on a military facility since Russia's invasion of Ukraine began. A Russian spokesman later said that the strike had targeted "foreign mercenaries" and a large shipment of weapons from the west. The six men, safe in Lviv, only learned of the bombing when they awoke hours later. They had slept through the sirens that had blared across the region to announce the danger. Groggy and still incredulous from the many false alarms they had endured in the last week, they pulled up shaky videos of the base on social media. They saw smoke rising from courtyards they recognized, strewn with debris, and heard victims crying for help in the background. They tried calling a few of the fellow trainees, who's numbers they'd collected. For hours, no one picked up. It seemed that the horrible reality of war had finally started to sink in, and they didn't yet seem to have the words to describe the mix of relief and guilt they were feeling at having narrowly escaped the carnage."If I was there, I could have at least tied a tourniquet," Erik said later. The men spent the rest of the day arguing about what to do next. The three youngest – Lukas, William, and Erik – talked about going to the front to join the unofficial squadrons they'd heard about. But at this point, Tobias and Kevin had been paying everyone's way, and they announced they were tired of it. The next day, Kevin told Lukas, William, and Erik they had to go. "Wake up. This isn't a game and we're not your parents," Kevin told them as his parting words, handing them bus money and a spare iPhone since Erik's had disappeared at the base.  From left to right, Kevin, William, and Eric at the apartment in Lviv.Katie Livingstone for InsiderEleven days after arriving in Ukraine with Tobias, Lukas left without saying goodbye. He was out of the war zone by later that afternoon. "I am dead," Lukas told me later over WhatsApp.Back in Montenegro, Lukas vowed to return to Ukraine soon, better prepared, to finish his mission. Maybe he hadn't understood how easily it would be to die in a war that had already claimed thousands of Ukrainian and Russian lives. William ultimately stayed in Ukraine for a few more weeks to volunteer with the Cross of Malta, and has since returned to his IT job in France. Erik is gone too. Back home, he told me he was having nightmares about the people he didn't help. Misha was the next to left Ukraine. Only Tobias and Kevin remained.They had come to "kill some Russians," as they often said, and still weren't ready to give up on that. They went to the train station to volunteer, but were turned away because, they were told, each group already had enough help. Tobias thought about trying to link up with the reservists in Kyiv, who had been mobilized since their first meeting. In truth, Tobias was too sick to do much of anything. On top of the fever, headaches and racing hearts, Kevin had also run out of his blood pressure medicine, and Tobias was out of the pills he took to manage his anxiety.On Wednesday, March 16, both men tested positive for COVID-19.Tobias' positive COVID-19 test.Tobias On Friday, Tobias sat outside their apartment under the glare of a full moon, whispering because it was after curfew and he didn't want the neighbors to call the police. "I don't want my kids to grow up without a father," he said emotionally, finally realizing he didn't want to die in this war."I am too sick to fight. I am useless, I must go home," Tobias said. He left Ukraine on March 21.A week later, while trying out tricks on a bike he had bought for his son, Tobias fell—breaking his shoulder. He sent me a picture, displaying his wounded body. "Unbelievable," Tobias texted. "Back from Ukraine and totally injured in Germany." Kevin made the same concession and returned to Ireland—though he, like Lukas, plans to return to Ukraine soon. Less than three weeks after valiantly trekking across Europe to join a fight more visceral and complicated than any of them had imagined, Tobias, Lukas, and the others had returned home without ever meeting a Russian soldier. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderApr 29th, 2022

All the weapons the US has approved to send Ukraine to fight Russian invaders

The Pentagon has pledged thousands of weapons to Ukraine, including Javelins, Stingers, and much more needed for the battle in Ukraine's east. Ukrainian servicemen load a truck with the FGM-148 Javelin, the American man-portable anti-tank missile.Sergei Supinsky/AFP via Getty Images The Pentagon has pledged thousands of weapons to Ukraine, including Javelins, Stingers, and heavy artillery like howitzers.  The Biden administration is seeking approval of a much larger bill that includes $20 billion in security funds. Here are all the weapons that the US has announced it is sending to Ukraine.  As Russia continues to ravage Ukraine, the United States has upped their military aid, sending thousands of weapons to the war-torn country. The Pentagon has already pledged more than $4 billion in security assistance to Ukraine with a focus on heavy artillery since Russia began a focused attack on the eastern part of the country. President Joe Biden unveiled a massive new aid package in late April, that includes $20.4 billion in military and security aid to Ukraine and strengthening NATO allies. It builds on an earlier offering in April that included $800 million worth of weapons and supplies. Biden has said the US has the capacity to send Ukraine aid "for a long time," but added that he will have to ask Congress to authorize more funds, as the sanctioned current stockpile is almost depleted. "Putin is banking on us losing interest," Biden said, according to the AP, adding that the Russian president believes "Western unity will crack… and once again we're going to prove him wrong."The new aid package, which includes humanitarian and economic aid at a total cost of $33 billion, mentions additional artillery, armored vehicles and advanced air defense systems, but doesn't give specify which military systems in a possible move to keep Russia from anticipating and countering them.Here is a list of all the weapons the US has approved to send to Ukraine so far:1. Over 1,400 Stinger anti-aircraft missilesA member of the German Air Force holds a Stinger anti-aircraft missile launcher in 2006.Sean Gallup/Getty ImagesThe Stinger anti-aircraft system, also known as surface-to-air missile or ground-to-air missile, is a portable shoulder-fired missile system that can down destroy aircraft and other missiles. Raytheon Technologies, the company that produces Stingers, is struggling to replace the weapons given to Ukraine, as the Department of Defense hasn't hasn't bought new ones in 18 years, and so many of the parts are not commercially available, Breaking Defense reported. This means that Raytheon will have to redesign some of the electronics involved in Stinger production. 2. Over 5,500 Javelin anti-tank missilesAustralian Army soldiers fire a Javelin anti-tank missile during a 2019 exercise.William West/AFP via Getty ImagesThe Javelin is an advanced anti-tank weapon that can be carried and launched by a single person. Like the track-and-field spear that shares its name, the Javelin strikes from the top, where a tank's armor is lightest. The self-guided weapon has a range of two and a half miles and tracks its target's thermal picture. The US-made Javelins have proven to be very successful against Russian tanks during the ongoing war. 3. Over 14,000 other anti-armor systemsTanks, multi-barreled rocket launchers and anti-tank were moved to eastern Ukraine in late March, after Russia invaded.Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency via Getty ImagesAnti-armor systems refer to the full range of weapons that target armored vehicles. The US government has declined to name certain systems being sent to Ukraine so that Russia cannot anticipate and counter their effects. 4. Over 700 Switchblade dronesSwitchblade 300 10C drone system was used during an exercise at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., on Sept. 24, 2021.Alexis Moradian/U.S. Marine Corps via APSwitchblades, sometimes described as "kamikaze drones," are self-piloted drones filled with explosives. They are portable and come in two sizes, 300 and 600, with the former weighing around five and a half pounds and able to fit in a backpack, while the latter's missile alone weighs 33 pounds and is powerful enough to destroy a tank. Because it is both an armed weapon and a flying scout, the switchblade is classified as a "loitering munition." The weapon is named for switchblade knives because of the way its spring-loaded wings open during launch. First unveiled in 2011, one expert told Insider Switchblades could "revolutionize land warfare." 5. 90 155mm Howitzers and 183,000 155mm artillery roundsAn Israeli 155mm self-propelled howitzer is deployed during shelling towards the Gaza Strip in May 2021.Jack Guez/AFP via Getty ImagesThe Howitzer, essentially a cannon, has the longest range of the military's indirect-fire guns. It can fire up to four rounds per minute and can hit targets up to 18 miles away. These pieces of heavy artillery, which weigh nearly 16,000 pounds, will be vital to Ukraine during this new phase of war in the Donbas region, which has flat terrain and rolling plains. The first Howitzers of the Pentagon's latest aid package arrived in Ukraine in late April, and American troops are teaching Ukrainian troops how to use them in an undisclosed part of Europe. 6. 72 Tactical Vehicles to tow 155mm HowitzersA US Navy Seabee operates a Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement to tow a U.S. Army M777 howitzer from a U.S. Air Force C5M Super Galaxy.Petty Officer 1st Class Caine StorinoThese tactical vehicles will be used to tow Howitzers, which weigh slightly less than 16,000 pounds. 7. 16 Mi-17 helicoptersA Russian special forces soldier drops into a lake from the Mi-17 helicopter during the International Military Technical Forum Army-2018 in Alabino in June 2019.AP Photo/Pavel GolovkinMi-17 helicopters are utility transport vehicles used to move troops from place to place. Along with transporting personnel, Mi-17s can be armed with cannons and rockets. These helicopters were actually purchased from a Russian state-owned arms exporter in the early 2010s, intended for the Afghan government, the Washington Post reported. At the time, US lawmakers were angered by the purchase, insisting the Pentagon choose an American manufacturer. But the US chose the Russian helicopters because they were relatively inexpensive and Afghan pilots knew how to fly them. 8. Hundreds of Armored High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled VehiclesHumvee truck is seen near the temporary military base for U.S. troops established at the Arlamow Airport.Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty ImagesArmored High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs), known colloquially as Humvees, are lightweight diesel-powered vehicles used by 50 countries' militaries.9. 200 M113 Armored Personnel CarriersA Bundeswehr M113 armored personnel carrier stands during an exercise at the military training area.Philipp Schulze/picture alliance via Getty ImagesArmored Personnel Carriers, also known as "battlefield taxis," are designed to transport troops and equipment in combat zones. While they may be able to protect from some shell fragments, these vehicles cannot take direct hits from anti-tank weapons. There are 40 versions of the M113 APC, and they have been in use since the Vietnam war. 10. Over 7,000 small armsMilitary students practice dry firing their 9mm pistols.Richard Schoenberg/Corbis via Getty ImagesTrue to their name, small arms are infantry weapons an individual soldier can carry, including pistols, rifles, and shotguns, among others.  11. Over 50 million rounds of ammunitionAmmunition is arranged on the premises of Antonov Airport, an international cargo airport that became the site of an intense battle during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.Volodymyr Tarasov/ Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty ImagesOn Monday, the US State Department used an emergency declaration to approve $165 million worth of ammunition to Ukraine, the AP reported. This is the first time an emergency declaration has been used in the Biden administration, with the last declaration taking place during the Trump administration in 2019 when the former president attempted to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The State Department said "critically low stores of ammunition for [the Ukrainians] fielded systems" were some of the reasons for the state of emergency, according to the AP. 12. 121 Phoenix Ghost tactical dronesU.S. Marines with prepare to retrieve the RQ-21A Blackjack flying in the Australian skies. The Defense Department has not released images or details about the Phoenix Ghost.Cpl. Harrison Rakhshan/US Marine CorpsThe Phoenix Ghost is a new tactical drone that has not been used before. According to a senior defense official, the weapon was "rapidly developed by the Air Force in response, specifically, to Ukrainian requirements," Breaking Defense reported. However Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby later denied the statement, saying it was developed before the war broke out. Kirby declined to comment on the specific capabilities of the Phoenix Ghost, but said it was "akin" to the Switchblade, a single-use kamikaze drone.   13. Laser-guided rocket systemsU.S. Marines load a 2.75-inch rocket into an LAU-68F/A rocket launcher during a training course at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz.Lance Cpl. Ashley McLaughlinLaser-guided rocket systems are traditionally mounted on aircraft, but can also be launched from ground-based stations or mounted on other vehicles. One system, known as the Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System, turns rockets into precision-guided munitions. 14. Puma Unmanned Aerial SystemsIntelligence Specialist 2nd Class Jimenez Gerardo, assigned to Commander Task Force 56, launches an RQ-20B PUMA Unmanned Aerial System aboard a Mark VI Patrol Boat in the Arabian Gulf, April 16.Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Kory AlsberryThe Puma Unmanned Aerial System is a drone that provides intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance, produced by US defense contractor AeroVironment. The drone can last for 150 minutes in the air, has a wingspan of 9.2 feet, and can fly up to 37.2 miles. 15. Unmanned Coastal Defense VesselsA Ghost Fleet Overlord test vessel sits pier-side following a demonstration.US NavyUnmanned Coastal Defense Vessels, sometimes referred to as "drone boats," are ships that operate on the water without a crew. They could be used to intercept or rebuff other vessels, and Ukraine will likely be able to use them to defend against Russian amphibious assaults or attempts to operate near Ukraine. 16. M18A1 Claymore anti-personnel munitionsAn XM-7 Spider Networked Munition with attached claymores in White Sands Missile Range, N.M., June 14, 2011.Spc. Sinthia RosarioThe M18A1 Claymore is a mine usually used against personnel, but can also be used against unarmored vehicles. Unlike traditional landmines, the Claymore is detonated by remote control and fires out steel balls. 17. C-4 explosives and demolition equipment for obstacle clearingC-4, an explosive agent, was brought to the Udarri Range by U.S. Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal specialists and photographed on Jan. 25, 2022 at Camp Buehring, Kuwait.Spc. Brittany Stokes/US ArmyC-4s are plastic explosives used for demolition and metal cutting. They can create a targeted explosion and be used underwater. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderApr 28th, 2022

How to survive a family conversation about culture wars and politics: What I learned talking to my mother about her anger with Disney

I have been covering culture wars in politics, including controversies that have enraged some parents. In this instance, the angry parent was my own. Cinderella Castle in Walt Disney World.Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images I cover culture wars in politics, including controversies that have enraged some parents. When I visited Florida, I found another angry parent — my own. At issue: Disney's objection to a law known by critics as "Don't Say Gay." One of the first questions my mother asks when my family and I plan to visit her in Florida, aside from what to cook, is which parks we want to hit in Disney.Mom is a 70-something Mouseketeer, a Disney devotee since my childhood. She has loved taking my daughter there. But ahead of our latest visit, Disney never came up. My husband and I wondered why until it dawned on us: "Could the reason be political?"We got our answer in mid-April in my mother's kitchen: "Have you read the bill?" she asked.For the past several months, I have been covering culture wars in politics, including the controversies over books and the teaching of racial and LGBTQ+ issues in schools that have enraged some parents. In this instance, the angry parent was my own.At issue is the Parental Rights in Education legislation that Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis recently signed into law. Opponents call the bill "Don't Say Gay" because it restricts classroom instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity in schools. Disney's opposition to the law has led to anti-Disney protests at the company headquarters in Burbank, California, and apparently 3,000 miles away in my conservative mother's kitchen.I generally expect her to take the Republican position on issues. However, I did not expect my mother – an annual pass holder – to dis Disney. Those magical memoriesI spent my earliest years keeping track of the date on a calendar my dad created that counted down the days to our Disney vacation. I helped finance these vacations by wrapping quarters that came from a washing machine my dad owned in a relative's apartment building. (We later joked that it was "laundered money.") My parents even dragged me there in my 20s, and to my horror, relived all of those magical memories. While driving to Florida this time, my husband and I secretly were relieved that Mom hadn't brought up visiting Disney, not because of the politics, but the crowds, interminable lines, and potential COVID-19 risks.I would have been happy to avoid discussing hot topics with my mom, too. As with many families, our relatives' differing political perspectives have only sharpened in recent years. Family gatherings often include someone — such as Mom — turning on Fox News and another family member quickly turning it off or turning on CNN or MSNBC. Someone comments on the news and you know all hell's about to break loose.Mom and I have had private words about social media posts. And I'll admit I kind of snapped when she once described a professional women's soccer player as "unpatriotic" in front of my soccer-loving daughter, who looks up to these players and shouldn't have to hear them being disparaged. We sat far apart for the remainder of that day.None of this is surprising at a time when political divisiveness across the country is fierce, and some political scientists aren't even ruling out the idea of a civil war. But with family, there is always the tension between taking a stand and taking a seat at the same holiday dinner table. I didn't want our visit to devolve into a series of disagreements and people choosing sides. 'Disney is persona non grata'My 9-year-old daughter and I inadvertently launched a Disney discussion when we couldn't stop singing, "We don't talk about Bruno," from "Encanto," a Disney movie about another family with communication challenges. And suddenly the song that has everyone talking got us talking, too."Disney is persona non grata around here," Mom said, pointing to the "bad position" the company took on the so-called Don't Say Gay bill. Mom wanted me to know that the bill doesn't say "Don't Say Gay" and that parents should have these discussions with children, not schools.It's the abusive parents I worry about, I told her, and I later read the preamble of the bill to her that says: "prohibiting classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in certain grade levels or in a specified manner."The reporter in me likes to fill in information and present different perspectives, hopefully without being ostracized by family like poor "Bruno" for telling it like it is. Luckily it didn't end up that way and we're still on good terms. "We talked. That's how it's supposed to be," Mom said, reflecting later on the discussion.The author as a child with her mother at Disney world.Family photoAs a parent, I understand how certain topics in school can make some parents – particularly those with young children – uneasy. I told my mother that I initially had my own concerns when my young daughter had an opportunity to learn about health, relationships, reproduction, and safety in a class outside of school. I wanted her to learn factual information in an inclusive way, but I wondered how it would be presented. So I took the training for volunteer class leaders.I learned two things from this experience. One is that children ask questions about all sorts of things in a classroom setting because they're curious and they live in a diverse world with people from different family structures. Secondly, it's important for the responses to be factual and matter-of-fact. 'I just want kids to be kids'As I learned in the training, children absorb the responses as you would a musical, taking in the melody perhaps before the lyrics. The point: If you introduce tension, that will be the takeaway.I told my mother I could see children raising any number of questions in school. What if a teacher feels prevented from answering them or being there to support a child who needs help?I've read that Republicans say the law only affects planned lessons, but critics say it could censor teachers' discussions with their students. How it will be interpreted is unclear."I just want kids to be kids," Mom said, and not have to worry about complex issues at a young age.Kids are still kids, and they will be, I told her. It's just the adults and politicians that are worried.The author as a child with Goofy in Disney World.Family photoWhile in Florida, I interviewed a gay and nonbinary teen who has become an outspoken critic of the law. I asked Will Larkins, 17, what he would tell a parent who is concerned about the topics coming up in school. He said these conversations are not harmful, the topics are a fact of life, and his life would have been "drastically better" if he had had learned about sexuality and gender identity during his formative years."I wouldn't have probably dealt with as much bullying as I did," he said. "And I wouldn't have, you know, had the internal struggle of what is wrong with me? Why am I like this?"The law is homophobic, a family member privately said to me later. I shared that perspective with my mother, but she considered it an "exaggeration."Nothing changed at the end of our discussion, but she listened, I listened. She said she saw a different side. And I understand that change can be hard. I'm sure my mother isn't the first septuagenarian to look at the world now and think it's spinning too fast. At the very least, we may have accomplished a rarity: A quiet conversation between family members discussing different perspectives on a political issue. We talked about Bruno and even watched "Encanto." Perhaps that's a start.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytApr 22nd, 2022

The 64 best Mother"s Day gifts to get mom that aren"t just flowers

If you're looking for a thoughtful Mother's Day gift for Mom, we put together a list for all budgets and interests. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.If you're looking for a thoughtful Mother's Day gift for Mom, we put together a list for all budgets and interests.Senreve; Homesick; The Sill; Artifact Uprising; Amazon; Nordstrom; Uncommon Goods; Alyssa Powell/InsiderAlthough mothers may be challenging to shop for (especially the ones who humbly state "you don't have to get me anything"), we can safely say yours will love any of the gifts in this guide.This list can help spark some better ideas than a coupon book for hugs and make it easier on you to show you care on her birthday, Mother's Day, or just because. Whether she's into the latest and greatest tech, loves to read, or wants to update her work-from-home wardrobe with comfortable loungewear, there's a perfect gift for Mom below.You can see all our gifts below, or use these links to jump to products that suit your mother's particular gift needs.Here are 64 of the best gifts for Mom:Style giftsFood and kitchen giftsTech giftsHome giftsBeauty giftsHobby-related giftsThis list includes Sponsored Products that have been suggested by Nisolo. It also meets our editorial criteria in terms of quality and value.*Style giftsA proud sweatshirt for the southern momOutdoor VoicesY'all Graphic Sweatshirt, available at Outdoor Voices, $88Any Southern mom will adore this loud-and-proud declaration of their heritage. She'll be as comfy as she is cheery in this yellow "y'all" soft cotton terry sweatshirt.Pearl hoop earringsMejuriMejuri Pearl Hoops, available at Mejuri, $78Get your mom a beautiful pair of earrings or a necklace with her zodiac sign that she can wear every day. Mejuri is a favorite jewelry startup of ours, so your Mom will likely enjoy this Canadian company's delicate jewelry, too. You can also browse more jewelry gifts for mom here.Read our full review of Mejuri here.A comfortable, ethical sandalNisoloGo-To Flatform Sandal, available at Nisolo, $130Nisolo is known for its ethically and sustainably made footwear. The aptly named Go-To Flatform Sandal is a basic summer staple that can be dressed up or dressed down — a practical wardrobe necessity. *Sponsored by Nisolo.A roomy work bag with tons of pocketsDagne DoverDagne Dover Allyn Tote, available at Dagne Dover, from $219Dagne Dover's Allyn Tote is a sophisticated and spacious work bag with a padded laptop sleeve, water bottle holder, and other thoughtful interior pockets that will keep Mom organized and always ready to go. A pair of sunglasses to block the sun in styleGlassesUSACheck out GlassesUSA's selection of sunglasses, starting at $19Sunglasses are spring and summer essentials and a perfect gift for Mom. GlassesUSA carries a wide variety of popular brands, including Ray-Ban, Oakley, Muse, Prada, and more. If you want a pair for yourself too, you can buy one and get one free with the code BOGOFREE at checkout.Read our full review of GlassesUSA here.A beautiful scarf with her birth-month flowerUncommon GoodsBirth Month Flower Scarf, available at Uncommon Goods, $48Give her something beautiful to wear that will remind her how thoughtful you are every time she wraps it. This scarf is patterned with the flower of her birth month, a nice touch of under-the-radar personalization.A gold square watch to keep track of timeNordstromMVMT Signature Square Bracelet Watch, available at Nordstrom, $128For the mom who's always running late, this elegant square watch bears a minimalist and luxurious design that elevates any look. The gold watch is so impossible to miss that she'll now be on time for every occasion with it as a reminder.Luxe slippers with a cozy cashmere blendMargauxSlippers, available at Margaux, $158Made from a soft wool-cashmere blend and cushiony foam padding, Margaux slippers feel like stepping into a cloud. Mom will enjoy wearing any of the three styles — Slide, Ballet, or Cozy — around the house.A recycled fleece to stay warmGirlfriend CollectiveTeddy Recycled Half-Zip Fleece, available at Girlfriend Collective, $89.60Moms love effortless comfort and this super soft fleece delivers just that for her. Not only will she enjoy the warmth, but she'll feel good knowing she's helping the environment with this recycled pullover.A chic purse that can turn into a backpackSenreveAlunna, available at Senreve, starting at $645A purse is an obvious gift for Mom if she has an eye for handbags, but you can mix things up by giving her one that's both a purse and a backpack. The Alunna by Senreve is versatile and stylish, and it can be worn on her back, hand, over the shoulder, or across the body. Plus, it can organize all of Mom's essentials with its two interior pockets and exterior cardholder.Popular leggings with a no-slip fitVuoriDaily Legging, available at Vuori, $84Vuori is well-known for its super-soft fabrics and flattering cuts, and the Daily Leggings are just another example. This style looks like a pair of joggers but fits like a pair of leggings. The high waistband and drawstring allow for a snug feel while the brand's smoothing technology gives an airbrushed appearance.Read more about the Daily Legging here.A pair of cozy, eco-friendly slip-on shoesAllbirdsWomen's Wool Lounger Fluffs, available at Allbirds, $115Keep mom looking cool and feeling comfy every time she leaves the house with these slip-on sneakers. Made with cozy soft merino wool inside and out, these shearling shoes are ideal for cool fall days running errands or meeting up with friends for lunch. The best part: The entire shoe is machine washable.A pendant necklaceSet & StonesSet & Stones Cheyenne Mama Necklace, available at Nordstrom, $198Your mom will want to keep this pendant necklace very close to her heart. It'll sit lightly around her neck and be a subtle reminder of her special bond with you. If this is quite her style, you can browse more jewelry gifts for mom here.The gift of comfortable loungewearTommy JohnShop all women's loungewear and sleepwear, available at Tommy JohnTommy John E-Gift Card, available at Tommy John, starting at $25The Insider Reviews team is positively smitten with Tommy John's loungewear and underwear — so much so, we named the latter one of the best women's underwear brands in our buying guide, so you can be sure Mom will love it too.A leather wallet that can be monogrammed with Mom's initialsLeatherologyKlyde Continental Wallet, available at Leatherology (+ $10 for monogram), $60A sophisticated leather wallet instantly elevates a busy mother's everyday style and keeps her organized when she's constantly moving from place to place. You can get this leather wallet from Leatherology in 11 colors and three different personalization options. A personalized T-shirtKnown SupplyKnown Supply Personalized Women's Fitted Crew, available at Known Supply, $32You can personalize this comfortable Pima cotton tee with "mom" or "mama" — or any other name that's under nine characters — in cute, loopy cursive. A luxurious bathrobeParachuteParachute Classic Bathrobe, available at Parachute, $109A plush bathrobe will make every shower feel like a trip to the spa. Parachute's soft Turkish cotton robe comes in four great colors: white, mineral, blush, and stone. This cozy gift for Mom will become her go-to pick. Read our full review of the Parachute Classic Bathrobe here.A crossbody bag with a hand-painted monogramClare V.Clare V. Midi Sac, avaliable at Claire V., starting at $335 (+ $50 for hand-painted monogram)This leather crossbody bag comes in tons of colors and is great for travel and daytime outings — for an extra $50, you can customize it with a gold foil or hand-painted monogram. A passport cover and luggage tagLeatherologyDeluxe Passport Cover + Luggage Tag Set, available at Leatherology, starting at $65 + monogram $20Mom might be planning her next trip out of town, and what better travel accessory to have than a personalized passport cover and luggage tag? She'll be less likely to lose her passport or suitcase thanks to these colorful accessories that also sport her initials. Food and kitchen giftsA delicious treat from Milk BarMilk Bar/Alyssa Powell/InsiderCheck out all the goodies in Milk Bar's Gift Shop starting at $39Milk bar cakes topped our list of the All-Time Best things we've tested and these treats will definitely satisfy Mom's sweet tooth. Choose from a limited-edition Strawberry Shortcake Cake, the bestselling B'Day Truffles, and plenty more. We break down how to shop for Milk Bar online, here. Read our full review of Milk Bar.A cocktail maker that mixes drinks in secondsBartesianBartesian Premium Cocktail and Margarita Machine, available at Amazon, $369.85Summer's almost here, which, for some moms, means it's time to break out refreshing cocktails. This cocktail maker will make Mom's life a whole lot easier, since all she has to do is pop in a cocktail capsule, choose her preferred strength, and press mix. She'll be sipping a margarita, cosmopolitan, or gin martini in seconds.Read our full review of the Bartesian Premium Cocktail and Margarita Machine here.  A wooden gift crate with 2 pounds of cheese insideMurray's CheeseMurray's Cheese Greatest Hits Gift Box, available at Murray's Cheese, $95Cheese lovers will find a lot to like in this wooden gift crate (yes, crate) from Murray's Cheese, which includes two mouthwatering pounds of English cheddar, brie, cave-aged Gruyere, and one-year-aged Manchego along with snacks to pair with each cheese: spiced cherry preserves, sea salt crackers, and Marcona almonds.For more of the best from Murray's Cheese, check out our guide to the best cheeses you can buy online.Read our review of Murray's Cheese gift boxes.A gift subscription to a popular coffee clubAtlas Coffee ClubAtlas Coffee Club 3-Month Gift Subscription, available at Atlas Coffee Club, $55If her veins run dark roast, a coffee gift won't go unused. We recommend a gift subscription to the Atlas Coffee Club, which curates a global selection of single-origin coffee that gets freshly roasted and shipped to your house starting at $9 per bag. Read our full review of the Atlas Coffee Club Subscription here.A cookbook focused entirely on vegetablesMilk StreetMilk Street Vegetables Cookbook, available at Amazon, $26.35If your mom is a vegetarian (or just trying to do more Meatless Mondays), this cookbook takes inspiration from the many ways in which vegetables are celebrated by different cultures around the world.A Le Creuset dutch ovenAmazonLe Creuset Round Dutch Oven, available at Williams-Sonoma, starting at $250At $160, this Le Creuset dutch oven might be the most expensive piece of cookware in Mom's kitchen, but it'll also be the most used. It comes in tons of colors, so you can choose Mom's favorite. We've even ranked it as the best overall in our guide to the best dutch ovens. It's one of the best products we've ever tested.Read our full review of the Le Creuset Round Dutch Oven here.A cutting board in the shape of the state Mom calls homeAmazonTotally Bamboo State Cutting & Serving Board, available at Amazon, $29.99Available for all 50 states as well British Columbia, Puerto Rico, Long Island, and Ontario, this uniquely shaped cutting and serving board doubles as kitchen decor. An indoor herb garden that requires zero effortClick & GrowClick & Grow Smart Garden 3 Indoor Gardening Kit, available at Click & Grow, $139.95Every chef knows that cooking with fresh ingredients like basil can make a big difference. The Click & Grow Smart Garden is a self-watering system that allows even the most amateur gardeners to quickly and effortlessly grow herbs and vegetables. We tried it and were impressed with how well it worked, as well as the truly effortless process. Read our full review of the Click & Grow Smart Garden 3 Indoor Gardening Kit here.A tasty baking cookbookAmazon"Dessert Person" by Claire Saffitz, available at Amazon, $21.11For the mom who adores baking, this dessert cookbook has plenty of baking recipes to satisfy the family's sweet tooth. It offers recipes and guidance on how to bake sweet and savory treats whether it's a caramelized honey pumpkin pie or English muffins.  If she already has it, here are some of the best baking books recommended by professional bakers.A retro-inspired electric kettleNordstromSMEG 50's Retro Style 7-Cup Electric Kettle, available at Williams-Sonoma, starting at $189.95With this retro-inspired electric kettle in her kitchen, she'll spend much less time making tea and more time enjoying a cup. It comes in 10 fun colors, like pastel green and bright red. You can learn more about this kettle in our guide to the best electric kettles. A water bottle that solves all pain pointsHydro Flask/Alyssa Powell/InsiderHydro Flask Wide Mouth Watter Bottle (32 oz), available at REI, $44.95Hydro Flask water bottles are one of the All-Time Best products we've ever tested and have a cult following for a number of reasons: The double-walled vacuum seal keeps hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold for hours on end, many products come with a lifetime warranty, and the bright colors add a bit of fun to something that's otherwise thought of as ordinary. You can hear more about why we love this water bottle in our guide to the best travel mugs. A delicious wine-mimic for healthy nights offJukes CordialitiesJukes 6, available at Jukes Cordialities, $48.50 for 9If mom loves vino, she'll love this tasty non-alcoholic substitute for nights where she's craving a glass but wants to stay sober. Created by a British wine critic, Jukes Cordialities are thoughtful and complex — the closest to the real stuff we've tried.We personally love the full red mimic, Jukes 6, which is deep and spicy like a glass of Rioja, and pairs well with food in the same way wine does — all without the buzz and with the added health benefits of organic apple cider vinegar (the base).Tech giftsA voice-assisted remote for all Mom's streaming needsAmazonFire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote, available at Amazon, $39.99She can access hundreds of streaming services, including Hulu, Netflix, Disney Plus, HBO Max, and more, with this affordable entertainment hub. Plus, Amazon Prime members get unlimited access to thousands of movies and TV episodes with Amazon Prime Video. This model supports up to 4K Ultra HD. You can read more in our guide to the best streaming devices.The Amazon EchoAmazonAmazon Echo (4th Generation), available at Amazon, $99.99There's an ever-so-slight learning curve in figuring out what Amazon's Alexa can and can't do, but once that's passed, the Echo can forecast the weather, read an audiobook, order a pizza, tell jokes, or any number of things Mom should find charming. Read our full review of the Amazon Echo (4th Generation) here.A step tracker to keep her movingFitbitFitbit Charge 5, available at Best Buy, $149.95If your mom's looking to stay on top of their health, we highly recommend gifting a very practical Fitbit. The Charge is one of our top picks for covering all the basics — counting steps, tracking sleep, 24/7 heart rate monitoring, tracking 20 different exercises — without breaking the bank, and all with an easy-to-read display and sleek design on the wrist.(If she'd want smartphone notifications on her wrist, too, we recommend the Versa 2, which has a bigger display but is still reasonably priced.)Alexa-enabled glassesAmazonEcho Frames Smart Glasses, available at Amazon, $154.99If your mom loves tech, they'll think these smart glasses are from the future. Amazon's Echo Frames allow for open-ear audio, hands-free calling, and access to thousands of Alexa's skills.Read our full review of the Amazon Echo Frames.A cuter way to send mom "love you" messagesUncommon GoodsLovebox Spinning Heart Messenger, available at Uncommon Goods, from $100Moms love nothing more than being randomly told their kids love them, and this creative box lets you do it in a way more special than just a text. When you send a message, the heart on the box will spin and she can open it up to read the digital display of your loving words.A digital picture frame for remembering the good timesAuraCarver Digital Picture Frame, available at Aura, $159It's hard to find a mom who isn't obsessed with taking photos and displaying them all around the house. But instead of buying tons of picture frames, she can show off all her family photos using this digital picture frame. You can upload an unlimited amount of pictures to the Aura app, connect the frame to Wi-Fi, and she's all set. Read our full review of Aura here.A waterproof Kindle PaperwhiteAmazonAmazon Kindle Paperwhite, available at Amazon, $109.99If your mom's tired of lugging around heavy hardcovers, the Kindle Paperwhite is an extremely thoughtful and practical gift. The latest version is waterproof, too, which is a huge bonus.Read our full review of the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite here.A rejuvenating, at-home foot massagerRENPHORENPHO Foot Massager Machine, available at Amazon, $129.99Treat her to a spa day any (and every) day she wants with this at-home foot massager. It's a full-service Shiatsu device that offers kneading, compression, and heat therapy. We love that it encompasses your ankles too for extra relief, all of which is why it's our top pick.An alarm clock that uses light to wake her up gentlyAmazonPhilips Light Alarm Clock, available at Amazon, $149Just because Mom has to wake up before the sun rises doesn't mean they have to awaken to the blaring of an obnoxious alarm clock.Philips makes a lovely alarm clock that gradually lights up to mimic the sunrise. The light alarm clock also displays the time and has customizable sounds, so Mom can wake up feeling rested and ready for the day. You can find out why we recommend this alarm clock in our guide to the best sunrise alarm clocks. Read our full review of the Philips Wake-Up Light.A mini massage gunTherabodyTheragun Mini, available at Therabody and Amazon, from $147If she's achy from regular exercise or a pulled muscle, every type of person will see benefit from using a massage gun. We love the Theragun Mini because it'll work out kinks and aches anywhere you place it with a powerful motor and easy-to-hold grip.Home giftsA fresh flower bouquetUrban StemsUrbanStems bouquets, available at UrbanStems, from $45We've ordered bouquets from UrbanStems and it offers gorgeous flower arrangements, potted plants, and even dried bouquets, and they're delivered quickly, too. A bouquet of flowers is a classic gift for Mom that she'll love on any given day. Its bouquets are one of the best things we've ever tested. Read our full review of UrbanStems.A candle for your favorite spot togetherHomesick, Rachael Schultz/InsiderHomesick Memory Candles, starting at $27.20Whether your best memories are childhood ski trips, your annual beach vacation, or just baking in the kitchen together, share the sentiment with mom. Homesick makes a deliciously-scented candle for nearly every memory — and if that doesn't work, it also has a candle for every state and city, astrology sign, and even one that simply says, "Thank you, Mom."Soft, crisp sheets and beddingBrooklinenBrooklinen Queen Classic Hardcore Sheet Bundle, available at Brooklinen, starting at $231Brooklinen Queen Luxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle, available at Brooklinen, starting at $273Brooklinen's luxe sheets are the ones we always recommend to friends, family, and readers, for their affordable price, sophisticated look, and comfort.The Hardcore Sheet Bundles have everything she needs to completely makeover your mom's bed — and stay nice and cozy all year long. Each bundle includes a flat sheet, fitted sheet, duvet cover, and four pillowcases. Brooklinen also sells comforters, pillows, candles, and blankets. This is another item that features in our list of the All-Time Best products we've tested.Read our full review of Brooklinen sheets here.A custom map posterGrafomap InstagramGrafomap Custom Map Poster, available at Grafomap, starting at $49Grafomap is a website that lets you design map posters of any place in the world. You can make one of your mom's hometown, college town, favorite travel destination, or the place she got engaged or married — you're only limited by your imagination.Read our full review of the Grafomap Custom Map Poster here.A hardcover photo book for any mother figureArtifact UprisingHardcover Photo Book, available at Artifact Uprising, starting at $72Honor any mother figure with a custom hardcover photo album that commemorates their best life moments. You can tie in her life story with a display-worthy dust jacket that puts her front and center. Choose from 11 fabric binding colors to complement her bookshelf or coffee table.A cute potted plant instead of flowersThe SillShop The Sill's selection of plants starting at $18The Sill is a relatively new startup that's making the process of choosing and buying house plants much easier. This gift set is just one of many options you can choose from — you can even shop based on which plants are pet-safe. Read our full review of The Sill here.A weighted blanket to help her sleep betterBearabyBearaby 15-pound Cotton Napper, available at Bearaby, $249Made of soft organic cotton just like her favorite T-shirt, this weighted blanket can help Mom fall asleep faster and its buttery softness is perfect for wrapping up in. We ranked it as the best weighted throw blanket in our guide to the best weighted blankets. A jewelry holderCatbirdCatbird Swan Ring Holder, available at Catbird, $32This ornate swan is a subtle jewelry holder that'll dress up any bathroom countertop or nightstand.A personalized photo calendar for her deskArtifact UprisingWalnut Desktop Photo Calendar, available at Artifact Uprising, starting at $35A desk calendar can add a decorative touch to her desk, but one that displays photos of family makes for an even better gift for Mom. She'll love glancing at her calendar and being reminded of her favorite memories with you.A coffee table book for the mom who loves photographyAmazon"Women: The National Geographic Image Collection," available at Amazon, $26.49You can't go wrong with a coffee table book gift for Mom, and this one is a true standout. The photography is sure to be top-notch, since National Geographic created this book. Moms often serve as constant sources of inspiration, so why not pass along this book of powerful women?A fancy candle setOtherland/Alyssa Powell/InsiderOtherland Candles The Threesome, available at Otherland, $89Candles make any home smell great, and this fancy candle set from Otherland will look gorgeous in any room in her house. It includes three coconut and soy wax blend candles in beautiful glass vessels. Each candle burns for 55 hours — that's a lot of time that your mom can spend enjoying this gift. We named candles by Otherland one of the All-Time Best products we've tested.Read our full review of Otherland candles here.Beauty giftsA face mask set for at-home spa daysfreshMini Loves Mini Masks Set, available at Walmart, $44.74Moms need time to themselves, too, and these face mask minis will have her and her skin feeling rejuvenated. She can kick back and relax with one of the black tea masks, the clay mask, the rose mask, or even the sugar exfoliator.A two-in-one hair dryer brush for easy at-home blowoutsAmazonRevlon 1 Step 2-in-1 Hair Dryer Volumizer Styling Brush, available at Amazon, $69.99If your mom has been eyeing the $600 Dyson Airwrap, this is a more affordable alternative that produces similarly easy blowouts at home. It's our favorite blow dryer brush if you're on a budget.A luxurious facial treatment deviceZIIPZIIP GX Series, available at ZIIP Beauty, $495Switch up her facial appointments with the ZIIP experience that beautifully improves your skin beyond your imagination with every use. The ZIIP devices employ energy from tiny electrical currents with a conductive gel to sculpt and tighten the skin for a radiant glow. The weighted sleep mask that's the ticket to instant sleepAnthropologieNodpod Weighted Eye Mask, available at Anthropologie, $34Move over, weighted blankets. These eye masks have gentle weights with just the right amount of pressure to lull her to sleep. The four equally weighted pods let her rest easy no matter her sleep position. A floral fragrance with a pear and white freesia scentJo MaloneEnglish Pear & Freesia Cologne, available at Jo Malone, $145If she prefers a light yet luscious fragrance, this Jo Malone perfume makes for a lovely layer. This floral perfume accentuates her style with a smell of autumn from the freshness of the pear and freesias along with the subtle woodsy scents.Hobby-related giftsA 'book of the month' membershipBook of the MonthBook of the Month Membership, available at Book of the Month, from $49.99 for 3 monthsIf she loves to read and isn't ready to go 100% digital, a Book of the Month membership is the perfect gift. This gift subscription gets Mom her pick of the best new books for $12.50-$15 a month, depending on the length of subscription you choose to give. She can also request extra books if she reads more than one book a month. You can learn more about Book of the Month here.A yoga mat for the fitness enthusiastMandukaProLite Yoga Mat, available at Manduka, $99For the mom who starts every morning with yoga, this mat has just the right amount of padding, is made of eco-friendly materials, and has a no-slip grip texture. It has even earned the title of best yoga mat overall in our guide to the best yoga mats.A year-long MasterClass membership to learn new thingsMasterClassAnnual Membership, available at MasterClass, $180/yearMasterClass, unlike many competitors, follows a format that feels like a one-sided conversation with your favorite icons rather than a traditional academic setting. You can get into the supplementary reading materials or just listen to their insight while running errands. An Unlimited Membership grants access to all the site's online courses for the year.Some popular courses include Neil deGrasse Tyson on Scientific Thinking and Communication, Malcolm Gladwell on Writing, Shonda Rhimes on Writing for Television, and Bob Iger on Business Strategy and Leadership.Read our full review of MasterClass here.A jigsaw puzzle featuring a family photoZazzleMemorable Family's Jigsaw Puzzle, available at Zazzle, starting at $29.95If your mom loves puzzles (and has finished practically all of them), this custom one featuring a cherished family photo will earn a spot on the wall when it's done.A daily planner for the busy momAmazonPanda Planner Daily Planner 2021, available at Amazon. $23.97 Even the most organized mom could use the help of a trusty planner. This one from Panda Planner has monthly, weekly, and daily sections for all of her needs. She'll have her schedule, tasks, goals, and projects all in one place. We like the layout of this planner so much that we include it in our guide to the best planners.A DNA test kit23andme23andMe Health + Ancestry DNA Test, available at 23andMe, $199This genetic test kit from 23andMe is a unique and cool gift idea for any mom who's interested in learning more about her family history.A personalized video message from her favorite celebrityCameoPersonalized video message, available at Cameo, starting at $1When trying to think of a unique gift for Mom, one that might not immediately come to mind is Cameo. The online service has tons of famous people she might want a personalized video message from, like her favorite actor from "The Office." Whether it's for her birthday, Mother's Day, or a different milestone, there's something for everyone on Cameo, with all types of categories and price points to choose from.Read more about Cameo and how to use Cameo. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderApr 20th, 2022

3 Silver Mining Stocks to Watch in a Challenging Industry

The Zacks Mining Silver industry participants like Buenaventura Mining Company (BVN), MAG Silver (MAG) and Fortuna Silver Mines (FSM) are poised well to benefit from high demand for the metal and their growth projects. The Zacks Mining - Silver industry has been seeing rising silver prices driven by mounting geopolitical tensions and inflationary pressures. This momentum might be cut short as these tensions subside and interest rates are hiked. However, strong demand for the metal from all key sectors will continue to support the industry.We suggest keeping an eye on companies like Buenaventura Mining Company BVN, MAG Silver MAG and Fortuna Silver Mines FSM, which are poised to benefit from their efforts to enhance efficiency and cost management, and solid growth projects.About the IndustryThe Zacks Mining - Silver industry comprises companies that are engaged in the exploration, development, and production of silver. These include big and small players operating mines of widely varying types and scales. Silver-bearing ores are mined by open-pit or underground methods and then are crushed and ground. The miners continually search for opportunities to expand their reserves and resources through targeted near-mine exploration and business development. They strive to upgrade and improve the quality of their existing assets, internally and through acquisitions. Only 20% of silver comes from mining activities, where silver is the primary source of revenue. The balance comes from projects where silver is a by-product of mining other metals, such as copper, lead and zinc. Thus, several companies in the silver mining industry are engaged in mining other metals as well.What's Shaping the Future of Mining-Silver IndustrySilver Prices Might Lose Steam:  Silver's unrivaled characteristics make it an indispensable component for several industrial products. With industrial applications accounting for roughly 60% of the global silver consumption, expansion in the manufacturing sector has supported prices so far this year. The Russia-Ukraine conflict and inflationary pressures fueled the safe-haven demand for the precious metal. Silver prices are currently at around $26 per ounce, reflecting a 9.7% gain so far this year. While macroeconomic and geopolitical conditions have supported silver prices in the first half of the year, it would eventually come under pressure due to interest rate hikes and the easing of geopolitical tensions. The Silver Institute thus projects an annual average silver price of around $24.80 this year, 1% lower than 2021's average price.Cost Control & Innovation to Increase Efficiency: The industry players are currently facing escalating production costs, including electricity, wages, water and materials. Mining companies are major consumers of energy, with around 50% of their production costs closely linked to energy prices. A shortage of skilled workforce has led to a spike in wages. With no control over silver prices, the industry has to focus on improving sales volumes while being cost-effective. The companies are investing heavily in R&D and resorting to technological innovations targeted at nearly every level of operation to increase efficiency, sustain growth and keep costs low.Demand to Remain Strong: Silver demand in all key sectors is expected to remain strong this year. The Silver Institute projects global silver demand to hit a new record of 1.112 billion ounces in 2022, registering an 8% year-on-year increase. Industrial demand is expected to establish a new record in 2022. Ongoing improvements in the global economy will support demand for the metal for industrial applications and mitigate near-term headwinds stemming from supply chain bottlenecks and the persisting COVID-19-related challenges. Jewelry demand is expected to rise 11% in 2022, backed by India, courtesy of improving consumer sentiment and growing interest in silver jewelry. India is expected to be the main contributor to the 21% surge expected in silverware fabrication this year. The outlook for silver demand in automotive and 5G related applications and the photovoltaic (PV) industry remains robust this year. Silver physical investment is likely to be up in double-digit in 2022 aided by the ongoing macroeconomic uncertainties and inflationary pressure.Zacks Industry Rank Indicates Dull ProspectsThe group's Zacks Industry Rank, which is basically the average of the Zacks Rank of all the member stocks, indicates gloomy prospects in the near term. The Zacks Mining - Silver industry, which is a 12-stock group within the broader Zacks Basic Materials Sector, currently carries a Zacks Industry Rank #226, which places it at the bottom 11% of 256 Zacks industries. Our research shows that the top 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries outperform the bottom 50% by a factor of more than 2 to 1.Looking at the aggregate earnings estimate revisions, it appears that analysts are gradually losing confidence in this group's earnings growth potential. So far this year, the industry's earnings estimate for the current year has plunged 38%.Despite the bleak near-term prospects, we will present a few Mining-Silver stocks that one can retain, given their growth prospects. But it's worth taking a look at the industry's shareholder returns and current valuation first. Industry Versus Broader MarketThe Mining-Silver Industry has underperformed the S&P 500 and its sector over the past year. The stocks in this industry have collectively declined 10.4% in the past year against the Zacks S&P 500's growth of 6.2%. The Zacks Basic Material Sector has rallied 10.2% over the same time frame.One-Year Price Performance Industry's Current ValuationOn the basis of forward 12-month EV/EBITDA ratio, which is a commonly used multiple for valuing silver-mining companies, we see that the industry is currently trading at 10.74X compared with the S&P 500's 14.10X and the Basic Material sector's forward 12-month EV/EBITDA of 5.30X. This is shown in the charts below.Enterprise Value/EBITDA (EV/EBITDA) F12M Ratio Enterprise Value/EBITDA (EV/EBITDA) F12M RatioOver the last five years, the industry has traded as high as 16.58X and as low as 5.68X, with the median being at 10.74X.3 Mining-Silver Stocks to Keep an Eye OnBuenaventura Mining Company: The company recently announced that it has received government of Peru's approval of all required permits for the San Gabriel Mine Project — an important milestone that enables this important project to move forward. San Gabriel will almost double the company's current gold production starting in 2025 and will contribute between 120,000-150,000 gold ounces annually. This project is aligned with its strategy to deliver growth projects and strengthen its precious metals portfolio. The company has announced multiple transactions this year to enhance balance sheet strength, reduce debt, invest in growth projects and focus on its portfolio. Backed by these efforts, the shares of the company have surged 51% so far this year. It has a solid pipeline of projects that will deliver growth in the long haul. The company's efforts to reduce costs at its direct operation mines have resulted in significant cost savings in each of its mines and led to higher EBITDA performance.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the Lima, Peru-based company's current-year earnings has moved up 40% over the past 30 days. The estimate indicates year-on-year growth of 65.3%. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. Price & Consensus: BVNFortuna Silver: The company recently reported a 93% surge in gold production to 66,800 ounces in the first quarter of 2022. Total gold output benefited from contributions of 30,068 ounces from the Lindero mine and 28,235 ounces from the Yaramoko mine (acquired in July 2021). Silver production was 1,670,128 ounces, suggesting a 13% drop year on year as expected, primarily due to a decrease in head grade at the San Jose mine, which was in line with the Mineral Reserve average grade. FSM stated that all of its mines remain on track to achieve the full-year guidance and maintain its silver production guidance at 6.2-6.9 million ounces. Its share price has appreciated 11.6% year to date. The company will continue to gain from its focus on maximizing production while simultaneously maintaining operational efficiencies to lower cash costs. Its disciplined strategy of locating new deposits or pursuing mergers and acquisitions will continue to drive growth.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Fortuna Silver's 2022 earnings has moved up 9.5% over the past 30 days. The company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 15%, on average. FSM currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).Price & Consensus: FSMMAG Silver: It primarily holds 44% interest in the high-grade silver Juanicipio project located in the Fresnillo District, Zacatecas State, Mexico. It is a high-margin underground silver project with low development risks. Significant progress was achieved last year with the completion of construction of the 4,000 tons per day Juanicipio processing plant in the fourth quarter of 2021. The plant commissioning timeline was extended by approximately six months until the regulatory approval to tie into the national power grid is obtained. MAG recently announced that the plant commissioning timeline is now anticipated to commence in the ongoing quarter. The project is expected to come in on budget, with the processing plant expected to be ramped up to 85% to 90% of plant capacity by the end of this year. MAG recently announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Gatling Exploration Inc. in an all-share transaction. Gatling is a Canadian gold exploration company focused on advancing the Larder Gold Project, located in the prolific Abitibi greenstone belt in Northern Ontario, Canada. The Larder project hosts three high-grade gold deposits along the Cadillac-Larder Lake Break, 35 km east of Kirkland Lake. Backed by these developments, shares of the company have gained 14% year to dateThe Zacks Consensus Estimate for MAG Silver's earnings for fiscal 2022 indicates a 1000% improvement from 2021. The consensus mark has been revised upward by 3% over the past 30 days. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #3.Price & Consensus: MAG  Just Released: Zacks' 7 Best Stocks for Today Experts extracted 7 stocks from the list of 220 Zacks Rank #1 Strong Buys that has beaten the market more than 2X over with a stunning average gain of +25.4% per year. These 7 were selected because of their superior potential for immediate breakout. See these time-sensitive tickers now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Buenaventura Mining Company Inc. (BVN): Free Stock Analysis Report Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. (FSM): Free Stock Analysis Report MAG Silver Corporation (MAG): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksApr 19th, 2022

Futures Flat As Yen Discombobulation Extends To Record 13th Day

Futures Flat As Yen Discombobulation Extends To Record 13th Day After some jerky rollercoaster moves in Monday's illiquid trading session, which jerked both higher and lower before closing modestly in the green, US futures resumed their volatility and at last check were trading flat after earlier in the session rising and falling; Nasdaq futures retreated 0.1%. as investors weighed the risks to economic growth from hawkish Federal Reserve comments. Stocks in Europe dropped as markets reopened after the Easter holiday, while bonds around the globe slumped as investors weighed the prospect of aggressive policy action to curb inflation. Asian stocks also dropped as did oil, while the dollar extended its gains .  Treasuries extended declines, with the 10-year yield hitting a fresh three-year peak north of 2.90%. German and U.K. 10-year yields climbed to the highest since 2015 as bonds across Europe plunged. The grotesque farce that is MMT came one step closer to total collapse as the yen dropped for a record 13th day, its longest-losing streak in at least half a century with the credibility of the BOJ - that central bank that launched MMT, QE and NIRP - now hanging by a thread. It wasn't all bad news however, because with the yen losing more of its purchasing power, Japanese stocks gained. Disruptions to supply chains from China’s lockdowns and to commodity flows from the war are keeping pressure on central banks to rein in runaway prices at a time when global growth is tipped to slow. The World Bank cut its forecast for global economic expansion this year on Russia’s invasion. Meanwhile, investors - already betting on an almost half-point Federal Reserve rate increase next month - continue monitoring comments from policy makers as prospects of monetary tightening weigh on the sentiment. St Louis Fed President James Bullard said the central bank needs to move quickly to raise interest rates to around 3.5% this year with multiple half-point hikes and that it shouldn’t rule out rate increases of 75 basis points. The last increase of such magnitude was in 1994. “The Bullard comments really encapsulate the quandary that many of the world’s central banks have found themselves in,” said Jeffrey Halley, a senior markets analyst at Oanda. “Luckily, they have plenty of excuses in the shape of the pandemic and the Ukraine war. Central banks can now play catchup, hike aggressively and run the risk of recessions. Getting the pain over and done may be the least worst option.” Over in Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Monday that Russian forces had begun the campaign to conquer the Donbas region in Ukraine’s east. Here are all the latest news and headlines over Ukraine: Russia's Belgorod provincial Governor said a village near the Ukrainian border was struck by Ukraine, according to RIA. However, Sputnik noted that no casualties were reported. Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov says another stage of its operation is beginning Russian Defence Ministry is calling on Ukrainian and foreign fighters to leave the metallurgical plant in Mauripol without arms and ammunition today, via Reuters; adding, the US and other Western countries do everything to drag out the Ukrainian military operation. White House said US President Biden will hold a call with allies and partners on Tuesday to discuss continued support for Ukraine and efforts to hold Russia accountable, according to Reuters. French Finance Minister Le Maire says an embargo on Russian oil is being worked on, adds that we have always said with President Macron that we want such an embargo, via Reuters; aims to convince the EU on such an embargo in the coming weeks. Russia's Gazprom has not booked gas transit capacity via Yamal-Europe pipeline for May. In premarket trading, Zendesk rose 4.1% in premarket trading after a report about the software company hiring a new adviser to explore a potential sale. NXP Semiconductors dropped 2.5% in premarket trading after Citi cut the stock to neutral from buy, saying in note that its thesis on margin expansion has played out. Other notable premarket movers include: Amazon (AMZN US) could be active as Barclays analyst Ross Sandler is upbeat on it heading into 1Q results and sees gross merchandise value (GMV) accelerating on a 1-yr basis in 2Q. Netgear (NTGR US) dropped 11% in extended trading Monday after reporting preliminary net revenue for the first quarter that trailed the average analyst estimate. Super Micro Computer (SMCI US) climbed 15% after the maker of server and storage systems reported fiscal 3Q preliminary profit and sales that beat the average analyst estimate. Acadia (ACAD US) shares declined in postmarket after it said Phase 2 clinical trial of the efficacy and safety of ACP-044 for acute pain following bunion removal surgery didn’t meet the primary endpoint. WeWork (WE US) advanced in postmarket trading Monday as coverage starts with an overweight rating and $10 price target at Piper Sandler, which highlights that the co-working company is on track to achieve profitability by late 2023 or early 2024. European stocks slumped with the Stoxx 600 dropping 1.1% led lower by healthcare and media shares as traders returned from a lengthy Easter holiday, with technology stocks also underperforming; the energy sub-index the only sector gaining in Europe in Tuesday trading as investors digest the recent rally in crude prices. Meanwhile in Russia equities fell for a second day with the benchmark MOEX Index dropping as Russia’s military pressed on with its offensive in southern and eastern Ukraine, with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy saying Moscow had launched a new campaign focused on conquering the Donbas region. The MOEX dropped as much as 3.2%, adding to declines of 3.4% on Monday with Lukoil, Sberbank and Gazprom leading losses. Here are some of Europe's biggest movers: TotalEnergies rises as much as 3.6% to the highest level since the end of last month after reporting higher refining margins, as well as better liquids and gas prices Spectris gains as much as 6.3% after the firm said it will sell its Omega Engineering business to Arcline Investment Management for $525m, and also announced a GBP300m buyback program Carrefour climbs as much as 3% as Berenberg upgrades to buy from hold, saying that higher inflation is making the food retail sector more challenging, but will also reveal outperformers Virbac advances as much as 11% after the French maker of veterinary products raised the top end of its sales growth forecast. Oddo upgraded the stock to outperform. Food delivery shares lead European tech lower as U.S. Treasury yields touch new highs following a hawkish comment from a Federal Reserve President, Just Eat Takeaway -4.5%; Delivery Hero -2.5% European consumer staples and luxury stocks fall as markets reopen after a 4-day break, with higher inflation and looming interest-rate hikes at the forefront of investor worries L’Oreal, which reports 1Q sales after the market close today, slumps as much as 4.1%; LVMH decreases as much as 1.9%, Hermes down as much as 4% Wizz Air drops as much as 6.1% after being downgraded to reduce at HSBC, with the broker saying the low-cost airline’s decision to not hedge its fuel prior to the outbreak of the Ukraine war could bite Adevinta falls as much as 9.8% after Bank of America downgraded to underperform from neutral on Thursday, due to the classifieds business’s large exposure to the automotive sector Elior and SSP Group shares retreat after both are downgraded to hold from buy at Deutsche Bank on downside risks; Elior down as much as 3.7%, SSP as much as 6.1% Earlier in the session, Hong Kong technology names declined on ongoing concerns over regulation. China dropped as investors assessed measures to tackle economic headwinds from Covid-led lockdowns. Asian stocks declined for a third day, as continued concerns over China’s regulatory crackdowns and the prospect of aggressive monetary-policy tightening by the Federal Reserve weighed on sentiment. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell as much as 0.6%, with Chinese technology shares including Tencent and Alibaba the biggest drags after Beijing announced a “clean-up” of the video industry. Hong Kong stocks were the worst performers around the region as trading resumed after Easter holidays, while equities rose in Japan and South Korea. The People’s Bank of China on Monday announced measures to help businesses hit by Covid-19, as the latest economic data started to show the impact of extended lockdowns. Investors are awaiting further easing with the release of China’s loan prime rates on Wednesday, after the central bank last week announced a smaller-than-expected cut in the reserve requirement for banks. Whether policy support measures will “flow significantly into the economy will be on watch,” and market participants may “want to see signs of recovery before taking on more risks in that aspect,” said Jun Rong Yeap, a strategist at IG Asia Pte. Hawkish Fed member James Bullard raised the possibility of a 75 basis-point hike in interest rates. Concerns of inflation and moves by the Fed and other central banks to fight it have driven the recent global equity selloff, with the Asian benchmark down about 11% this year. In China, markets are also awaiting the release of banks’ benchmark lending rates on Wednesday after the People’s Bank of China reduced the reserve requirement ratio for most banks Friday but refrained from cutting interest rates. The latest policy measures “have really highlighted easing is required,” Gareth Nicholson, Nomura chief investment officer and head of discretionary portfolio management, said on Bloomberg Television. “The markets don’t believe enough has been done and they’re going to have to step it up.” Japanese equities gained, rebounding after two days of losses as the continued weakening of the yen bolstered exporters. Electronics and auto makers were the biggest boosts to the Topix, which rose 0.8%. Tokyo Electron and Advantest were the largest contributors to a 0.7% rise in the Nikkei 225. The yen extended declines to a 13th straight day, its longest losing streak on record, falling through 128 per dollar. Australian stocks also advanced, with the S&P/ASX 200 index rising 0.6% to close at 7,565.20 as trading resumed following Easter holidays. The energy and materials sectors gained the most.  Cleanaway was among the biggest gainers, climbing the most since April 2021 after a media report said KKR has been preparing an offer for the Australian waste management company. City Chic Collective was the biggest decliner, falling to its lowest since December 2020. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.5% to 11,835.88. In rates, Treasuries slipped, with yields rising by as much as 6bps in the long end of the curv, however they traded off session lows reached during European morning as those markets reopened after a four-day holiday. Yields beyond the 5-year are higher by 3bp-4bp, 10-year by 3.3bp at 2.89% after rising above 2.90% earlier; U.K. and most euro-zone 10-year yields are higher by at least 5bp, correcting spreads vs U.S. created Monday when those markets were closed. The yield curve continues to steepen; 7- to 30-year yields reached new YTD highs, nearly 3% for 30-year. Japanese government bonds were mixed. Focal points for U.S. session are corporate new-issue calendar expected to include more financial offerings and comments by Chicago Fed President Evans. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed, after earlier rising to its highest since July 2020, and the dollar fell against almost all of its Group-of-10 peers. Commodity-related currencies and the Swedish krona were the best performers while the Japanese currency fell versus all of its G-10 peers. The yen extended its longest-losing streak in at least half a century, and touched 128.45 per dollar, its weakest level since May 2002, amid concerns over further widening in yield differentials. The euro reversed an Asia session loss even amid another round of bearish option bets in the front-end due to political risks. Bunds extended a slump, underperforming Treasuries, before a five-year debt sale and as money markets increased ECB tightening wagers. The Australian dollar surged against the yen to levels last seen almost seven year ago. RBA minutes said quicker inflation and a pickup in wage growth have moved up the likely timing of the first interest-rate increase since 2010. The New Zealand dollar also advanced; RBNZ Governor Orr reiterated the central bank’s aggressive rate stance. The pound was little changed and gilts slid, sending the U.K. 10-year yield to the highest since 2015 as money markets bet on a faster BOE policy tightening path. In commodities, crude futures declined. WTI trades within Monday’s range, falling 1.5% to trade around $106. Brent falls 1.5% to ~$111. Most base metals trade in the green; LME copper rises 1.4%, outperforming peers. Spot gold is down 0.1% to $1,977/oz. Bitcoin was flat and holding steady at the bottom of the sessions USD 40.6-41.2k parameters. Looking at the day ahead, data is light with US March building permits, housing starts, and Canada March existing home sales. The IMF will also release their 2022 World Economic Outlook. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.3% to 4,401.75 STOXX Europe 600 down 0.8% to 456.07 MXAP down 0.4% to 171.55 MXAPJ down 0.3% to 570.60 Nikkei up 0.7% to 26,985.09 Topix up 0.8% to 1,895.70 Hang Seng Index down 2.3% to 21,027.76 Shanghai Composite little changed at 3,194.03 Sensex up 0.5% to 57,438.93 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.6% to 7,565.21 Kospi up 1.0% to 2,718.89 German 10Y yield little changed at 0.91% Euro up 0.2% to $1.0808 Brent Futures down 0.7% to $112.40/bbl Brent Futures down 0.7% to $112.40/bbl Gold spot up 0.1% to $1,979.91 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 100.73 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Record numbers of U.K. business leaders expect operating costs to soar this year as inflation proves more sticky than thought, according to a survey by Deloitte French President Emmanuel Macron led his rival Marine Le Pen 55.5% to 44.5% ahead of the run-off presidential election set for April 24, according to a polling average calculated by Bloomberg on April 19. The gap between them has widened from the 8.2 percentage points recorded on April 15 Nationalist leader Marine Le Pen never led in the three campaigns she’s run for France’s top job, but a protectionist stance on economic issues in recent years has allowed her to reach some voters who traditionally backed left- wing candidates China’s central bank announced a spate of measures to help an economy which has been hit by lockdowns to control the current Covid outbreak, but the focus on boosting credit likely means the chances for broad-based easing are shrinking A more detailed breakdown courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks saw a mixed performance as more markets reopened and trade picked up from the holiday lull. ASX 200 gained on return from the extended weekend, led by strength in commodity-related sectors and top-weighted financials. Nikkei 225 briefly reclaimed the 27k level as continued currency depreciation underscored the Fed and BoJ policy divergence. Hang Seng was pressured as it took its first opportunity to react to the PBoC’s underwhelming policy decisions and with tech hit after Shanghai's market regulator summoned 12 e-commerce platforms including Meituan on price gouging during COVID outbreaks. Shanghai Comp was choppy as participants mulled over the latest virus-related developments including an increase in Shanghai deaths and the lockdown of five districts in the steel producing hub of Tangshan, although policy support pledges from the PBoC and NDRC ultimately provided a cushion. Top Asian News Japan’s Stepped-Up Warnings Fail to Stem Yen’s Slide Past 128 China’s Promises to Support Covid-Hit Economy Fail to Impress China Tech Stocks Slump on Didi Delisting Plan, Regulation Woes Sri Lanka Officially Requests Rapid IMF Funds Amid Crisis European bourses are negative on the session but were choppy and rangebound for much of the morning before dropping further amid renewed yield upside, Euro Stoxx 50 -1.4%. Stateside, US futures have given up their initial positive performance and are now lower across the board, ES -0.3%, and the NQ -0.4% lags given yield action; session is focused on Fed speak and earnings with NFLX due. Truist Financial Corp (TFC) Q1 2022 (USD): Adj. EPS 1.23 (exp. 1.10), Revenue 5.32bln (exp. 5.47bln) Top European News Stellantis Idles One of Russia’s Last Auto Plants Left Running Commodities Trader Gunvor Doubled Profits on Hot Gas Market European Gas Falls to Lowest Since Russian Invasion of Ukraine Credit Suisse’s Top China Banker Tu Steps Aside for New Role FX: USD/JPY breezes through more option barriers and disregards more chat from Japanese officials about demerits of Yen weakness; pair pulls up just pips shy of 128.50. DXY tops 101.000 in response before pulling back as Europeans return from long Easter break. Aussie outperforms as RBA minutes highlight more recognition about inflationary environment externally and internally. Kiwi next best G10 currency as RBNZ Governor Orr underlines that policy is being weighted towards anchoring inflation expectations; AUD/USD hovers under 0.7400 and NZD/USD around 0.6750 Euro trying to hold near 1.0800 where 1.3bln option expiry interest rolls off at the NY cut, Pound regains 1.3000 plus status and Loonie pivots 1.2600 on the eve of Canadian CPI. Yuan close to 6.4000 ahead of Chinese LPR rate verdict on Wednesday amidst heightened easing expectations. Fixed income: EU bonds correct lower after long Easter holiday weekend then pick up the baton to push US Treasuries even lower; Bunds giving up 154.00 and dropping to a 153.58 trough in short order and USTs lower to the tune of 7 ticks. Decent demand for German Bobls, but high price in terms of yield and a larger retention - limited relief seen in the benchmark, given broader action. Benchmark 10 year cash rates approaching new psychological marks of 1.0%, 2.0% and 3.0% in Bunds, Gilts and T-notes respectively. Commodities Crude benchmarks are softer after yesterday's firmer session, which was driven by Libya supply concerns, currently moving in tandem with broader equity performance awaiting fresh geopolitical developments. Currently, WTI and Brent are modestly above session lows which reside sub USD 106/bbl and USD 111/bbl respectively. OPEC+ produced 1.45mln BPD below targets during March, via Reuters citing a report; compliance 157% (132% in February). Spot gold and silver are contained with the yellow metal pivoting USD 1975/oz while copper derives further impetus from Peru protest activity. MMG said protesters at the Las Bambas copper mine alleged a failure to comply with social investment commitments, while it rejected the allegations and noted that Las Bambas will be unable to continue copper output as of April 20th. US Event Calendar 08:30: March Building Permits MoM, est. -2.4%, prior -1.9%, revised -1.6% 08:30: March Housing Starts MoM, est. -1.6%, prior 6.8% 08:30: March Building Permits, est. 1.82m, prior 1.86m, revised 1.87m 08:30: March Housing Starts, est. 1.74m, prior 1.77m Central Bank Speakers 12:05: Fed’s Evans Speaks to Economic Club of New York DB's Tim Wessel concludes the overnight wrap Welcome back to another holiday-shortened week for many markets. What it lacks in tier one data releases, it makes up for with heavy hitting central bank speakers and a core European Presidential election. We’re also wading into the thick of earnings season, while the on-running war in Ukraine has the potential to tip markets in any direction at the speed of a headline. Starting with the central bankers, President Lagarde and Chair Powell will sit on an IMF panel to discuss the global economy in the last Fed communications before their May meeting blackout period. The Fed has primed markets for a +50bp hike in May, and pricing has obliged, with futures placing a 98.1% probability of a +50bp rise, along with +246bps of tightening for the entire year. Governor Bailey won’t miss out on the action and is also delivering an address Thursday. Other Fed regional Presidents will speak throughout the week, with the Fed’s Beige Book due Wednesday. The IMF, meanwhile, will release their global outlook later today. As a reminder, DB Research updated our World Outlook earlier this month, where we are calling for recessions in the US and the euro area within the next two years. Plenty more in the link here. US earnings season will diversify beyond the financials-heavy slate from last week. Today is a nice microcosm of the change up, showcasing earnings from Johnson & Johnson, Halliburton, Hasbro, Lockheed Martin, Netflix, and IBM. On data the rest of the week, we’ll receive German PPI and Canadian CPI Wednesday, along with global PMIs Friday. US housing data dot the rest of the week, as we unravel the competing threads of tight inventories, heightened demand, and supply constraints, against higher mortgage rates on housing activity. Finally, the second round of the French Presidential election is this coming Sunday. Politico’s latest polling aggregates still have incumbent President Macron outpacing Marine Le Pen by around 9% in Sunday’s runoff. Our Europe team has their takeaways from the first round here. The ECB’s April meeting garnered top billing during the EMR’s long weekend (our Euro econ team’s full review here). Overlaid on an inflationary backdrop, the Governing Council is weighing the downside risk to growth against the upside risk to inflation stemming from the recent conflict. While uncertainty pervades, the latter risks are more pressing, which drove their decision to signal net APP purchases would end in Q3, paving the way for policy rate liftoff later this year. Our economists expect the last APP net purchases will occur in July, with the risk skewed toward June, with a +25bp liftoff in September. Markets have +11.8bps of hikes priced by July, +35.6bps by September, and +64.4bps of hikes through 2022. There was no new tool to address market fragmentation, though the ECB signaled imperfect policy transmission would not stand in the way of lifting rates and a new tool would be created if need be. 10yr BTP spreads were -5.0bps tighter to bunds over the week, and +3.3bps wider the day of the meeting. Elsewhere, as mentioned, a suite of US financials reported. Looking through the releases, it seems most FICC trading desks benefitted from the quarter of volatility and higher rates are set to improve margins. However, the prospect of an economic slowdown or potential exposures to war fallout cloud the outlook. S&P 500 financials were -2.65% lower on the week. Taking a longer view of last week, sovereign yields marched higher on the back of tighter expected monetary policy, and the yield curve’s recent sharp steepening continued. 10yr Treasury and bund yields respectively increased +12.8bps (+12.9bps Thursday, +2.5bps yesterday) and +13.5bps (+7.6bps Thursday) with continued heightened volatility. Real yields drove most of the gains in the US (+10.2bps for the week, +4.6bps Thursday, -1.0bps yesterday), ending the week at -0.09%, the highest level since early 2020. 10yr real yields are now +101.7bps higher this year, having had their climb only briefly interrupted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The 2s10s Treasury curve steepened +19.1bps (+2.5bps Friday, +2.9bps yesterday). There were not many positives to hang onto in Ukraine last week. Negotiation progress turned sour, President Biden labeled Russia’s invasion a ‘genocide’, and the US upped the provision of heavy weaponry to Ukraine, which was met with a diplomatic warning from Russia. The EU also pledged additional aid, while Finland began the process of applying for NATO membership and Sweden is reportedly considering the same. On the ground, Russian forces continued their eastern offensive, surrounding Ukrainian defenders of the port city Mariupol. Along with the drag on sentiment, the International Energy Agency warned the full disruption to Russian oil supply had yet to bind, with as much as 3 million barrels of oil per day coming offline starting in May. Brent crude futures therefore climbed +8.7% (+2.68% Thursday, +1.31% yesterday), and closed yesterday at $113.16/bbl, their highest level in three weeks. The S&P 500 fell -2.13% (-1.21% Thursday, -0.02% yesterday in a very quiet session) while the STOXX 600 managed to lose just -0.2% after a +0.7% rally Thursday into the holiday. In the S&P, energy (+3.53%) outperformed given the oil spike, while large cap stocks underperformed on the valuation hit wrought by rising yields, with FANG+ falling -4.81% (-3.16% Thursday, +0.25% yesterday). Asian equity markets are ambivalent about returning after a long holiday, with the Hang Seng (-2.80%) leading regional losses. Mainland Chinese stocks are faring better, with the CSI dipping -0.38% while the Shanghai Composite is -0.03% lower. This, following the PBOC announcing yesterday increased financial support for industries, businesses, and people affected by Covid-19. Elsewhere, the Nikkei (+0.12%) and the Kospi (+0.90%) are up. Outside of Asia, S&P 500 (+0.20%) and Nasdaq (+0.28%) futures are both trading higher. The RBA minutes overnight signaled they are not too far from joining the global tightening cycle, as they expect inflation to further increase above target. The yen extended its depreciation streak against the US dollar, falling -0.58% to 127.73 per dollar, the weakest level since May 2002, as diverging monetary policy paths take their toll. Oil prices and 10yr Treasury yields are little changed overnight; brent futures are +0.19% higher, while 10yr Treasury yields are -1.5bps lower. To the day ahead, data is light on top of the aforementioned earnings, with US March building permits, housing starts, and Canada March existing home sales. The IMF will also release their 2022 World Economic Outlook. Tyler Durden Tue, 04/19/2022 - 08:05.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeApr 19th, 2022

I"m a freelancer who works at a cocktail distillery and winery for extra income. It"s a fast-paced but fun side gig.

Zoe Baillargeon says the hands-on experience has made her a better food and drinks writer and she realized there's no shame in needing a second job. Zoe Baillargeon joined the cocktail distillery for extra income but says she also really enjoys working on a team and learning new skills.Zoe Baillargeon Zoe Baillargeon, 26, is a freelance writer and distillery worker based in Portland, Oregon.  She started working part-time at a cocktail distillery last year to supplement her freelance income. Baillargeon says the work is fast-paced and laborious but made fun by a great team of coworkers.   When the pandemic stalled my career as a freelance travel and food and drinks writer, I knew I needed to find a part-time job to supplement my writing income. I was eager for something hands-on after digital burnout from five years of working on my computer. My interest had also recently turned to the world of spirits and cocktails, so when a ready-to-drink cocktail distillery called Straightaway in Portland announced they were hiring in production, I applied.After a phone call and interview confirming that I could lift heavy boxes and was willing to get my hands dirty, I got the job.I started working part-time at the cocktail distillery in August 2020Baillargeon inside a freshly cleaned processing tank.Zoe BaillargeonI primarily worked on the bottling line, cycling between tasks like filling, labeling, shrink wrapping, and palletizing cases of product. The work was fast-paced but easy and made better by a fun crew of coworkers.I loved being part of a team again: We played music, chatted, and finished the day with shifties, the free drink that over-21 workers enjoy at the end of their shift in the beverage industry. Seeing my interest and eagerness to learn, the cellar lead in charge of making the cocktails would also sometimes show me how to clean tanks or measure and batch the cocktails. After a while, though, I was ready for something more involvedSince being introduced to the wine world while living in Chile a few years back, I'd wondered what it'd be like to work a wine harvest.I applied to be a harvest intern for fall 2021 at Adelsheim Vineyard, a winery in the nearby Willamette Valley. My boss at Straightaway, who had a winemaking background, was kind enough to give me a leave of absence from the distillery, so in August, I traded spirits for wine.There's an expression in brewing that brewers are just glorified janitors because of all the cleaningBaillargeon suited for pressure washing inside the cocktail batch tanks.Hayley McSwainThat applies to winemaking, too. The glamorous world of winemaking is hours of scrubbing drains, squeegeeing floors, climbing inside giant steel tanks to pressure-wash residue, and cleaning every speck of unwanted grape matter from the equipment.Harvest season is one of the busiest times of the year, so working at the winery required near-total devotion from mid-August to the end of October. Workdays could last up to 12 hours and days off were sparse. I returned home tired, sore, smelly, and sticky, and woke up the next morning after not nearly enough sleep to do it all again. The winery was hard, humbling, and laborious work, but I loved itSome of Baillargeon's coworkers at the winery.Hayley McSwainAll the challenges and hardships, from the long hours to feeling like an idiot for not knowing how to handle equipment correctly, was worth it. Every day, I learned something new, like driving a forklift or mastering barrel rolling and stillage working,which involves moving, stacking, and filling wine barrels, in the wine caves.The crew made the long shifts fun by singing along to "Red Red Wine" and other songs while working the pinot noir grape-crush line.One of my most memorable moments was powering through six punchdowns in a single morningPunchdowns are where you use a specialized tool to manipulate and punch through the hard, fermented floating cap of grape matter on a several-hundred-gallon tank, releasing color and tannins. It's a whole body workout. Sometimes, the grape caps are so hard it's like trying to punch through clay. Baillargeon doing aerated pumpovers at the winery by taking juice from the bottom of tank and spraying it over the top to filter back down.Hayley McSwainEvery day, I felt more capable, confident, and strong. When harvest ended at the winery in October 2021, I returned to freelance writing and the cocktail distillery with renewed purpose and a zest for discovery that the pandemic had sapped from me.Since first starting work at the distillery, I've had to frequently remind myself that there's no shame in needing a second jobBaillargeon organizing and doing stillage in the wine caves.Hayley McSwainI wasn't a failure or bad at writing — I even had some of my biggest freelancing wins during the pandemic. I was doing what I needed to do to support myself, and gained new life experiences and became a more well-rounded person because of it.With the pandemic's two-year anniversary on the horizon, my freelancing is finally back on track and better than ever. I still work part-time in the distillery tasting room, partly for financial security and partly because I enjoy the people and atmosphere so much.Working at the cocktail distillery and winery became about more than just a part-time job — the first-hand experience of working in production has also made me a better wine and drinks writerIt's one thing to read about inoculating cold soaks to start fermentation and quite another to start your mornings with the smell of industrial Fermaid O yeast in your nose and covered with sticky grape juice from doing pumpovers and punchdowns. Ultimately, my forays into winemaking and cocktails reminded me of the joys and rewards of trying new things just because, even if nothing comes of it. My mental health had taken a nosedive during the pandemic, but it rebounded as I stepped outside of my comfort zone again and enjoyed the challenges of a new job. The beverage industry was a safe harbor for me to find my feet again, discover new interests, and learn some cool new things in the process. I hope to stay involved in the spirits world in the future, maybe even by working different harvests around the world.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytMar 10th, 2022

Insiders say RAINN, the nation"s foremost organization for victims of sexual assault, is in crisis over allegations of racism and sexism

22 current and former staffers said that RAINN, which has deep ties to Hollywood and corporate America, is facing an internal reckoning. Scott Berkowitz, RAINN's co-founder and CEO, began his career in politics, advising former Sen. Gary Hart's 1984 presidential campaign at just 14 years old.RAINN; Kris Connor/Getty Images; Alyssa Powell/Insider22 current and former staffers say the organization favored by Hollywood and corporate America is in crisis. 'How can RAINN be helping survivors externally, when they're traumatizing survivors and their own employees internally?'April Cisneros says the first time she was sexually assaulted at her private Christian college was in 2015, while she was playing piano in the school's conservatory. A music tutor came into the small practice room and began to touch her. The second time, one year later, she remembers waking up in a hotel room near campus after drinks with classmates. One man was forcing his hand into her pants while another ejaculated on top of her. The incidents were devastating, and further compounded by a conservative religious community that lacked empathy for her pain or a framework to understand it. "Maybe it's demons attached to you that attracted this fate," she recalls one pastor telling her. Others placed the blame on her, wondering if she set the right boundaries with men. While studying abroad at Oxford University in 2016, in an effort to get far away from what she suffered back home, Cisneros attempted to take her own life.Soon after, she Googled for help, and the website for the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, or RAINN, flashed across her computer screen. RAINN, which was founded in 1994 as a nonprofit, bills itself as the nation's largest anti-sexual-violence organization, operating a 24-hour hotline for victims and pushing for state and federal policies to punish sex offenders and support survivors. It has deep ties to corporate America and Hollywood, partnering with Google and TikTok and media like "I May Destroy You" and "Promising Young Woman," both of which center on sexual assault. (Insider itself utilizes RAINN's hotline; our publishing system automatically appends a referral link to RAINN at the bottom of every story about sexual assault.) In 2019, it reported nearly $16 million in revenue. It says its programs have helped 3.8 million people, and 301,455 people called its hotlines last year.The organization was a beacon in a difficult time, and Cisneros soon threw herself into supporting it. She cycled 1,500 miles across the country for a fundraising drive; later, after the Trump administration rolled back Title IX protections for campus-sexual-assault victims, she decided to get involved more directly. April Cisneros biked across the US to raise money for RAINN.April Cisneros"I was so angry," Cisneros told Insider. "I just remember thinking, 'Well, why don't I just, like, go try to be a part of the solution?'" She began working for RAINN in 2018 as a communications associate.But she soon discovered that it looked very different from the inside. Instead of the supportive, inclusive victims' advocacy organization that offered her hope in the depths of her depression, Cisneros found herself in a demoralizing workplace overrun by what she described as racism and sexism. She recalled that during the filming of a video about survivors' stories, her boss asked a participant to smile while recounting a sexual assault. "If you don't," Cisneros remembered her boss saying, "it'll look like you have a bitch face."Cisneros is among 22 current and former RAINN staffers who spoke to Insider and described a roiling crisis over race and gender in the over-200-person-strong nonprofit. These people described a culture in which a routine training was beset by racist caricaturing, executives ignored employees' requests for change, and people who were deemed political risks — including sexual-assault survivors — were silenced. According to these accounts, in one instance, a supervisor badgered an employee during the time she took off to recover from an abortion. In another, an Asian staffer was replaced on a project with a white man after their boss deemed him a better fit because of his race and gender. One staffer sent a resignation letter, obtained by Insider, in which she bemoaned "toxic managerial behavioral patterns" and worried that "young employees like myself, many of them survivors themselves, are currently being treated like their rights at work do not matter, like their comfort and security and health at work doesn't matter, like the skills they bring to work are worthless."RAINN declined to make its founder and president, Scott Berkowitz, available for an interview. In a statement, the group said it had made great strides in diversifying its workplace and addressing the concerns of its employees of color. It accused the current and former staffers who came forward to Insider of providing "incomplete, misleading, and defamatory" information about "a handful of long-outdated and disproven allegations.""RAINN is proud of the work our committed staff do, day in and day out, to support survivors of sexual violence," the statement read. "As an organization, we owe it to our committed staff to provide a work environment where they feel safe, appreciated, and heard … Over the last several years, like most organizations, RAINN has worked to expand and implement comprehensive Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policies and goals. We regularly update staff on our progress toward achieving those goals, and solicit feedback on potential areas of improvement. While there is always room to build on our efforts, we are continually working to foster an open dialogue between employees and leadership to ensure ideas and concerns can be heard and addressed."RAINN hired Clare Locke LLP, a boutique libel law firm that has gained a reputation for representing clients facing #MeToo allegations, including Matt Lauer and the former CBS News executive Jeffrey Fager, to respond to Insider's inquiries. During Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing, the firm's cofounder Libby Locke came to his defense, writing: "No wonder Judge Kavanaugh is angry. Any man falsely accused of sexual assault would be."When Insider asked RAINN whether Clare Locke's work was consistent with the organization's mission and values, the firm's partner Thomas Clare emailed a statement attributed to RAINN: "Given your questions contained outright lies about RAINN and our staff, and publication of those claims is potentially defamatory, we hired defamation counsel. We recognize we have a right to legal representation, and our attorneys have helped us disprove your ridiculous and libelous allegations."Some RAINN employees fear that the corporate dysfunction has poisoned the work of the largest sexual-violence organization in the country, which they continue to view as crucial, despite their own experiences. "How can RAINN be helping survivors externally when they're traumatizing survivors and their own employees internally?" Cisneros said.How RAINN became Hollywood and corporate America's go-to partner Through savvy marketing and hard work, RAINN has become to sexual assault what Planned Parenthood is to reproductive health: the premier, full-service resource for people struggling with a crisis and the ultimate destination for donations to help people who have been victimized.The global embrace of the #MeToo movement, and the contemporary focus on the depth and pervasiveness of sexual assault, has further aided RAINN's ascension. Companies in crisis often turn to the organization to telegraph their commitment to social responsibility. After dozens of women sued Lyft, claiming they were assaulted by its drivers, the company worked with RAINN to roll out extensive safety initiatives and contributed $1.5 million to its coffers.Hollywood has also embraced the organization. RAINN was cofounded by the Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Tori Amos, who promoted the organization's hotline at her concerts and sat on its advisory board. In 2018, Timotheé Chalamet pledged his earnings from Woody Allen's "A Rainy Day in New York" to groups including RAINN, as did Ben Affleck from productions affiliated with Harvey Weinstein. Christina Ricci, a star of Showtime's breakout hit "Yellowjackets," has served as an official spokesperson since 2007, and the platinum-selling pop artist Taylor Swift has donated to the organization, something it publicized from its social-media accounts.—RAINN (@RAINN) April 8, 2021 But Berkowitz has largely stayed out of the public eye. He began his career as a political wunderkind, advising Sen. Gary Hart's 1984 presidential campaign at just 14 years old. A profile in his grandparents' hometown newspaper in Pennsylvania said he was personally responsible for collecting $100,000 in donations for Hart — a feat achieved in between classes at American University, where he was already a sophomore. After graduation, Berkowitz continued to work in and around politics. His experience in the field, he said in a 2019 interview with RAINN, taught him about the "extent of the problem" of sexual violence in the United States and the opportunity to fill this "service gap.""I knew next to nothing about the issue," Berkowitz said. "It just seemed like a good idea." Christina Ricci has been a RAINN spokeswoman since 2007.Michael Kovac/WireImage/Getty ImagesEarly on, Berkowitz ran the day-to-day operations, and his early fundraising prowess served him well. After a series of sexual assaults at the infamous Woodstock '99 festival, promoters and record labels did damage control by giving RAINN 1% of the proceeds from the festival's CD and video releases. "In raw self-interest, the money and attention that would come from it would allow RAINN to promote the hotline better, provide more counseling, print more brochures," Berkowitz told the Village Voice. RAINN's budget swelled in tandem with its brand. Total revenue rocketed from more than $1.2 million in 2009 to nearly $16 million in 2019. Berkowitz's compensation grew from $168,000 to over $481,000 over the same period. Even though RAINN's tax returns list Berkowitz as its president and indicate that he was paid nearly a half a million dollars in the year ending in May 2020, RAINN says that he is not in fact an employee and does not receive a salary. Instead, for reasons that RAINN did not explain, he is paid through A&I Publishing, a company solely owned by Berkowitz that contracts with RAINN. "Scott Berkowitz is paid solely as an independent contractor through A&I Publishing and does not receive any salary or benefits," it said. "He has never received any employee compensation from RAINN."RAINN's tax records tell a slightly different story. The group has reported paying a total of $561,500 in consulting fees for "strategic and financial oversight" to A&I Publishing from 2001 to 2006, during which time Berkowitz drew no salary from RAINN. Since 2007, though, RAINN has reported directly paying Berkowitz a total of $3,529,000. (RAINN says he "is recused from all board consideration of his compensation.")Over the same period, RAINN also began reporting payments to A&I to service $288,000 in debt that it owed the consultancy at 5% interest. RAINN's tax records don't reflect that the organization ever received any cash from A&I; instead, the loan is described in its 2006 tax return as "issuance of debt for prior year services." RAINN says the loan, which has been repaid, stems from "deferred payment for fees" that RAINN owed A&I "for a number of years."'How does an organization like RAINN make such an egregious mistake?'With the Woodstock '99 deal, Berkowitz struck on a highly successful strategy — corporate penance — and he would often return to it. But he also looked to the public sector for funding opportunities.One of RAINN's largest sources of revenue — $2 million a year — is its contract to run the Department of Defense's Safe Helpline, which offers confidential, anonymous counseling to members of the military who have been affected by sexual violence. Multiple staffers who spoke with Insider said Berkowitz was exceedingly sensitive about maintaining the contract. They said that he had gone to great lengths to stay in the Department of Defense's good graces and that they believe RAINN has at times been overly deferential to its interests. Michael Wiedenhoeft-Wilder in February 2022.Evan Jenkins for InsiderMichael Wiedenhoeft-Wilder, a former flight attendant and roller-rink operator who previously served in the Navy as a medic, said that in 1982, just months after he enlisted, a Navy physician raped him. The doctor, who outranked Wiedenhoeft-Wilder, threatened him with prison time if he came forward. Wiedenhoeft-Wilder said it was the first of multiple sexual assaults he suffered, all of which resulted in a diagnosis of complex post-traumatic stress disorder.Wiedenhoeft-Wilder stayed silent about the assault for nearly 30 years. He became depressed and experienced paranoid suspicions that the government was spying on him, ready to silence him if he ever told the truth about his assault.But decades of therapy empowered Wiedenhoeft-Wilder to eventually come forward. He discovered the Safe Helpline, which then led him to RAINN's Speakers Bureau, a roster of more than 4,000 volunteer survivors who share their stories with the media, student groups, and other organizations. When Wiedenhoeft-Wilder signed up with the bureau, his story was selected for publication on RAINN's website. In October 2019, he worked with April Cisneros, who helped manage the Speakers Bureau, to prepare the story.But the story was abruptly killed. Cisneros said Berkowitz decided to pull Wiedenhoeft-Wilder's account once he realized that it involved an officer assaulting an enlisted man."Once we actually wrote up his story, Scott was like, 'No, we're not even getting into this,'" Cisneros told Insider, adding that Berkowitz refused to send the story to the Department of Defense for review, as it routinely did with accounts of military sexual assault. Cisneros said Berkowitz told members of the communications team that promoting the testimony of a man who had been assaulted by one of his superiors could harm the military's reputation and upset the Department of Defense. Cisneros told Insider she believed that Berkowitz did not want to risk losing the government's funding.Wiedenhoeft-Wilder was shocked. He had spent time with Cisneros revisiting the details of an assault that haunted him for 30 years, all for nothing."I've spent the last several days trying to deal with the devastating news that the article about my military sexual trauma being canceled for someone else," he told Cisneros in an email on October 31 that Insider reviewed. "How does an organization like RAINN make such an egregious mistake? Do you have any idea how this mistake has affected me? It's absolutely devastating. Just one more failure for me.""I feel victimized all over again," he wrote. "What did I ever do to you people to deserve this!"Cisneros, worried about Wiedenhoeft-Wilder's mental health, forwarded the exchange to Berkowitz and Keeli Sorensen, then the vice president of victim services, she said. "Maybe you just tell him you made a mistake," Cisneros recalled Sorensen telling her. She felt Sorensen's suggestion was, in effect, to "[fall] on my sword for RAINN."Cisneros told Insider that she told Wiedenhoeft-Wilder a lie about a scheduling conflict and blamed the mix-up entirely on herself. Wiedenhoeft-Wilder didn't believe her. "I know she wasn't telling me the truth," he told Insider. "I knew it wasn't her fault. It was a really weird, very strange thing to do to someone."Cisneros was heartbroken. She felt that she'd betrayed Wiedenhoeft-Wilder's trust and was distressed because she felt an anti-sexual-violence organization had asked her to deceive a rape victim. "What's so sad is people treat him like he's so paranoid about being silenced by the military, but that paranoia is at least … legitimate," Cisneros said. "And it happened again at RAINN."Sorensen denied having any involvement in the incident and said she was "not authorized in any way to instruct Ms. Cisneros in this matter," adding that Berkowitz had "total authority" with respect to the publication of Wiedenhoeft-Wilder's story. She said she did not know why Berkowitz pulled the testimony."I had no part in the matter," Sorensen said, "but it's my recollection, based on my conversation with Ms. Cisneros, that she had promised Mr. Wiedenhoeft-Wilder that she would publish their story before having secured final approval from Mr. Berkowitz."RAINN also said that if Cisneros had promised Wiedenhoeft-Wilder a spot on its website, it had "no knowledge of that and she was not authorized to make that commitment."Cisneros disputed that. She said that she provided Berkowitz with details of Wiedenhoeft-Wilder's story before reaching out and that he approved. "Scott gave me the greenlight to move ahead with the process if [Wiedenhoeft-Wilder] expressed interest," Cisneros said."We have no recollection as to why this survivor's story did not run in the fall of 2019," RAINN said, adding that some isolated quotes from Wiedenhoeft-Wilder's interview — stripped of their military context — were shared on RAINN's social-media accounts. The statement pointed to other stories from survivors of sexual assault in the military that RAINN had published; none of those featured scenarios in which an attacker outranked their victim.Evan Jenkins for Insider"We are not aware of the Department of Defense expressing concern over RAINN's coverage of military survivors," RAINN said, "nor is it standard practice for RAINN to consult with [the department] regarding the material and resources it publishes unless they directly mention Safe Helpline. RAINN frequently publishes the stories of military survivors and will continue to do so as it works to carry out the organization's mission to eradicate sexual violence from every corner of society."Anxiety around RAINN's relationship with the Department of Defense came up again in 2019. Six former staffers said one RAINN employee felt compelled to frantically retract public comments she had made in support of Black trans victims of violence amid the Trump administration's efforts to expel trans people from the military. The woman suddenly and mysteriously departed the organization on the day her remarks were published.(The woman's identity is known to Insider, which is not naming her because doing so may expose her to professional harm. The woman declined to comment for the record.) On March 7, 2019, to mark International Women's Day, the employee was one of "8 everyday women" featured by The Lily, a women-focused website published by The Washington Post. The Lily post listed the woman's age, background, position at RAINN, and responses to a questionnaire about her favorite fast-food chains and movies. But she came to fear that her seemingly uncontroversial answer to one question could become a professional liability.InsiderThe answer came a few months after the Trump-era transgender military ban went into effect, reanimating debates over trans rights. Two sources told Insider that the woman told them that RAINN's leadership expressed alarm over her contribution to the article and was frustrated that the woman had spoken to the media without getting consent from leadership.One source told Insider that Jodi Omear, then RAINN's vice president of communications, said minutes after reading the article that it was "too controversial" and that she worried it "could jeopardize our contract with the Department of Defense." The source said Omear escalated the article to Berkowitz and the human-resources director, Claudia Kolmer, because she was confident they would feel the same.Omear told Insider that because the former staffer had been under her supervision, it would be "inappropriate" to comment on her exit from the organization.On the day the questionnaire was published, the woman called the reporter at The Lily who'd conducted the interview and asked her to remove the reference to RAINN, as well as her comments about trans people, according to four sources familiar with the situation. The writer agreed. Insider viewed an original version of the interview that contained the employee's affiliation and comments about trans rights; the version currently published online does not.Two former employees said the woman was escorted out of the office by human resources the day the story was published. RAINN said that "it is standard practice that an employee separating from the organization is accompanied by a RAINN human resources representative when leaving the premises in order to collect their office keys, security fob and other credentials," adding that it "reached a separation agreement" with the woman a week after the story was published.One staffer who sat near her described the woman as a "fabulous" employee who was heavily invested in the projects they were set to work on together."It was one of the reasons why it was so shocking," the staffer said. "Like, where'd she go?"In its statement, RAINN claimed that the woman's remarks were an unauthorized attempt to speak on behalf of the Pentagon. "[The RAINN staffer] spoke with a Washington Post reporter on-the-record, on behalf of RAINN and the Department of Defense Safe Helpline, which she was not authorized to do," the statement said. "Contractually RAINN is barred from speaking on behalf of the Department of Defense or Safe Helpline." The Lily billed the interview as an opportunity to "step inside the lives of 8 everyday women." Aside from identifying her employer and job description — a format applied to other women featured in the post — the woman's interview did not touch on RAINN or the Department of Defense. Instead, she answered questions about her favorite body part and what she would change about her upbringing if she could.Still, RAINN said, the woman broke the rules: "The issue at hand centered around a clear violation of RAINN policy. RAINN supports all transgender survivors and has worked to remove the barriers to reporting sexual violence in LGBTQ communities, and to elevate the stories of transgender survivors, particularly for transgender persons of color for whom sexual violence is all too prevalent."Asked why, if that were the case, the woman would ask The Lily specifically to remove her comments about trans victims, RAINN said it was "unaware of any evidence indicating [the woman] was pressured to retract or remove" the comments. "RAINN is always mindful of honoring its contractual obligations not to speak on behalf of the DoD and the Safe Helpline," it said. "The fact someone commented on other subject matter or issues was irrelevant."A white male staffer was deemed a better fitJackii Wang joined RAINN's public-policy team in 2019, hopeful that she could use her experience working in national congressional offices to advance legislation that would help sexual-assault survivors. But she said her boss, RAINN's vice president of public policy, Camille Cooper, instead saddled her with administrative responsibilities like writing greeting cards. Wang said Cooper regularly discounted her ideas and "berated" her when they disagreed on issues the younger staffer considered minor. It became "psychologically terrifying," Wang said. Wang didn't immediately view that as discriminatory — multiple staffers said many of Cooper's employees complained of similar treatment. But during a performance review in December 2019, Wang said, Cooper attempted to explain her perception of Wang as defiant by rattling off stereotypes that Wang felt were "very targeted towards my Asian identity.""Camille asked me questions like, you know, 'Is your family very strict?' 'Do they expect perfectionism from you?' ... 'What was your childhood like?' Do I have problems with authority because of my family background?" Wang told Insider. What started as an implication became explicit, Wang said, when Cooper announced she would pull Wang off a lobbying assignment.Jackii WangDaniel Diasgranados for InsiderAt the time, RAINN was working on a Florida bill that would close a loophole in the state's statute of limitations for teen survivors. Cooper called Wang and another staffer into her office and told the two women she had decided to send a white male colleague in Wang's place, Wang said. Wang asked why."And she was like, 'Well, you know, because he's a white male,'" Wang recalled.Wang was mortified. While she had experience working with Florida legislators, her male colleague wasn't even registered to lobby in the state. Wang and the other staffer said Cooper argued that he would connect better with white conservatives in the state."He can talk about baseball. He can really, like, connect with these men," Cooper said, according to Wang and the other staffer present. "And these men really hate women.""Her reasoning for picking a white man over me for the project is that he'll be received better," Wang said. "But if that's the logic that she's following, then, like, I guess I shouldn't work anywhere because white men are received better everywhere."Neither Cooper nor the man responded to requests for comment.Wang said she reported the incident to Kolmer, the human-resources director, and Berkowitz in March 2020, along with a detailed recounting of other complaints about Cooper's leadership. But Wang said Kolmer never took serious action. When Wang quit that June, she sent Berkowitz a blistering resignation letter. "As you know, she has harassed and bullied every single person on our team, including an intern, and has blatantly discriminated against me," Wang wrote.Berkowitz thanked Wang for her time and for informing him, and asked Kolmer to discuss the issues Wang raised. Cooper continues to serve as a vice president, the face of RAINN's policy arm.RAINN said that Wang was too junior a staffer to lead a statewide lobbying effort and called her claims of discrimination "false and defamatory.""RAINN took Wang's allegations seriously and investigated the matter thoroughly," the statement said. "Ultimately it was determined that the basis of Wang's claims of discrimination were unfounded."RAINN did not deny Wang's claim that Cooper told her a white man would connect better with conservative legislators.Cooper wasn't the only executive to receive complaints. One current staffer and one former staffer described a meeting in which Jessica Leslie, the vice president of victim services, defended Berkowitz's unwillingness to address the concerns of staffers of color."You have to understand where he's coming from," they remember Leslie saying. "I mean, he's a white man, and you're all people of color — like, he's really nervous around you."One of the staffers was furious. "We just wanted to have a conversation. We're not about to berate the man," she told Insider. "This is not true," RAINN said. Its statement said that at a Safe Helpline shift managers meeting, a group of managers asked Leslie if Berkowitz would meet with them. When Leslie asked them to craft an agenda first, RAINN said, the shift managers asked Leslie if Berkowitz wanted an agenda because he was "uncomfortable talking to women of color." "The shift managers created this narrative," RAINN said, "not Leslie."Through an attorney, Leslie said she agreed with RAINN's responses and called the allegations against her "demonstrably baseless."A racist training, a pay disparity, and an email uprisingStaffers of color told Insider that they were often underpaid compared with their white counterparts; one, a nonwhite Latina woman who asked to remain anonymous, said she made $35,000 a year and lived in public housing to keep her head above water. After she quit for a higher-paying opportunity, RAINN filled her job with a white staffer who earned roughly $20,000 more, Cisneros said, adding that the white staffer disclosed her salary. (Three additional sources with knowledge of her salary corroborated Cisneros' account.) RAINN said the salary discrepancy was a result of both the role being "restructured" to include "significantly more responsibility" and the fact that the white staffer had an advanced degree.Four current and former RAINN staffers recalled that after RAINN's white office manager left for a new job, her replacement, a Black woman named Valinshia Walker, was asked to perform janitorial tasks that were not in her predecessor's job description — including scrubbing floors on her hands and knees, washing dishes, and disinfecting conference rooms. "Let me be very clear: [Walker's predecessor] never washed dishes from the sink. Ever," one former staffer said. "Val? You would come in, and Ms. Walker was cleaning the conference room. Like, wiping down all the tables. Spraying down the chairs. Doing the kitchen, she's washing dishes from the sink … You would see her walking around with the mask on and gloves because she literally cleaned. Like a cleaning lady."Walker declined to comment for the record. "The beliefs of your sources are simply not true," RAINN said, adding that Walker was hired as the "office coordinator," which had a different set of responsibilities than the "office manager" she replaced. "Maintaining a clean office has always fallen under the responsibilities of the HR and admin staff as a whole, this includes the office manager and office coordinator," the statement said. "We are not aware of any instances where Walker was asked to handle cleaning responsibilities beyond those that were part of the office coordinator's regular duties."Staffers also recalled what became a notorious and hamfisted mandatory sexual-harassment training in early 2020 led by an outside employment attorney hired by RAINN. According to more than a dozen employees, the attorney used a series of racist stereotypes to illustrate examples during the training."So let's just say, you know, there's Nicki [Minaj] and Cardi B are employees, and they're at their desks, and they start twerking," Cisneros recalled the lawyer saying. "Is that inappropriate workplace behavior?"At one point, Cisneros said, the lawyer proposed a hypothetical scenario in which a Latino-coded man — participants recalled his name was "Jorgé" or "José"—  kissed a coworker. The lawyer asked if the behavior could be appropriate "because this is Latino culture." "Your information regarding this training is inaccurate," RAINN said. "The examples in this legal training were all past legal cases using fictitious names." It added that staff concerns "were immediately addressed and the training was subsequently modified based on their feedback."Sarcia Adkins, a shift manager for the Department of Defense Safe Helpline who attended the training, was furious. She wrote an email to multiple executives, including Sorensen, Kolmer, and Berkowitz, on March 5 demanding action from the organization. "I wanted to get up and walk out at various points and it was one of the more traumatic experiences I've had at RAINN as a woman of color," she wrote. Kolmer acknowledged her complaints and promised to meet with Adkins alongside Berkowitz and Sorensen to discuss changes to the training and her issues with the nonprofit's culture.Adkins said that Kolmer didn't follow up that March but that Sorensen did reach out to schedule a one-on-one meeting. RAINN said Adkins agreed to meet Sorensen but "did not show up, without notification or explanation," and "did not follow up after she skipped the meeting." Several months later, after a former colleague intervened, Adkins did meet with Berkowitz and Sorensen. Adkins told Insider she was underwhelmed. "They pick what they want you to talk about," she said.The dysfunction came to a head during the summer of 2020, after the murder of George Floyd sparked a series of bitter internal conversations about RAINN's track record on race. In June 2020, Berkowitz sent an email with the subject line "A Note to the RAINN Family" to the entire staff. In it, he acknowledged the unrest and pledged to support the company's Black staffers.Sarcia Adkins replied to the email with a list of demands and copied the entire organization. She asked for mandatory cultural-competency training and a commitment to hiring Black employees for leadership positions. (RAINN says that 43% of its top seven staffers are people of color.) Adkins — who has been with RAINN since 2014 — asked Berkowitz why he hadn't reached out following the deaths of Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland, Philando Castile, and dozens of other victims of police violence."RAINN has never been a place [that] acknowledges or uplifts their black staff, not just people of color, and the injustices we face in the world and within the structure of RAINN," Adkins wrote.Following the police killing of George Floyd in 2020, Scott Berkowitz sent an email to staffers acknowledging the resulting unrest and pledging to support the company's Black staffers. But employees at RAINN began responding en masse, including one person who asked why a similar message was not sent after other police killings of Black people.Provided to InsiderIn 2021, in response to the outrage over the George Floyd email, the organization began internally releasing draft proposals on diversity, equity, and inclusion with goals the organization planned to achieve or had already accomplished. The laundry list of objectives, which Insider reviewed, included a plan to "develop new relationships to ensure a diverse pool of internal and external candidates for all open positions" and "collect more data to identify the causes of turnover."But people working in the organization say little has been achieved, or even attempted."Hiring practices are not getting better," said a current RAINN staffer, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation. "There's been no management training. Turnover is horrendous." In its statement, RAINN recounted the diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts it began implementing in 2021, including "expanded recruiting," "revised exit interviews," and "researched training on DEI-related issues.""The summer of 2020 sparked important cultural conversations in companies and organizations across the United States, RAINN among them," the statement said. "As we've seen nationwide, there is more work to be done. Over the past two years, RAINN worked with experts and garnered input from staff to develop and implement Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policies and goals … Changes implemented to date include increasing diversity within senior management to better reflect our staff diversity and the people we serve, implementing an anonymous third-party ethics hotline where employees can voice concerns without fear of reprisal, offering expanded professional development and internal promotion opportunities, and increasing health and mental health benefits for employees, the four top priorities identified by staff."As evidence of its success in addressing the concerns of its employees of color, RAINN provided Insider an email that Aniyah Carter, a staffer on the Department of Defense Safe Helpline, wrote to the vice president of communications, Heather Drevna, in June 2020. Carter, who is Black, had been one of the most outspoken staffers demanding change at RAINN after Berkowitz's George Floyd email fiasco. When Drevna sent a follow-up email to staff announcing an employee survey and more personal and sick days, Carter replied with a note of thanks."I just want to personally thank you and the senior team for this," she wrote. "It's one thing to listen to and hear us. It's another thing to take action. I am proud of the responses of my colleagues and I am grateful for the swift action from leadership. It is my sincere hope that we continue to make a necessary shift in the right direction. Please let me know if there is any way I can be of assistance."Scott Berkowitz at the "Tina The Tina Turner Musical" Cocktail Reception, co-hosted by Anna Wintour in support of RAINN, on January 31, 2020.Tiffany Sage/BFA/ReutersWhen Insider asked Carter about the email, she said any movement in the right direction quickly stalled."They sent an email and that was it," Carter told Insider. "So my 'sincere hope' was crushed. It's so insulting for me. When this first happened and you were optimistic and gave us the benefit of the doubt, you say it here," she said, mocking RAINN's use of her email. "And it's like, OK, but two years later here we still are. And I've mentioned how I'm frustrated, but you're going to take words from two years ago feeling optimistic about the future and spin it as if that applies to today? Seriously? That was very upsetting because it makes me feel like this is more about optics than, like, how your staff really feels."'OK, well, who's gonna do the press clips?'When April Cisneros arrived at RAINN, she began working for Jodi Omear. Cisneros said she quickly ran up against Omear's domineering management style, which often seemed dismissive of and belittling to other women. Besides the "bitch face" comment, Cisneros said, Omear joked about how office dress codes could reduce the risk of sexual assault by preventing people from wearing provacative outfits. "I understand we're not supposed to blame the victim," Cisneros recalled Omear saying, "but, like, what do you expect to happen if you're in a dimly lit room and people of the opposite sex [are] wearing pants with holes in them?" Omear did not deny making either comment but told Insider that when training people who lacked experience with on-camera work, she directed them to "over-exaggerate facial expressions." She also said she "advocated for casual professional attire across the organization."Cisneros' low point at RAINN occurred in January 2019, when she unexpectedly became pregnant. She decided to take a sick day to visit a doctor. She told Insider she informed Omear the day before and outlined when her unfinished work would be completed.Omear became angry, Cisneros said, demanding to know why she didn't give more notice and insisting on further details. Omear called Cisneros at 9 p.m. demanding answers. Cisneros broke down and told her boss about the surprise pregnancy. According to Cisneros, Omear replied, "OK, well, who's gonna do the press clips?"The next day, as Cisneros met with her doctor, her phone buzzed with calls and texts from Omear. Between the stress of an unplanned pregnancy and Omear's incessant check-ins, Cisneros said, she "started bawling" under the stress.  A day later, Cisneros received a prescription for a two-day medical abortion. She requested an extra day off to recover, but Omear continued to pester her, texting and calling Cisneros for updates on RAINN's monthly marketing report. Cisneros said she finished the report from home while waiting for the bleeding to die down. (A RAINN staffer who was familiar with the incident corroborated Cisneros' version of events.)Omear told Insider that it would be "inappropriate" to comment on Cisneros specifically and did not directly answer a series of questions about Cisneros' allegations. "In general, when working with communications staff, especially in a fast-paced environment on such an important issue, it is/was important to ensure that other team members were able to cover assignments to meet any potential deadlines and organizational needs," she said in an emailed statement.RAINN said that it "was not aware of this incident happening in real time" and that it "supports employees taking time off and does not support managers encroaching on sick time."Omear's conduct was the final straw for Cisneros, and she wrote to human resources to complain. Cisneros said Claudia Kolmer told her in a meeting that the conflict "was a big misunderstanding" and that she should have come clean about her pregnancy sooner. (RAINN said that Kolmer told Cisneros that different managers have different preferences about how they should be notified of sick time and that "Cisneros was never asked to share sensitive personal or medical information.")Dissatisfied, Cisneros unloaded on Omear to Kolmer, accusing her boss of making inappropriate complaints about the loud breathing of a colleague who used a wheelchair and the habit of another colleague, who was blind, of walking into Omear's office by mistake, Cisneros said. (Another former RAINN employee corroborated the complaints to Insider.) Cisneros also said she told Kolmer that Omear made lewd remarks about the attractiveness of a sexual-assault victim set to make a public-service announcement. Omear denied making the lewd comments. She also denied complaining about disabled colleagues but said that she did recall "thanking one of my staff for helping" a blind colleague "when she couldn't find her way around the office."Cisneros rallied the entire RAINN communications department to put together a detailed list of other allegations of inappropriate behavior by Omear, which she collected in a memo for Kolmer and Berkowitz.Omear left RAINN that July, ostensibly to launch her own communications consulting firm. But Cisneros said Berkowitz told her that he had pushed Omear out in response to Cisneros' efforts. "We want you to know we're letting her spin her own story," Cisneros said Berkowitz told her. "But this is a direct result of the conversation you all have with us."The experience nonetheless angered staffers. Cisneros left RAINN the next year.Another colleague, Martha Durkee-Neuman, wrote a scathing resignation letter shortly after Omear announced her exit, addressing it to Omear, Berkowitz, and Kolmer."Jodi leaving of her own accord with no accountability is not justice," Durkee-Neuman wrote, according to a copy of the letter obtained by Insider. "It is not justice for the countless people that she has fired or driven from RAINN. It is not justice to pretend that nothing has happened, that staff were not forced to go to HR over and over and over until something was finally done." "I do not believe any of this work of justice or restoration will happen at RAINN, so unfortunately, this is no longer the right organization for me," she added."After the communications team raised concerns [about Omear] with Claudia Kolmer," RAINN said, "RAINN worked swiftly and diligently to investigate the staff's complaints. RAINN took appropriate action to address the findings of that investigation and Omear separated with RAINN shortly thereafter."Martha Durkee-Neuman's resignation letter.Martha Durkee-Neuman'What is left?' On November 19, 2021, Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted of charges related to the shooting deaths of two people at a civil-rights rally in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Some time later, Leslie, then the interim vice president of RAINN's victim-services department, addressed the organization's Black staffers. "I am deeply saddened by the pain and violence that has continued to plague our Black neighbors and communities," she wrote. "I want to recognize how this may be affecting you, as you navigate your day and the work you do at RAINN." She then touted the racial diversity of the victim-services department.Nearly 18 months had passed since the organization sent around its email about the death of George Floyd. Despite various promises and initiatives, in the eyes of many staffers, little had changed. But here it was again, another email promising to listen to staffers of color. Employees were enraged.Aniyah Carter, the Safe Helpline worker whose email RAINN provided to Insider, reminded her boss that nearly two weeks had passed since the verdict. "By now, we have already had to check in with ourselves so that we can continue our day-to-day lives," she wrote. "And while the opportunity to check in with managers is still absolutely available (and encouraged), the reminder to do so would have been more beneficial if it occurred when this took place." Carter also highlighted the gap she saw between leadership's stated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and its on-the-ground support of its employees of color, a sentiment echoed by other staffers who spoke to Insider.Daniel Diasgranados for InsiderFor Cisneros, the repeated failure of the organization to address the concerns of its staff speaks to something darker, and she is worried about how the culture at RAINN is affecting its ability to help abuse survivors."If church can't help, if school can't help, if the police can't help, if the hospital can't help, if my family can't help, my friends can't help — and now this nonprofit that is specifically saying that it's here to help people like me can't help?" she said."Like, what is left?"Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderFeb 25th, 2022

The UK And Its Lost Opportunities

The UK And Its Lost Opportunities Authored by Alasdair Macleod via GoldMoney.com, Two years after leaving the EU Britain has made almost none of the promised progress towards economic liberalisation. While Brussels hasn’t been helpful, libertarian ministers in the Tory government have been both conquered by the bureaucracy of the civil service and even turned into high spending statists. There has been no attempt to reduce the state’s suffocating dominance over the economy. On current policies, the private sector is set to continue its long-term decline, with higher taxes and ever-increasing regulation. But it needn’t be so. This article looks at the dangers and opportunities that Britain faces, principally inflation, the challenge of government spending, of maintaining a balanced budget, trade policy and why Britain should just declare unilateral free trade, foreign policy in a world where the future is American decline and a rising Russia—China partnership, and the economic craziness of the green agenda. There is no sign that these important issues are being addressed in a constructive and statesman-like manner. Fortunately or unfortunately, rising interest rates threaten to bring forward a crisis of bank credit of such magnitude that fiat currencies are likely to be undermined. Most of the policies recommended herein should be incorporated after the banking and currency crisis has passed as part of a reset designed to avoid repeating the mistakes of big government, Keynesianism, and the socialisation of economic resources. Decline and fall “This is the week a government that began with such promise finally lost its soul. Its great policy relaunch is a tragic mush, proof that it no longer believes in anything, not even in its self-preservation.” Allister Heath, Editor of The Sunday Telegraph writing in today’s Daily Telegraph 3 February Two years ago this week, Britain formally left the EU. Yet, it is estimated there are 20,000 pieces of primary EU legislation still on the statute books. And only now is there going to be an effort to remove or replace them with UK legislation. Obviously, going through them one by one would tie the legislative calendar up for years, so it is proposed to deal with them through an omnibus Brexit Freedoms Bill. Excuse me for being cynical, but one wonders that if the Prime Minister had not come under pressure from Partygate, would this distraction from it have got to first base? After two years of inaction, why now? And it transpires that instead of doing away with unnecessary regulations as suggested in the Brexit Freedoms Bill, legislative priority will be given to the economically destructive green agenda. This underlines Allister Heath’s comment above. There is also irrefutable evidence that a remain-supporting civil service has continually frustrated the executive over Brexit and has discouraged all meaningful economic reform. The way the Brexit Freedoms Bill is likely to play out is for every piece of EU legislation dropped, new UK regulations of similar or even tighter restrictions on production freedom will be introduced — drafted by the civil service bureaucracy with its Remainer sympathies. For improvement, read deterioration. It will require ministers in all departments to strongly resist this tendency — there’s not much hope of that. The track record of British government is not good. Since Margaret Thatcher was elected, successive conservative administrations have pledged to reduce unnecessary state intervention and ended up fostering the opposite. They raise taxes every time they are elected, even though they market themselves as the low tax party. While the number of quangos (quasi-autonomous national government organisations) has been reduced, in practice it is because they have been merged rather than abandoned and their remits have remained intact. Another measure of government intervention, the proportion of government spending to total GDP, has risen from about 40% to over 50% in 2020. An unfair comparison given the impact of covid, some would say. But there is little sign that the explosion of government spending will come back to former levels. Like the unelected bureaucracy in Brussels from which the nation sought to escape, the UK’s civil service has no concept of the economic benefits of free markets. Without having any skin in the game, they believe that government agencies are in the best position to decide economic outcomes for the common good. Decades of Keynesian reasoning, belief in bureaucratic process and never having had to work in a competitive environment have all fostered an arrogance of purpose in support of increasing statist economic management. It is a delusion that will end in crisis, as it did in 1975 when under a Labour government Britain was driven to borrow funds from the IMF that were reserved for third world nations. Against this background of restrictions to economic progress, the nation is unprepared to deal with some major issues appearing on the horizon. This article examines some of them: inflation, state spending, trade policies, foreign policies, and the economic harm from the green agenda. These are just some of the areas where policies can be improved for the good of the nation and create opportunities for greatness through economic strength. Inflation In common with other central banks, the Bank of England would have us believe that inflation is of prices only, failing to mention changes in the quantity of currency and credit in circulation. Yet even schoolchildren in primary education will tell you that if a cake is cut into a greater number of pieces, you do not end up with more cake; you end up with smaller pieces. It is the same with the money supply, or more correctly the quantity of currency and credit. Instead, central banks seem to believe in the parable of the feeding of the five thousand: five loaves and two fishes can be subdivided to satisfy the multitudes with some left over. The source of an increase in the general price level is increasing quantities of currency and credit, leading to each unit buying less, just like the smaller slices of cake. And measured by the Bank of England’s M4 (the broadest measure of currency and credit) the currency cake has been subdivided into many more smaller pieces in recent times. Figure 1 shows that M4 has increased from £1.82 trillion at the time of the Lehman failure to £2.96 trillion last September, an increase of 63%. But the rate of increase accelerated substantially in the first six months of 2020 to an annualised rate of 19.3%. This is the engine driving prices of goods higher, and to a lesser extent, services. At that time, currency inflation was everywhere, leading to significantly higher commodity prices. The commodity inputs to industry represent sharply rising production costs, coupled with skill shortages and supply chain disruptions. But these are merely the evidence of the currency cake being more thinly sliced. Buying and installing a new kitchen in your house requires more of the smaller slices of the currency cake than it did last year. All else being equal, there are still significant price effects to come with past currency debasements yet to work their way through to prices. And given that monetary policy is to meet rising prices by raising interest rates while still inflating, higher interest rates will follow as well. The effect on bond yields and equity prices will be beyond doubt. But all else is never equal, and the effect of higher production costs will be to close uneconomic production and put overindebted manufacturers out of business. This development is already becoming evident globally, with the post-pandemic bounce-back already fading. Being undermined, the effect on financial collateral values is likely to make banks more cautious, reduce bank lending, and at the margin increase the rate of foreclosures. The problem is that most currency in circulation is the counterpart of bank credit. A bond and equity bear market will lead to a contraction of bank credit, triggering policies designed to counter deflation. What will the Bank of England do? Undoubtedly, it will want to increase its monetary stimulation at a time of rising interest rates and falling financial values. The Bank will also find itself replacing contracting bank credit to keep the illusion of prosperity alive. The issuance of base currency will not be a trivial matter. But according to the Keynesians, who can only equate price levels with consumer demand, inflation during an economic slump should never happen. Worse, it will come at a time when UK banks are highly leveraged at record levels — Barclay’s, for example, has a ratio of assets to equity of about twenty times. And as the European financial centre, London is highly exposed to counterparty risk from the Eurozone which, being in a desperately fragile condition, is a major systemic threat. With these increased dangers so obviously present, it would behove the Bank and the Treasury to rebuild the national gold reserves, so foolishly sold down by Gordon Brown when he was Chancellor. It is the only insurance policy against a systemic and currency collapse that is becoming more likely as inflationary policies are pursued. Government spending As mentioned above, in 2020 the government’s share of GDP rose to over 50% and there appears to be no attempt to rein it in. And for all the rhetoric about post-Brexit Britain being an attractive place to do business, any government taking half of everyone’s income and profits in the form of taxes will fail to attract as many international businesses to locate in Britain as would otherwise be possible. Government spending is inherently wasteful. To enhance economic performance, the solution is to cut government spending to as low as possible in the shortest possible time and to reduce taxes with it. But instead, the Treasury is seeking to cover the budget deficit, which was £250bn in the last fiscal year (11.7% of GDP) by increasing taxes without reforming wasteful government spending. The civil service has protected its practices by seeing off attempts by government appointees, such as Dominic Cummings, to remodel the civil service on more effective lines. Critics of the Treasury’s policies say it is better to cut taxes to encourage growth which in future will generate the taxes to cover the deficit. But with the state already taking half of everyone’s income on average in taxes, the increase in the deficit while maintaining government spending will only add to inflationary pressures. The transfer of wealth from the private sector to the public sector by the expansion of currency will more than negate any benefit to the private sector from lower taxes. And the higher interest rates from yet higher price inflation will bankrupt overindebted borrowers in a highly leveraged economy. Those who think the Bank of England is clueless about finances and economics should not omit the Treasury from their criticisms. About the only thing the Treasury gets right is the necessity to eliminate the budget deficit, albeit by the wrong approach which is simply to increase the tax burden on the private sector. But in this objective it has consistently failed, as shown in Figure 2. From the seventies, budget deficits have only been eliminated briefly in the boom times of fiscal 1989/90 and 2000/01. The OBR’s forecast of a return to near balance in 2023/24 is a demonstration of wishful thinking. On the verge of a new downturn in production brought about by unsustainable cost pressures, the deficit is likely to decline only marginally, if at all. Budget deficits create an additional problem, because without an increase in consumer savings (discouraged by the Keynesians), national accounting shows that a twin trade deficit is the consequence. And without the trade deficit contracting, the Remainers in the establishment are bound to claim that Brexit has not delivered the benefits in trade promised by the Brexiteers. Trade policy Besides gaining political independence, Brexit was said to lead to an opportunity for better terms of trade than could be obtained as a member of the EU. Britain’s industrial history and heritage is as an entrepôt, whereby goods were imported, processed, and re-exported to international markets. The concept of freeports was promoted with this in mind. The UK government has so far made laborious progress in signing trade agreements in a protectionist world. A far better approach would be to abandon trade agreements and tariffs altogether, with the sole exception of protecting some agricultural produce, for which special treatment can be justified. Today, agriculture is a small part of the economy, and the benefits to the consumer of scrapping tariffs are relatively minor, but risk fundamentally bankrupting important parts of the rural economy. To understand why Britain should abandon trade agreements for tariff free trade, we should refer to David Ricardo’s theory of comparative advantage. Ricardo argued that if a distant producer was better at producing a good or service than a local one which is therefore unable to compete, then it is better to reap the benefit of the distant production and for the local producer to either find a better way of manufacturing the product, or to deploy the capital of production elsewhere. The theory was put to the test by Robert Peel, who as Prime Minister rescinded and finally repealed the Corn Laws between 1846—1849. The consequence for the British economy was that lower food prices in what was for most of the population a subsistence economy allowed the labouring masses to buy other things to improve their standard of living. Not only did living standards improve, but employment was created in the woollen, cotton, and tobacco industries and much else besides. Furthermore, other countries began to adopt free trade policies, which combined with sound money led to widespread economic improvement. By the First World War, over 80% of the world’s shipping then afloat, central to international trade, had been built in Britain. The situation today is different, in that the effect of removing food tariffs from what has become a relatively small sector is far too emotive for the potential gain. This is less true of industry, despite the undoubted cries that would emanate from protectionists. But a Glaswegian is perfectly free to buy a product made in Birmingham, or to contract for a service provided from London, even if there is an equivalent available in Glasgow. But what’s the difference between our Glaswegian buying something from Birmingham, compared with Stuttgart, or Lyons, or China? The answer is none, other than he gets more choice, and the signal sent to domestic manufacturers is they are uncompetitive. And it’s no good claiming that foreigners are unfair competition. If a foreign manufacturer is subsidised in its production, that is all to the benefit of UK consumers. Tariffs are a tax on consumers and lead to less efficient domestic production. The benefit for Britain is that if it becomes a genuinely free trade centre, international manufacturing and service activities would gravitate to the UK, providing additional employment — all the empirical evidence confirms this is what happens. It would be a direct challenge to the EU’s Fortress Europe trade policies designed to keep foreigners out. And to the degree that tariff reform is promoted, Britain would be doing the world a favour, because as in Robert Peel’s time, other nations would likely follow suit. The dirty truth about tariffs is that they are a tax on one’s own people as well as an unnecessary restriction of trade. Instead of recognising this truth and the evidence of its own experience, Britain is pursuing a halfway-house of laborious trade agreements. Through limited relief on taxes, the half-hearted proposal to set up free ports is an admission of the burden the government places on business in the normal course: otherwise, why are free ports an incentive? Far better to reduce taxes on all production and remove the tariff burdens on everyone. This conservative administration started with constructive trade policies, but the permanent establishment has whittled them down to the point where they are likely to be minimised and ineffective, confirming in its Remainer yearnings that Brexit was a political and economic blunder. Foreign policy One of the opportunities presented by Brexit was for the UK government to think through its foreign policy agenda, and how Britain can best serve itself and the rest of the world. The history of its foreign policy might have provided a guide, though it seems to have been ignored. Instead, Britain is sticking to the Foreign Office’s and intelligence services’ status quo, which is basically to be unquestioningly allied through the five-eyes partnership with America. Admittedly, it would have been difficult to do otherwise in the wake of President Trump’s successful takedown of Huawei, spreading fear of Chinese spying in a modern version of reds under the bed. But the reality of modern geopolitics is that Halford Mackinder’s Heartland Theory, first presented to the Royal Geographical Society in London in 1904, is coming true: “Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland; who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island; who rules the World-Island commands the world.” — Mackinder, Democratic Ideals and Reality, p. 150 There can be no doubt that the alliance between Putin’s Russia and Xi’s China together with the other members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation are proving Mackinder’s prophecy and that they are destined to become the dominant geopolitical force in the world. Therefore, Britain remains hitched in the long term to the eventual loser when it should be reconsidering its relationship with Eastern European nations, for which read Russia. A substantial rethink over foreign policy is due, and instead of the status quo, there is profit to be had in studying the status quo ante — Britain’s foreign policies at the time of the Napoleonic wars and subsequently. Lord Liverpool was Prime Minister, with Castlereagh as Foreign Secretary and Wellington as commander-in-chief of the army. They had an iron rule never to interfere in a foreign state’s domestic policies but only to act to protect British interests. Those interests principally concern trade, and they guided foreign policy and protected British property in the colonies until the First World War. Compared with the foreign policy principals of the nineteenth century, the support given to American hegemony in attacking nations in the Middle East and North Africa on purely political grounds has been a disaster, leading to unnecessary deaths and the displacement of millions of refugees. Some of these ventures could have been prevented if Britain had not joined in. Britain’s refusal to support a Syrian invasion after a parliamentary vote turned it down was a rare example of Britain standing up for its own interests, no thanks to a government which would otherwise have sent the troops in. The US is dragging its heels with respect to a trade agreement with the UK, and that should be considered as well. A modern Castlereagh would take these factors into consideration in proposing a new treaty securing trade and defence considerations for both European nations and Russia, thereby respecting their sovereignties. There are enough elements in play for a sensible outcome, particularly if America is made to accept that its role in Europe is divisive and that it has no option but to accommodate compromise. The British government is in a unique position to broker a deal, if it can demonstrate political independence from all parties, including America. The green agenda The government’s green agenda, whereby the nation is mandated to cut carbon emissions by 78% from 1990 levels by 2035 with a target of net zero by 2050 is a deliberate policy of economic destruction. After the boost to non-fossil fuel investment, initially funded by yet more government spending, the costs imposed on the population to replace domestic heating by gas and oil with heat pumps is prohibitive and impractical. It can only be achieved by the destruction and rebuilding of swathes of existing residential and commercial properties. The energy available will be overdependent on unreliable wind and solar panel sources, and the available supply will be facing far larger demands on the grid than imposed today. Keynesians advising the government seem to believe that all the investment and rebuilding to new ecological standards stimulates economic activity — this has been argued by them before in the context of post-war reconstruction. But then Bastiat’s broken window fallacy, whereby the alternative use of economic resources is not being considered, appears to have passed them by. The green replacement of transport logistics, which is well over 95% diesel driven, is a destruction of efficient and current capacity to be replaced by electrical powered transportation whose energy source is to be shared with all other energy demands. The only possible solution to the problem created by climate change activism involves the rapid development of nuclear energy. But besides taking decades from drawing board to switch on, nuclear is stymied on cost grounds, with wind and solar being far cheaper on a per therm basis. Furthermore, only 16% of Britain’s electricity supply is nuclear, and almost half of that is due to be decommissioned by 2025, with only one new plant under construction. The UK government’s green policies are propelling the nation into an energy disaster, when it has substantial fossil fuel reserves available in the form of coal and natural gas. Coal driven electricity supply has been reduced to under 3%. Instead of being phased out it should be brought back into supply production, because scrubbers remove almost all particulates and sulphates, and doubtless can be further developed to deal with CO2 emissions as well. There are good reasons to reinstate coal and for that matter gas fracking. China and India retain and are increasing their coal powered supplies, giving them a significant energy price advantage for their own economies over the West. And while they have signed up to eventually reducing their coal dependency, it is a promise to do so at a vanishingly future date. On energy grounds alone, Britain along with other European nations are committing themselves to swapping their economic status with emerging nations, so that when the latter have fully emerged, Britain and Europe will then have the third world status. Whatever climate change debate merits, it is an argument which is not to be confused with economics. It must be admitted that in the enthusiasm for doing away with fossil fuels and primary and reliable sources of energy, under this current government the outlook for Britain’s economy is of an accelerated decline. The likely outcome of government policies From what started as a government of ministers with a strong libertarian approach, two years later we see the opportunity to improve Britain’s economic consequences sadly squandered. Politically, the position is fragile, with the Prime Minister struggling to survive in the wake of the report on Partygate and the ongoing police investigation. Furthermore, he appears to have found it far easier and more pleasurable to increase spending than address wasteful government spending. It is difficult to be optimistic, with the signs that the permanent civil service establishment remains firmly in charge and is increasing its economic and bureaucratic influence over weak ministries. Perhaps the most important of the difficulties outlined above is monetary inflation, likely to lead to higher interest rates in the coming months. This is not a trend isolated to sterling, and even on a best-case basis whereby a Conservative government addresses the issues raised in this article, it is very likely that attempts at economic, monetary, trade policy, foreign policy, and administrative reforms will be overtaken by the repetitive cycle of bank lending contraction. So highly geared have banks in the Eurozone become, for which London acts as the principal financial centre, that rising interest rates seem sure to trigger a global banking crisis with London as an epicentre on a scale larger than that of thirteen years ago when Lehman failed. Such an event is likely to destroy not only banking and central banking as we know it today, but currencies, the debasement of which socialising governments increasingly rely upon. Nevertheless, the issues raised in this article will remain and need to be addressed after a currency and credit crisis has passed and economic stability begins to return. The role for a British government with respect to foreign policy will become more important, particularly for post-crisis European political stability when the euro and possibly the entire Brussels construct have been destroyed. In this event the threat of another European war cannot be dismissed, and we will need the wisdom of a modern Lord Liverpool and Viscount Castlereagh. The destruction of the fiat currency system will provide opportunities for a reset, based on the lessons learned. The post-crisis government must learn from the mistakes of past errors and be the servant of the people and not its master. It must not interfere in the economy, and keep its size to the minimum possible, taxing no more than 10—15% of everyone’s income and profits. It must restrict its role to providing a framework for contract and criminal law and the policing of the latter, as well as the defence of the realm. It must not respond to any demands for special treatment from either businesses or individuals. Individuals must take full responsibility for their own actions, and any welfare strictly limited. And most importantly, the state must ensure that currency is sound, backed by and exchangeable for gold coin. Tyler Durden Sun, 02/06/2022 - 07:35.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeFeb 6th, 2022

Supply Chain Woes Catalyzing A New Era Of Retail Logistics Transparency

The “just in time” supply chain worked well enough to paper over the cracks, but since COVID-19, retailers have been grappling with a supply chain crisis. The pandemic closed ports, caused goods and containers to pile up, and crippled air freight. Since the economy started reopening, demand has shot up, and the flaws yawned into […] The “just in time” supply chain worked well enough to paper over the cracks, but since COVID-19, retailers have been grappling with a supply chain crisis. The pandemic closed ports, caused goods and containers to pile up, and crippled air freight. Since the economy started reopening, demand has shot up, and the flaws yawned into gaping chasms. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Containers left on the wrong side of the world caused a shortage that drove prices sky high. A shortage of truck drivers, train drivers, and port workers added to the delays, with unloaded containers creating blockages at ports. There’s reportedly only one driver for every nine job postings, and 77% of the major ports are experiencing “abnormally long” turnaround. As a result, online shoppers saw more than 2 billion out-of-stock messages in October. Headlines warning about major shipping delays heading into the holiday shopping season led consumers to order early, which disrupted the normal shipping rhythms even more. The impact on retailers is significant. Independent sellers are getting squeezed out because they can’t compete with big chains who pay over the odds to get their goods. “It’s very unpredictable. I don’t know what I’m getting, or when,” says Kim Mitchell, an independent toy shop owner, while an outfitters’ business in Pennsylvania hadn’t received around 25% of its holiday orders as of early November. The big names are also suffering. Clothing retailer Gap saw share prices crash in November due to product shipment delays, reporting losses of $152 million in Q3 2021, compared with a profit of $95 million for Q3 2020. While the supply chain crisis could be finally ending, there’s still anxiety about supply chain crisis 2.0, as a new variant rises and more people are unable to come in to work, which could leave ports and routes closed again due to lacanpower. Niko Polvinen, CEO of logistics tech company Logmore, says that there are steps retailers can take to minimize the damage of ongoing delays. “This is a global shipping problem that’s going to take months to sort out,” he acknowledges. “But we’re also seeing retailers and the logistics companies that serve them taking steps to change their management approaches in ways that could result in a better, smoother, and more reliable supply chain for the long term.” Polvinen is adamant that the right tools, together with the right attitude, can mitigate the impact of the supply chain crisis, make retailers more resilient to future disasters, and help the supply chain run more smoothly even when there’s no crisis. “We believe that the changes in shipping that can help retailers cope with the crisis, can also make them more resilient and help them improve the customer experience that they offer,” he tells me. Smoother Supply Chains Start With Visibility Retailers need real time data, to track each shipment across the entire route. Logistics companies need to deliver visibility into the conditions, progress and potential upcoming bottlenecks of each package on a minute by minute basis – and to their credit, they are stepping up to the plate. “We’re seeing a real change in the way that retailers and logistics teams relate to data. There’s been a significant uptake in the number of queries we’ve had from retail suppliers who see the need to offer their clients complete data and insights about their shipments,” reports Polvinen. Logistics companies need to be able to rely on shipment data, which requires trackers that keep working in all temperatures and conditions and can be read easily without expensive or error-prone equipment. Data needs to be not just collected from multiple sources, but also shared with upstream and downstream partners. Retailers should have access to reports about progress, conditions, etc. in real time, so they are informed, aligned with other stakeholders, and able to make decisions from a position of strength. That, Polvinen points out, is why logistics data collection and sharing should be automated — because manual processes are unreliable. It’s easy for someone to forget to check a tracker, or an update to be delayed, etc. “I often say, let the packages tell their story,” says Polvinen with a smile. “When data gathering and sharing is automated, nothing gets overlooked.” Transparency Breeds Trust And Loyalty Customers naturally get frustrated when their orders don’t arrive on time, with 58% of respondents to an Oracle survey saying they’d stop buying from a brand after one to three delays or disruptions. But the way you handle it can make a big difference to their loyalty. When asked what would improve their purchase experience at a time of frequent delays and shortages, 63% of consumers said they want more regular updates about shipping status, 59% want more transparency about inventory, and 54% want more information about potential supply chain issues. What’s more, 78% would be more willing to buy from a company if they knew it used advanced technologies like artificial intelligence to manage its supply chain. There’s a vast difference between telling a customer that their new gaming console has been delayed, and telling them that it will arrive three weeks late due to a bottleneck at the Port of Los Angeles. Everyone is happier when they feel like someone’s in control, so retailers who are upfront and honest about current and potential delays enjoy more trust and loyalty from their customers. Logistics Reliability Requires The Full Picture “As much as real time, reliable data is a game-changer, it’s not enough on its own,” observes Polvinen. “You need the wider picture. Not just where this shipment is at the moment, but what’s coming up ahead, what is happening to all your shipments over time, where there’s bad weather brewing, where the normal ‘best route’ is closed because of natural events or geopolitics or even a local holiday.” Companies with smart data analytics capabilities know how to slice data into the insights that underpin better decisions. You’re in far better shape if you can, for example, identify which vendors or regions are plagued with more delays, so you can change routes and/or vendors as necessary; see if high delays are seasonal for certain areas so you can avoid them; and compare logistics service providers’ relative efficiency, to select the best option at each time. Accessing this information with dynamic dashboard visualizations means you can see the best choice for each shipment at a glance, removing friction from decision-making. Deeper insights reveal opportunities to provide better CX. For example, one route might be free from bottlenecks at the moment, but the price is high. With this information, you can offer your customers the option of paying more for on-time delivery, something for which 81% say they would pay a premium, according to Oracle. Opportunities For Retailers To Build Back Better Nobody welcomed the supply chain crisis, but the way that retailers respond could lay the groundwork for a more efficient and resilient supply chain for a long time to come. By improving visibility, transparency, and agility across the entire supply chain, and keeping customers fully informed, retailers and logistics providers can stop being slaves to the unexpected and optimize supply across the board. Updated on Dec 27, 2021, 1:52 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkDec 27th, 2021

65 thoughtful gifts for Mom, from a personalized photo calendar to a customizable pendant necklace

If you're looking for a thoughtful gift for Mom, we've put together a list for all budgets that has plenty of things she's sure to love. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Getty Images Show Mom your appreciation with any of these 65 thoughtful gifts. From loungewear to jewelry to tech gadgets, there's a gift for all tastes and budgets. Still looking for a gift? Check out our list of the All-Time Best products we've ever tested. Although mothers may be challenging to shop for — humbly resigning to the phrase "you don't have to get me anything" — we can safely say she'll love any of the gifts in this guide. This list can help you find what you're looking for or, at the very least, spark some inspiration. Whether she's into the latest and greatest tech, loves to read, or wants to update her work-from-home wardrobe with comfortable loungewear, there's a unique gift for Mom, below.See all our gift ideas below, or use these links to jump to products that suit your mother's particular gift needs.Home gifts for MomFashion gifts for MomBeauty gifts for MomTech gifts for MomFood gifts for MomWellness gifts for MomHere are 65 of the best gifts for Mom:This list includes a Sponsored Product that has been suggested by Leesa. It also meets our editorial criteria in terms of quality and value.*Home gifts for MomA cocktail maker that mixes drinks in secondsBartesianBartesian Premium Cocktail and Margarita Machine, available at Amazon, $349.85Summer's here, which, for some moms, means it's time to break out refreshing cocktails. This cocktail maker will make Mom's life a whole lot easier, since all she has to do is pop in a cocktail capsule, choose her preferred strength, and press mix. She'll be sipping a margarita, cosmopolitan, or gin martini in seconds.Read our full review of the Bartesian Premium Cocktail and Margarita Machine here.  An incredibly comfortable mattressLeesaLeesa Hybrid Mattress, available at Leesa, starting at $1,614 (Queen)The Leesa Hybrid is one of our favorite mattresses because of its comfortable memory foam and motion transfer. It's soft, breathable, and supportive, so we're confident that Mom would love it, too. Read our review of the Leesa Hybrid here.*Sponsored by LeesaA digital picture frame for remembering the good timesAuraCarver Digital Picture Frame, available at Aura, $169It's hard to find a mom who isn't obsessed with taking photos and displaying them all around the house. But instead of buying tons of picture frames, she can show off all her family photos using this digital picture frame. You can upload an unlimited amount of pictures to the Aura app, connect the frame to Wi-Fi, and she's all set. Read our full review of Aura here.A personalized photo calendar for her deskArtifact UprisingWalnut Desktop Photo Calendar, available at Artifact Uprising, starting at $35A desk calendar can add a decorative touch to her desk, but one that displays photos of her and her family makes for an even better gift for mom. She'll love glancing at her calendar and being reminded of her favorite memories with you.A fancy candle setOtherland/Alyssa Powell/InsiderOtherland Candles The Threesome, available at Otherland, $89Candles make any home smell great, and this fancy candle set from Otherland will look gorgeous in any room in her house. It includes three coconut and soy wax blend candles in beautiful glass vessels. Each candle burns for 55 hours — that's a lot of time that your mom can spend enjoying this gift. We named candles by Otherland one of the All-Time Best products we've tested.Read our full review of Otherland candles here.A coffee table book for the mom who loves photographyAmazon"Women: The National Geographic Image Collection", available at Amazon, $27.05You can't go wrong with a coffee table book gift for Mom, and this one is a true standout. The photography is sure to be top-notch, since National Geographic created this book. Moms often serve as constant sources of inspiration, so why not pass along this book of powerful women to your mom.Soft, crisp sheets and beddingBrooklinenBrooklinen Queen Classic Hardcore Sheet Bundle, available at Brooklinen, starting at $198Brooklinen Queen Luxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle, available at Brooklinen, starting at $240Brooklinen's luxe sheets are the ones we always recommend to friends, family, and readers, for their affordable price, sophisticated look, and comfort.The Hardcore Sheet Bundles have everything she needs to completely makeover her bed — and stay nice and cozy all year long. Each bundle includes a flat sheet, fitted sheet, duvet cover, and four pillowcases. Brooklinen also sells comforters, pillows, candles, and blankets. This is another item that features in our list of the All-Time Best products we've tested.Read our full review of Brooklinen sheets here.A custom map posterGrafomap InstagramGrafomap Custom Map Poster, available at Grafomap, starting at $49Grafomap is a website that lets you design map posters of any place in the world. You can make one of your mom's hometown, her college town, her favorite travel destination, or the place where she got engaged or married — you're only limited by your imagination.Read our full review of the Grafomap Custom Map Poster here.A cute potted plant instead of flowersThe SillShop The Sill's selection of plants starting at $14The Sill is a relatively new startup that's making the process of choosing and buying house plants much easier. This gift set is just one of many options you can choose from — you can even shop based on which plants are pet-safe. Read our full review of The Sill here.A Le Creuset Dutch ovenAmazonLe Creuset Round Dutch Oven, available at Williams-Sonoma, starting at $230At $160, this Le Creuset Dutch oven is the most expensive piece of cookware in my kitchen, but it is also my most used. It comes in tons of colors, so you can choose Mom's favorite. We've even ranked it as the best overall in our guide to the best Dutch ovens. It's one of the best products we've ever tested.Read our full review of the Le Creuset Round Dutch Oven here.A hardcover photo book for any mother figureArtifact UprisingHardcover Photo Book, available at Artifact Uprising, starting at $72Honor any mother figure with a custom hardcover photo album that commemorates their best life moments. You can tie in her life story with a display-worthy dust jacket that puts her front and center. Choose from 11 fabric binding colors to complement her bookshelf or coffee table.A cutting board in the shape of the state she calls homeAmazonTotally Bamboo State Cutting & Serving Board, available at Amazon, $29.99Available for all 50 states as well British Columbia, Puerto Rico, Long Island, and Ontario, this uniquely shaped cutting and serving board doubles as kitchen decor. It's a great gift for the mom who loves spending time in the kitchen. A weighted blanket to help her sleep betterBearabyBearaby 15-pound Cotton Napper, available at Bearaby, $249Made of soft organic cotton just like her favorite T-shirt, this weighted blanket can help her fall asleep faster and its buttery softness is perfect for wrapping up in. We ranked it as the best weighted throw blanket in our guide to the best weighted blankets. A sous vide for making tender, perfectly cooked meatAmazonAnova Nano Sous Vide Bluetooth Precision Cooker, available at Amazon and Target, from $99The Anova sous vide is a reasonably priced investment that just might change Mom's life for the better. Not only will it boil and poach eggs with ease, but it'll also produce tender, perfectly cooked meat every time. You can hear more about why we love this product in our guide to the best sous vide machines. An alarm clock that uses light to wake her up gentlyAmazonPhilips Light Alarm Clock, available at Amazon, $99.99Moms work hard and they often have to wake up early. Just because she has to wake up before the sun rises that doesn't mean she has to awaken to the blaring of an obnoxious alarm clock.Philips makes a lovely alarm clock that gradually lights up to mimic the sunrise and wake her up naturally. The light alarm clock also displays the time and has customizable sounds so she can wake up feeling rested and ready for the day. You can find out why we recommend this alarm clock in our guide to the best sunrise alarm clocks. Read our full review of the Philips Wake-Up Light.An indoor herb garden that requires zero effortClick & GrowClick & Grow Smart Garden 3 Indoor Gardening Kit, available at Click & Grow, $139.95Every chef knows that cooking with fresh ingredients like basil can make a big difference. The Click & Grow Smart Garden is a self-watering system that allows even the most amateur gardeners to quickly and effortlessly grow herbs and vegetables. We tried it and were impressed with how well it worked, and the truly effortless process. Read our full review of the Click & Grow Smart Garden 3 Indoor Gardening Kit here.A retro-inspired electric kettleNordstromSMEG 50's Retro Style 7-Cup Electric Kettle, available at Williams-Sonoma, starting at $169.95With this retro-inspired electric kettle in her kitchen, she'll spend much less time making tea and more time enjoying a cup. It comes in 10 fun colors, like pastel green, pastel blue, and bright red. You can learn more about this kettle in our guide to the best electric kettles. Fashion gifts for MomA recycled fleece to stay warmGirlfriend CollectiveTeddy Recycled Half-Zip Fleece, available at Girlfriend Collective, $109Moms love effortless comfort and this super soft fleece delivers just that for her. Not only will she enjoy the warmth, but she'll feel good knowing she's helping the environment with this recycled pullover.A gold square watch to keep track of timeNordstromMVMT Signature Square Bracelet Watch, available at Nordstrom, $128For the mom who's always running late, this elegant square watch bares a minimalist and luxurious design that elevates any look. The gold watch is so impossible to miss that she'll now be on time to every occasion with it as a reminder.A lovely silk scarf for any outfitNordstromPaisley Square scarf, available at Nordstrom, $49.99You can't go wrong with a silk scarf if her style embraces a refined, ladylike taste. The elegant floral print adds gorgeous detail to an outfit that gives it a more polished and soft feminine appearance.A jewelry cleaner for all of her precious piecesMagnasonicMagnasonic Professional Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner, available at Amazon, $39.99Your mom's soft spot might be jewelry, but taking care of each piece is a must. This jewelry cleaner removes dirt and grime in minutes using water only. She'll appreciate this little machine that will take great care of her jewelry. A passport cover and luggage tagLeatherologyDeluxe Passport Cover + Luggage Tag Set, available at Leatherology, starting at $85 + monogram $20Mom might be planning her next trip out of town, and what better travel accessory to have than a personalized passport cover and luggage tag? She'll be less likely to lose her passport or suitcase thanks to these colorful accessories that also sport her initials. A chic purse that can turn into a backpackSenreveAlunna, available at Senreve, starting at $645A purse is an obvious gift for Mom if she has an eye for handbags. You can mix things up by giving her one that's both a purse and a backpack. The Alunna by Senreve is versatile and stylish, and it can be worn on her back, hand, over the shoulder, or across her body. Plus, it can organize all of Mom's essentials with its two interior pockets and exterior cardholder.A pair of sunglasses to block the sun in styleGlassesUSACheck out GlassesUSA's selection of sunglasses, starting at $29Sunglasses are spring and summer essentials and a perfect gift for Mom. GlassesUSA carries a wide variety of popular brands, including Ray-Ban, Oakley, Muse, Prada, and more. Through June 15, get 30% off your entire order for sunglasses and eyeglasses with free Rx lenses and shipping, if you enter code USA30 at checkout. Also through June 15, use code DEAL60 to save 60% off frames for sunglasses and eyeglasses with free Rx lenses and shipping. Read our full review of GlassesUSA here.A leather wallet that can be monogrammed with her initialsLeatherologyKlyde Continental Wallet, available at Leatherology (+ $10 for monogram), $120A sophisticated leather wallet instantly elevates a busy woman's everyday style and keeps her organized when she's constantly moving from place to place. You can get this leather wallet from Leatherology in 11 colors and three different personalization options. A luxurious bathrobeParachuteParachute Classic Bathrobe, available at Parachute, $99A plush bathrobe will make every shower feel like a trip to the spa. Parachute's soft Turkish cotton robe comes in four great colors: white, mineral, blush, and stone. This cozy gift for Mom will become her go-to pick. Read our full review of the Parachute Classic Bathrobe here.Luxe slippers with a cozy cashmere blendMargauxSlippers, available at Margaux, $158Made from a soft wool-cashmere blend and cushiony foam padding, Margaux slippers feel like stepping into a cloud. She'll enjoy wearing any of the three styles — Slide, Ballet, or Cozy — around the house.The gift of comfortable loungewearTommy JohnShop all women's loungewear and sleepwear, available at Tommy JohnTommy John E-Gift Card, available at Tommy John, starting at $25The Insider Reviews team is positively smitten with Tommy John's loungewear and underwear — so much so, we named the latter one of the best women's underwear brands in our buying guide, so you can be sure Mom will love it too.Alexa-enabled glassesAmazonEcho Frames Smart Glasses, available at Amazon, $154.99If your mom loves tech, she'll think these smart glasses are from the future. Amazon's Echo Frames allow for open-ear audio, hands-free calling, and access to thousands of Alexa's skills.Read our full review of the Amazon Echo Frames.A roomy work bag with tons of pocketsDagne DoverDagne Dover Allyn Tote, available at Dagne Dover, from $239Dagne Dover's Allyn Tote is a sophisticated and spacious work bag with a padded laptop sleeve, water bottle holder, and other thoughtful interior pockets that will keep her organized and always ready to go. A jewelry holderCatbirdCatbird Swan Ring Holder, available at Catbird, $32This ornate swan is a subtle jewelry holder that'll dress up any bathroom countertop or nightstand.Pearl hoop earringsMejuriMejuri Pearl Hoops, available at Mejuri, $65Get your mom a beautiful pair of earrings or a necklace with her zodiac sign that she can wear every day. Mejuri is a favorite jewelry startup of ours, so your Mom will likely enjoy this Canadian company's delicate jewelry, too.Read our full review of Mejuri here.A personalized T-shirtKnown SupplyKnown Supply Personalized Women's Fitted Crew, available at Known Supply, $32You can personalize this comfortable Pima cotton tee with "mom" or "mama" — or any other name that's under nine characters — in cute, loopy cursive. A crossbody bag with a hand-painted monogramClaire V.Claire V. Midi Sac, avaliable at Claire V., starting at $335 (+ $50 for hand-painted monogram)This leather crossbody bag comes in tons of colors and is great for travel and daytime outings — for an extra $50, you can customize it with a gold foil or hand-painted monogram. Popular leggings with a no-slip fitVuoriDaily Legging, available at Vuori, $84Vuori is well-known for its super-soft fabrics and flattering cuts, and the Daily Leggings are just another example. This style looks like a pair of joggers but fits like a pair of leggings. The high waistband and drawstring allow for a snug feel while the brand's smoothing technology gives an airbrushed appearance.Read more about the Daily Legging here.A pendant necklaceSet & StonesSet & Stones Cheyenne Mama Necklace, available at Nordstrom, $198Your mom will want to keep this pendant necklace very close to her heart. It'll sit lightly around her neck and be a subtle reminder of her special bond with you. Beauty gifts for MomA luxurious facial treatment deviceZIIPZIIP GX Series, available at ZIIP Beauty, $495Switch up her facial appointments with the ZIIP experience that beautifully improves your skin beyond your imagination with every use. The ZIIP devices employ energy from tiny electrical currents with a conductive gel to sculpt and tighten the skin for a radiant glow. A floral fragrance with a pear and white freesia scentJo MaloneEnglish Pear & Freesia Cologne, available at Jo Malone, $144If she prefers a light yet luscious fragrance, this Jo Malone perfume makes for a lovely layer. This floral perfume accentuates her style with a smell of autumn from the freshness of the pear and freesias along with the subtle woodsy scents.A face mask set for at-home spa daysfreshMini Loves Mini Masks Set, available at fresh, $56Moms need time to themselves, too, and these face mask minis will have her and her skin feeling rejuvenated. She can kick back and relax with one of the black tea masks, the clay mask, the rose mask, or even the sugar exfoliator.The weighted sleep mask that's the ticket to instant sleepAnthropologieNodpod Weighted Eye Mask, available at Anthropologie, $23.80Move over, weighted blankets. These eye masks have gentle weights with just the right amount of pressure to lull her to sleep. The four equally weighted pods let her rest easy no matter her sleep position. Custom haircare products that cater to her hair goalsFunction of Beauty/InstagramPersonalized 8 oz. Shampoo and Conditioner Set, available at Function of Beauty, $29.99Function of Beauty revolutionizes haircare by creating a custom line of shampoo and conditioner that's based on her hair type and goals. She can choose the formula's color and fragrance as well as add personalized details like her name on the bottle.Read our full review of Function of Beauty here.Tech Gifts for MomA voice-assisted remote for all her streaming needsAmazonFire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote, available at Amazon, $24.99She can access hundreds of streaming services, including Hulu, Netflix, Disney Plus, HBO Max, and more, with this affordable entertainment hub. Plus, Amazon Prime members get unlimited access to thousands of movies and TV episodes with Amazon Prime Video. This model supports up to 4K Ultra HD. You can read more in our guide to the best streaming devices.The Amazon EchoAmazonAmazon Echo (4th Generation), available at Amazon, $54.99There's an ever-so-slight learning curve in figuring out what Amazon's Alexa can and can't do, but once that's passed, the Echo can forecast the weather, read an audiobook, order a pizza, tell jokes, or any number of things moms should find charming. Read our full review of the Amazon Echo (4th Generation) here.A waterproof Kindle PaperwhiteAmazonAmazon Kindle Paperwhite, available at Amazon, $129.99On the other hand, if she's tired of lugging around heavy hardcovers, the Kindle Paperwhite is an extremely thoughtful and practical gift for Mom. The latest version is waterproof, too, which is a huge bonus.Read our full review of the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite here.A heated massager to melt the day awayAmazonInvoSpa Shiatsu Back, Neck, and Shoulder Massager, available at Amazon, $49.97After a long day, all she wants is some true relaxation to melt away the tension that's built up. While she can't get a real massage every day, you can give her this at-home shiatsu massager, which can give her a quality massage for much less.Read our full review of the InvoSpa Shiatsu Back, Neck, and Shoulder Massager here.A personalized video message from her favorite celebrityCameoPersonalized video message, available at Cameo, starting at $1When trying to think of a unique gift for Mom, one that might not immediately come to mind is Cameo. The online service has tons of famous people she might want a personalized video message from, like her favorite actor from "The Office" or most-loved musician. Whether it's for her birthday, Mother's Day, or a different milestone, there's something for everyone on Cameo, with all types of categories and price points to choose from.Read more about Cameo and how to use Cameo. Food gifts for MomA tasty baking cookbookAmazonDessert Person cookbook, available at Amazon, $22.24For the mom who adores baking, this dessert cookbook has plenty of baking recipes to satisfy the family's sweet tooth.  This cookbook offers recipes and guidance on how to bake sweet and savory treats whether it's a caramelized honey pumpkin pie or English muffins.  A delicious treat from Milk BarMilk Bar/Alyssa Powell/InsiderCheck out all the goodies in Milk Bar's Gift Shop starting at $39Milk Bar's treats will definitely satisfy her sweet tooth. Choose from a limited-edition Strawberry Shortcake Cake, the bestselling B'Day Truffles, and plenty more. We break down how to shop for Milk Bar online, here. Milk bar cakes topped our list of the All-Time Best things we've tested. Read our full review of Milk Bar.A wooden gift crate with 2 pounds of cheese insideMurray's CheeseMurray's Cheese Greatest Hits Gift Box, available at Murray's Cheese, $95Cheese lovers will find a lot to like in this wooden gift crate (yes, crate) from Murray's Cheese, which includes 2 pounds of English cheddar, brie, cave-aged Gruyere, and one-year-aged Manchego along with snacks to pair with each cheese: spiced cherry preserves, sea salt and olive oil crackers, and Marcona almonds. It's a mouthwatering gift for Mom that'll surely satisfy her cheese cravings. For more of the best from Murray's Cheese, check out our guide to the best cheeses you can buy online.Read our review of Murray's Cheese gift boxes.A cookbook for 'Girl Meets Farm' fansAmazon"Molly on the Range: Recipes and Stories from An Unlikely Life on a Farm" by Molly Yeh, available at Amazon, $19.54Not only does this cookbook contain more than 120 delicious recipes, you'll also find tons of personal stories and beautiful photos of Food Network star and award-winning blogger Molly Yeh and her family.A gift subscription to a popular coffee clubAtlas Coffee ClubAtlas Coffee Club 3-Month Gift Subscription, available at Atlas Coffee Club, $60If her veins run dark roast, a coffee gift won't go unused. We recommend a gift subscription to the Atlas Coffee Club, which curates a global selection of single-origin coffee that gets freshly roasted and shipped to your house from $9 per bag. Read our full review of the Atlas Coffee Club Subscription here.Wellness gifts for MomA water bottle that solves all pain pointsHydro Flask/Alyssa Powell/InsiderHydro Flask Wide Mouth Watter Bottle (32 oz), available at Hydro Flask, from $32.93Hydo Flask's products have a cult following for a number of reasons: The double-walled vacuum seal keeps hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold for hours on end, many products come with a lifetime warranty, and the bright colors add a bit of fun to something that's otherwise thought of as ordinary. You can hear more about why we love this water bottle, in our guide to the best travel mugs. Hydro Flask water bottles are one of the All-Time Best products we've ever tested.* Free shipping on all orders with code INSIDER at checkout. Code expires 1/31/22.A year-long MasterClass membership to learn new thingsMasterClassAnnual Membership, available at MasterClass, $180/yearMasterClass, unlike many competitors, follows a format that feels like a one-sided conversation with your favorite icons rather than a traditional academic setting. It's interesting — and you can go as deep (into reading materials) or shallow (listening to their insight while running errands) as you like to. An Unlimited Membership will give them access to all the site's classes for the year.The site hosts classes taught by well-known celebrities and industry leaders — from Neil deGrasse Tyson teaching Scientific Thinking and Communication to Malcolm Gladwell on Writing, Shonda Rhimes on Writing for Television, and Bob Iger on Business Strategy and Leadership.Read our full review of MasterClass here.A DNA test kit23andme23andMe Health + Ancestry DNA Test, available at 23andMe, $129This genetic test kit from 23andMe is a unique and cool gift idea for any mom who's interested in learning more about her family history.A 'book of the month' membershipBook of the MonthBook of the Month Monthly Membership, available at Book of the Month, $49.99If she loves to read and isn't ready to go 100% digital, a Book of the Month membership is the perfect gift. This gift membership gets Mom her pick of the best new books for $12.50 to $15 a month depending on the length of subscription you choose to give her (three, six, or 12 months). She can also request extra books if she reads more than one book a month. Barack Obama's bestselling bookJamie McCarthy/Getty Images"A Promised Land" by Barack Obama on Kindle, available at Amazon, $17.99If Mom likes to read, Barack Obama's bestselling book 'A Promised Land' is probably on her reading list. Instead of risking having a hard copy arrive late, you can gift her the Kindle version. A daily planner for the busy momAmazonPanda Planner Daily Planner 2021, available at Amazon. $19.97 Even the most organized mom could use the help of a trusty planner. This one from Panda Planner has monthly, weekly, and daily sections for all of her needs. She'll have her schedule, tasks, goals, and projects all in one place. We like the layout of this planner so much that we include it in our guide to the best planners.A yoga mat for the fitness enthusiastMandukaProLite Yoga Mat, available at Manduka, $99For the mom who doubles as a yogi, this mat has just the right amount of padding, is made of eco-friendly materials, and has a no-slip grip texture. It has even earned the title of best yoga mat overall in our guide to the best yoga mats.A fresh flower bouquetUrban StemsUrbanStems bouquets, available at UrbanStems, $40 and upWe've ordered bouquets from UrbanStems and it offers gorgeous flower arrangements, potted plants, and even dried bouquets, and they're delivered quickly, too. A bouquet of flowers is a classic gift for Mom that she'll love on any given day. Its bouquets are one of the best things we've ever tested.Read our full review of UrbanStems.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 23rd, 2021

3 Reasons Why Gold ETFs Will Likely Gain in 2022

After a subdued year 2021, gold bullion ETFs may sizzle in 2022 due to low real yield, undervalued status and safe-haven demand caused by the mutations of the virus. Gold bullion ETF SPDR Gold Shares GLD was up 17.6% in 2019 and 24.4% in 2020. So far this year, the bullion ETF has lost 7.24% against 23.4% gains in the S&P 500. While 2021 has been downbeat for gold, 2022 could bring luck for the yellow metal. Let’s delve a little deeper.High Inflation; Real Yield to Remain Low in 2022Gold normally underperforms in a rising rate environment. With the Fed likely to turn hawkish in 2022, many fear that a gold rally may not be possible. But investors should note that real yield is still low, in fact, negative, due to rising inflation.As of Dec 14, 2021, the benchmark real treasury yield was negative 0.98%, though the negativity lessened over the course of the month as December opened with a real yield of negative 1.01%. With inflation likely to stay strong in early 2022 due to virus-led supply chain disruptions, we expect gold to gain as the metal is known as an inflation-protected asset.  Commerzbank also sees 2022 as a year for gold, per kitco.com. Its report said that “in the United States, inflation is currently at a 39-year high of 6.8%, in Germany at more than 5%, the highest level in 29 years, and in the Eurozone at 4.9%, the highest since the start of the monetary union in 1999.”Market participants do not expect “inflation to return to the Fed's 2% inflation target in the medium to long term. Should the higher inflation become entrenched and the central banks fail to react appropriately to it, gold would probably benefit from this as an inflation hedge,” per Commerzbank.The bank also highlighted that according to a study by the World Gold Council, gold holds its head high with its price performance in phases of high inflation (inflation >5%). Even with inflation rates between 2% and 5%, the performance of gold is considerably positive.Overvaluation Concerns in MarketsThe S&P 500 is now about 107% higher than its low in March 2020. The Nasdaq too has more than doubled since then. Although there are reasons for such a rally as vaccine distribution boosted the possibilities of faster-than-expected recovery, the bubble fear is also brewing. Faster Fed policy tightening amid surging price inflation may also curtail the momentum of the stock market rally. If the market crashes on profit booking or overvaluation concerns, gold will see some opportune moments.Gold: An Undervalued Asset? + Mutations of VirusGold is now a relatively cheap investment opportunity with losses so far in 2021. If the equity rally halts and corrects ahead on new COVID-19 variants or overvaluation concerns, one may find safety in gold investing.The infection of a new coronavirus strain, namely Omicron, has had a considerable impact on Wall Street. Europe enacted lockdown due to rising virus cases.Even if we can handle Omicron as of now, mutations of the virus will continue to throw the global market occasionally in a wavering zone. The central banks will not likely be of much support anymore and massive fiscal support is also unlikely.ETFs in FocusAgainst this backdrop, investors can keep track of regular gold ETFs like GLD, iShares Gold Trust IAU, Aberdeen Standard Physical Swiss Gold Shares ETF SGOL and SPDR Gold MiniShares Trust GLDM, and leveraged ETFs like DB Gold Double Long ETN DGP and ProShares Ultra Gold UGL.Bottom LineHaving said this, we would like to note that the current scenario is not in favor of gold investing fully as the greenback is gaining strength, the stock market is still rallying and Omicron is still under control. Gold investors should closely watch the economic and market events before taking any decision. Want key ETF info delivered straight to your inbox? Zacks’ free Fund Newsletter will brief you on top news and analysis, as well as top-performing ETFs, each week.Get it free >>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 SPDR Gold Shares (GLD): ETF Research Reports iShares Gold Trust (IAU): ETF Research Reports Aberdeen Standard Physical Gold Shares ETF (SGOL): ETF Research Reports ProShares Ultra Gold (UGL): ETF Research Reports DB Gold Double Long ETN (DGP): ETF Research Reports SPDR Gold MiniShares Trust (GLDM): ETF Research Reports To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 17th, 2021

52 Amazon gifts teenagers actually want, from instant cameras to a necklace of their zodiac sign

Finding a gift for a teenager can be tough, but there are a lot of options on Amazon. Here are 52 gift ideas teens will actually want to keep. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.Amazon has an abundance of great gifts for teens, from the "Dune" books to a Kindle to read them on.Amazon Teens are notoriously difficult to shop for, especially when it comes to gifts.  To help ease shopping stress, we put together a list of 52 cool and convenient Amazon gifts.  Still looking for gift ideas? Check out our list of the all-time best products we've ever tested. Teens may be difficult to shop for, but you don't need to search far and wide for gift ideas — Amazon has options in everything from tech to beauty products.From the popular book-turned-into-movie "Dune" to a Nintendo Switch, we rounded up the best 52 best gifts for the teens in your life. They cover a range of prices and brands, including newer startups you didn't even know you could find on Amazon. Check out all 52 gifts for teens on Amazon:A pair of trendy, easy-to-use AirPodsAmazonIf you're after the title of their favorite relative of the year, AirPod Pros could be the convenient, easy-to-use gift to get.If you're looking to spend less, we also recommend great headphones that won't break $50.$179.00 FROM AMAZONOriginally $249.99 | Save 28%$179.99 FROM TARGETOriginally $249.99 | Save 28%$189.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $249.99 | Save 24%$179.00 FROM WALMARTOriginally $249.00 | Save 28%$209.00 FROM B&HOriginally $249.00 | Save 16%A cute, heart-shaped waffle makerCrate & BarrelSometimes all anyone wants is anything delicious and aesthetically appealing — like heart-shaped waffles. This waffle maker is small, too, so it shouldn't crowd their kitchen too much.$16.98 FROM AMAZONOriginally $17.98 | Save 6%Smart lights that are compatible with Amazon AlexaAmazonThey can use their voice to control these smart light bulbs through an Alexa Echo, Echo Dot, or Google Home Assistant. They can also give hands-free commands to set the brightness, turn lights on and off, change colors, create timers, and more to customize their space.$17.98 FROM AMAZONA GoProAmazonGoPro is the rugged, waterproof action camera they can take with them anywhere. While older models will still get the job done, the Hero10 is the newest and best overall model.You can read a full GoPro Hero 10 review here, but the gist is this: The Hero 10 is a performance camera, but its upgrades allow it to do what even bigger and more expensive cameras can do, too. $429.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $499.99 | Save 14%A fun outdoor game they can play with friendsDICK'S Sporting GoodsOn a beautiful, sunny day in the city, you'll probably see at least one group playing this fun and active game in the park. With rules similar to volleyball, it's incredibly easy to learn — so friend groups or families can get involved.$55.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $64.98 | Save 14%$69.98 FROM DICK'S SPORTING GOODSThe new Fire HD 10 tablet for music, games, and mediaAmazonWe think Amazon's latest Fire tablet is the best and most affordable tablet for basic needs on the market (as long as you don't expect to use Google apps). With it, they can stream videos, browse the web, and read books. Read more about it here.$99.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $149.99 | Save 33%The popular Dune seriesAmazonAfter "Harry Potter" and classics commonly found on high school syllabi, Dune is the #15 bestselling young adult book on Amazon. The first movie in the series, which stars Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya, premiered on October 21 (you can watch it on HBO Max) and the second is coming out October 2023 — so they'll have enough time to catch up before the next installment.$75.59 FROM AMAZONOriginally $108.00 | Save 30%The Nintendo SwitchNintendoThe Nintendo Switch is one of the gifts that, with good reason, tend to elicit lots of excitement. This model has a battery life of up to nine hours and can be played with friends or solo, and at home or on the go.Note: Some colors are currently out of stock.$299.00 FROM AMAZON$299.99 FROM GAMESTOP$299.99 FROM BEST BUYAn instant cameraAmazonInstax's cute instant camera is great for anyone who loves taking photos. All they need is some film to get started. It features a small selfie mirror to ensure proper framing, a macro lens attachment, and a variety of modes to account for different indoor and outdoor environments.$69.19 FROM AMAZONA multi-color alarm clock that doubles as a speakerAmazonBeyond helping ensure they're up on time, this alarm clock doubles as a Bluetooth speaker and as a dimmable, multi-color bedside lamp.$45.99 FROM AMAZONA beanie with built-in headphonesAmazonSoundbot makes soft beanies that have built-in headphones for on-the-go listening. They have a rechargeable battery, built-in microphone, and wireless range of up to 33 feet. $19.98 FROM AMAZONOriginally $25.10 | Save 20%An Echo Dot that doubles as a clockAmazonThe Amazon Echo Dot is the most popular Amazon device for a reason — it's compact and has all the capabilities of Alexa (weather updates, recipes, music, and news). $29.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $49.99 | Save 40%One of the best young adult books of the yearAmazonIf you're looking to gift a good book they likely haven't read yet, we suggest snooping through literary awards, where judges do the heavy lifting for you. This book, a queer love story set in 1954 Chinatown, was shortlisted for the 2021 National Book Award in young adult literature.Some more book suggestions: "All the Bright Places," a popular YA book on TikTok"Scythe," a bestselling dystopian YA book similar to "The Hunger Games"The best young adult books, according to a teenagerThe best young adult romance booksThe best young people's literature of 2021 according to the National Book AwardsThe best books we read in our 20s$14.88 FROM AMAZONAn effective electric toothbrushAmazonWe love this electric toothbrush as a budget-friendly option that doesn't compromise on performance. It's also the path of least resistance to helping your teen build their own healthy habits.$39.97 FROM AMAZONOriginally $49.94 | Save 20%A necklace featuring their zodiac signAmazonZodiac signs, and the unique personality traits tied to each one, have become extremely popular in recent years. Pick up their sign in a dainty, gold-dipped necklace they can wear every day.$16.98 FROM AMAZONA portable chargerAmazonWhether used for traveling or keeping in contact with friends or parents while on the go, this external battery is great for giving parents and teens convenience — and peace of mind. $49.99 FROM AMAZONPopSockets for the back of their phonePopSocketPopSockets have become their own cultural phenomenon. Besides being useful, they offer a bit of personalization to tech and come in a variety of colors and patterns.$7.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $9.99 | Save 20%$15.00 FROM POPSOCKETSNew video games: "Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury"AmazonUltimately, no gift may compare to a great new video game they can play solo or with friends. $59.25 FROM AMAZONNew video games: "The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD"Amazon$52.99 FROM AMAZONNew video games: "Animal Crossing: New Horizons"Amazon$44.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $59.99 | Save 25%$49.94 FROM AMAZON$59.99 FROM GAMESTOPNew video games: "FIFA 22"Amazon$24.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $39.99 | Save 38%A hair towel that cuts drying time in halfAquisAquis' cult-favorite hair towels can cut the amount of time it takes your hair to dry in half — a claim we're happy to report holds up. They also help keep hair protected from harmful friction in its most vulnerable state. If the teens in your life have ever complained about frizzy hair, this and a silk pillowcase are thoughtful gifts they'll actually use.$20.99 FROM AMAZONOne of the best young adult books ever writtenAmazonFor the kind of gift they'll still mention 10 years later, give them one of the best young adult books you've ever read — or one of the 37 best young adult books Business Insider staff members recommend. Or, check out Amazon's list of the 100 books you should read in a lifetime.$5.89 FROM AMAZONA splashproof, portable Bluetooth speakerAmazonThis rugged, compact speaker can go with them anywhere. It's waterproof, has an "outdoor boost" button specifically for listening outside, is "drop-proof," and boasts a 13-hour battery life.$99.95 FROM AMAZONOriginally $110.95 | Save 10%A set of Korean sheet masksAmazonThe best way to initiate a pampered staycation is a cult-favorite, 16-pack of Korean sheet masks — something any beauty- or skin-care-obsessed teen will likely already know about.$11.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $13.30 | Save 10%A waterproof e-reader with a no-glare screenAmazonThis isn't the latest or most features-packed Kindle (that'd be the Kindle Oasis), but the Paperwhite is still a great product, and we think it's the best mid-range Kindle that combines cost with performance.It's waterproof, has a six-week battery life (based on 30 minutes of reading daily), and the 32GB option stores thousands of books or 160 Audible audiobooks.$129.99 FROM AMAZONComfortable, high-quality sheets for their bedBrooklinenWe recommend Brooklinen often, and for good reason. Most of the Insider Reviews team sleeps with Brooklinen on their own beds; we think they're perfect for sleeping in on lazy Saturday mornings.$285.00 FROM AMAZONA surprisingly good projector that's the size of a soda canAnkerAnker's Nebula Capsule is tiny but mighty. It's the size of a soda can, weighs only one pound, and has a quiet and continuous playtime of four hours. It'll kick movie nights up a notch, and they can easily pack it on trips. Find a full review here.$299.99 FROM AMAZONMario Badescu's cult-favorite facial mists with aloeAmazonMario Badescu's cult-favorite facial mists refresh and hydrate the skin for a dewy glow. They're available on Amazon individually or in a two-pack of the rose water and cucumber sprays.$14.00 FROM AMAZONA leather toiletry bag for grooming and beauty essentialsLeatherologyLeatherology's shave bag is a great purchase if you want to gift your teen a leather beauty bag that will age gracefully. $110.00 FROM AMAZONComfortable headphones with long battery life and good soundBeats by DreThe Solo3 headphones are perfect for commuting, studying, or zoning out during family road trips. They offer good sound quality and up to 40 hours of battery life, but the best part? Five minutes of charging equals three hours of playback. $129.94 FROM AMAZONOriginally $199.95 | Save 35%A slime-making kitAmazonOne of the ongoing internet trends is a fascination with slime, and teens have run successful businesses by sharing videos of it. And what's better than vicariously living through TikTok slime-makers? Making your own. $27.95 FROM AMAZONA gentle facial cleansing deviceFOREOFOREO's cult-favorite Luna 2 cleansing device gently and effectively cleans with thin, antimicrobial silicone touchpoints, and claims to remove 99.5% of dirt and makeup residue without irritating the skin. Plus, it's waterproof, and the battery life lasts for a few months per charge. The Luna 2 is available in five varieties: men, normal, combination, sensitive, and oily skin. Find a full review from a female reporter and a male reporter here.$169.00 FROM AMAZON$169.00 FROM FOREOA FitbitFitbitFitbits track the wearer's health and fitness as well as offer insights into their sleep and physical activity trends. Teens can set personal goals and get real-time updates during workouts. It's water-resistant up to 50 meters, and its battery life can last up to seven days. $122.99 FROM WALMART$115.98 FROM AMAZONOriginally $149.94 | Save 23%A cult-favorite clay maskAmazonThe Aztec Clay Mask is one of those cult-favorite products that's been plucked from obscurity and gone straight to the limelight of YouTube testimonials with over 4 million views and widespread popularity. You can read a full review here.$14.95 FROM AMAZON$12.19 FROM TARGETString lights with photo clipsAmazonPerfect for creating the archetypal teen room that's most often seen in Netflix movies and old Taylor Swift music videos, photo clip string lights add warm light to your teen's favorite Polaroids or memorabilia. $21.95 FROM AMAZONColorful reusable strawsAmazonTrying to adopt more eco-friendly habits is one of the great characteristics of younger generations, especially teens who grew up among videos of sea turtles being harmed by discarded plastic straws. These are colorful, bendable, and fun to use. $6.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $10.00 | Save 30%Gift card for everything: VisaShutterstock/Zivica KerkezFor teens who often rely on part-time jobs to fund their hobbies and cravings, gift cards are one gift that's always appreciated. Here are some of Insider Reviews' top choices:$105.95 FROM AMAZONGift cards for everything: AmazonAmazonA gift card to Amazon is a gift card to pretty much anything they've got on their wish lists — tech, clothing, books, and more. $10.00 FROM AMAZONGift card for coffee: StarbucksStarbucks/FacebookWhether they're ordering multi-hyphenate drinks at Starbucks or regular hot chocolates, they add up.$25.00 FROM AMAZONGift card for food: ChipotleChipotleOne of the mainstays of teenage life is meeting up with friends at fast-casual restaurants — and Chipotle is a perennial favorite.$50.00 FROM AMAZONGift card for gaming: XboxAmazonIf you know they have an Xbox but don't know which games they already have or need, this is a great way to ensure they get exactly what they want.$100.00 FROM AMAZON$100.00 FROM NEWEGGGift card for clothes: NordstromNordstromNo matter how spot-on your gifts are, your giftee is the best person for the job of dressing themselves. And even if you nail the latest trend they're excited about, there will be more in the future — this lets them pick things out for themselves, without having to dip into their allowance or savings.$200.00 FROM AMAZONGift card for tech: Best BuyAmazonUnsure of which tech they already have or which tech they'd want? A Best Buy gift card will save you the probing questions and help you give them a gift they're really excited about. $25.00 FROM AMAZONA music subscription that includes 50 million songsAmazonIf they don't already have a music subscription, give them access to 50 million songs with Amazon Music Unlimited. $7.99 FROM AMAZONColorful scrunchiesAmazonScrunchies are having a moment. If you want to get something particularly on-trend, you may want to look into a few. This set comes with a whopping 46 colors.$8.99 FROM AMAZONAn audiobook subscriptionAlyssa Powell/Business InsiderIf they love to read, or you're trying to get them to love to read, a gift subscription to Audible is a great idea. They'll get three free titles for each month they're a member (one audiobook and two Audible Originals), and 30% off any additional audiobooks they buy. They can listen and read anywhere and anytime using the free app. $45.00 FROM AMAZONA popcorn machine for movie nightsAmazonPerfect for movie nights with family or friends, this popcorn maker can make as much as six quarts of popcorn for a night in. $39.99 FROM AMAZONAn eyeshadow paletteAmazonIf they're getting into makeup, an eyeshadow palette is one of the coolest gifts you can probably give them. This option has 16 shades, almost 15,000 reviews, and a 4.4-star rating overall. $13.95 FROM AMAZONA karaoke machine that allows duetsAmazonThis system has more features than a really nice car. It has two mics, a sing-along and record function, and 300 songs ready for action.$159.99 FROM AMAZONA cool, holographic fanny packAmazonWhat's old is new and cool again — and that includes fanny packs!$16.98 FROM AMAZONA mini griddle for individual servings of foodAmazonThis tiny griddle is perfect for making individual servings of breakfasts and pretty much any food — from eggs to cookies to grilled cheese.$12.99 FROM AMAZONRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 16th, 2021

"Santa Rally Is Finally Here": Futures Hit All Time High Day After Powell Goes Full Jean-Claude Trichet

"Santa Rally Is Finally Here": Futures Hit All Time High Day After Powell Goes Full Jean-Claude Trichet One day before what everyone knew would be a hawkish pivot by the Fed, the mood was dour with tech names tumbling and futures hanging one for dear life. One day after, Jerome Powell confirmed he would go full Jean-Claude Trichet as the Fed would not only turbo-taper into a sharply slowing economy, ending its QE program by March but then proceed with hiking rates as many as 3 times in 2022 (more than the 2 hike consensus), with the BOE shocking markets moments ago with a surprise rate hike and even the ECB trimming its turbo QE, and futures are.... at all time highs. That's right - eminis are higher by 140 points in 24 hours because the Fed was more hawkish than consensus expected.  At 8:00 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 215 points, or 0.61%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 27.25 points, or 0.57%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 100 points, or 0.61%. Treasury yields jumped alongside European bonds after the BOE became the first major central bank to raise rates since the pandemic, while the dollar fell and the pound jumped. The Euro also hit session highs after the ECB seemed to turn ever so slightly more hawkish as its monthly QE is set to shrink in the coming year. "The market likes facts it can digest. With the uncertainty now gone, it finds relief,” said Frederik Hildner, a portfolio manager at Salm-Salm & Partner. Gradual rising rates “provides more firepower for the next downturn, as it displays the ability normalize monetary policy.” On Wednesday, Jerome Powell said the U.S. economy no longer needed increasing amounts of policy support as annual inflation has been running at more than double the central bank's target in recent months, while the economy nears full employment. Recent readings on surging producer and consumer prices as well as the fast-spreading Omicron variant of the coronavirus have fueled anxiety as the benchmark S&P 500 inches closer to a record high. "Is the Santa Rally finally here? Markets certainly seem to have a spring in their step... the prospect of three interest rate hikes in 2022 would suggest the central bank has a clear plan to not let inflation get out of control," Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell wrote in a client note. "Equally, it isn't being too aggressive to trip up the economy. This sense of balance is exactly what investors want, and an upbeat tone from the Fed certainly seems to have rubbed off on markets" Bell said, clearly goalseeking his narrative to the market's response as just 24 hours later he would be saying just the opposite when futures were tanking of hawkish Fed fears. Big tech stocks and banks led gains in premarket trading. Shares in Tesla, Microsoft, Meta and Amazon.com rose between 0.7% and 2.4%, with the lift pushing Apple shares nearer to an historic market value of $3 trillion. Bank stocks including JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citigroup all gained between 0.7% and 0.8%. Here are some of the biggest U.S. movers today: Apple (APPL) and other big U.S. tech stocks rise after the Federal Reserve said that it would speed up its taper, joining in with a broader relief rally across risk assets. Apple shares are up 0.6%, with the stock drawing nearer to an historic market capitalization of $3 trillion. Also Thursday, Goldman Sachs said lead times for Apple’s iPhone have declined in the latest week. Assertio (ASRT US) shares rise 4% after the company announced the $44 million acquisition of the Otrexup device from Antares Pharma. Blue Bird (BLBD US) dropped 6% after the school bus-maker provided a weaker-than-expected sales outlook. The company also offered $75m shares at $16/share in a private placement. Danimer Scientific (DNMR) falls 10% after announcing that it plans to offer $175 million of convertible senior notes. Delta Air Lines (DAL) is up 2% after saying it expects to report a profit for the fourth quarter, citing a strong demand for travel over the winter holiday period and a decline in jet fuel prices. Other airline stocks are also higher. DocuSign (DOCU) falls 2% as Morgan Stanley issued a downgrade, saying third-quarter results changed the firm’s view regarding the durability of growth through tough post-pandemic comparables. Freyr Battery (FREY) gains 14% after executing its inaugural offtake agreement for at least 31 GWh of low-carbon battery cells. IronNet (IRNT US) slumps 25% after the cybersecurity company’s results fell short of expectations, prompting a Street-low target from Jefferies. Lennar Corp. (LEN US) declined 6% after it reported a forecast for purchase contracts that was weaker than expected. Plug Power (PLUG) gains 5% after signing an agreement with Korean electric-vehicle manufacturer Edison Motors to develop an electric city bus powered by hydrogen fuel cells. Syndax Pharmaceuticals (SNDX) falls 8% after pricing 3.2 million shares at $17.50 each. Tesla (TSLA) is up 2%, rising with other electric vehicle stocks amid a broader gain in technology stocks and U.S. futures on hopes that the Federal Reserve’s policy tightening will fight high inflation without hampering economic growth. Wayfair (W) falls 2% after BofA downgraded the stock to underperform, citing weak near-term data and difficult comparisons through the first quarter of 2022 for the online furniture retailer. European equities rally with Euro Stoxx 50 up as much as 2.1% before drifting off best levels. The U.K.’s exporter-heavy FTSE 100 Index pared some gains after the BOE decision, while European dipped modestly after the European Central Bank’s meeting.  Miners, tech and autos are the best performers, utilities and media names lag. Equities have whipsawed in recent weeks as investors attempted to price in the prospect of rate hikes, while assessing risks from the spread of the omicron variant. The market’s early response to the Fed signals some relief arising from policy clarity, and optimism that the rebound from pandemic lows can weather the pivot away from ultra-loose monetary settings. “The market is breathing a sigh of relief that the FOMC meeting suggested that it is taking inflation risks in the United States more seriously,” Ann-Katrin Petersen, an investment strategist at Allianz Global Investors, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “The question really will be whether the Fed will dare to do even more in order to taper the inflation risk.” Asian stocks rose, halting a four-day slide, as confidence in Federal Reserve policy allowed investors to take on riskier assets. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed as much as 0.8%, buoyed by energy and technology shares. Japan was Asia’s top performer, aided by a weaker yen. Hong Kong and China stocks eked out gains amid ongoing concern over U.S. sanctions. Australian equities declined for a third day. Asia’s benchmark advanced for the first time this week on hopes the Fed will effectively combat surging prices without choking off economic growth. The U.S. central bank said it will double the pace of its asset tapering program to $30 billion a month and projected three interest-rate increases in 2022. In the run-up to the Fed’s decision, Asia’s equity gauge slumped almost 2% over the past four days, keeping it below the 50-day moving average.    The short-term boost to stock market sentiment is from Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s comments about wage inflation not being the main issue for now, and expectations that there’ll be full employment next year, said Ilya Spivak, head of Greater Asia at DailyFX. However, there’s a “meaningful risk” that the Fed’s latest policy stance will trigger liquidation as Asia stock portfolios are de-risked, Spivak said. Japan’s stocks rose for a second day after the yen weakened and U.S. stocks rallied amid speculation the Federal Reserve will combat surging prices without choking off economic growth. The Topix index climbed 1.5% to close at 2,013.08 in Tokyo, while the Nikkei 225 Stock Average advanced 2.1% to 29,066.32. Keyence Corp. contributed the most to the Topix’s gain, increasing 2.5%. Out of 2,181 shares in the index, 1,674 rose and 421 fell, while 86 were unchanged. “It wouldn’t be strange to see the discount on Japanese equities narrowing following the FOMC meeting results, with market interest centered around electronics, machinery, automakers and marine transportation stocks,” said Takashi Ito, an equity market strategist at Nomura Securities. Electronics firms and automakers helped lift the Topix as the yen headed for a four-day slump against the dollar, with the currency falling 0.1% to 114.19 Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.4% to close at 7,295.70, extending its losing streak to a third day.  CSL was the worst performer after the benchmark’s second-biggest company by weighting completed a placement to fund its Vifor acquisition. Mesoblast was the top performer after saying it plans to conduct an additional U.S. Phase 3 trial of rexlemestrocel-L in patients with chronic low back pain.  Investors also digested November jobs data. Australian employment soared last month, smashing expectations and pushing the jobless rate lower as virus restrictions eased on the east coast. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.7% to 12,777.54 In rates, cash USTs bull steepened, bolstered by a large curve steepener that blocked in early London. Bunds are soft at the back end, peripherals slightly wider ahead of today’s ECB meeting. Gilts bear steepen slightly, white pack sonia futures are lower by 2-3.5 ticks. In FX, the dollar slipped for a second day and oil rose; cable snapped to best levels of the week after the BOE unexpectedly hiked rates.  The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell for a second day as the greenback weakened against all its Group-of-10 peers apart from the yen; Tresury yields fell, led by the belly of the curve. Commodity currencies were the best G-10 performers, led by the krone, which reversed an earlier loss after Norway’s central bank raised its interest rate for the second time this year and flagged another increase in March as officials acted to cool the rebounding economy despite renewed coronavirus concerns. The Australian and New Zealand dollars reversed earlier losses amid upbeat stock markets; the Aussie earlier weakened as RBA Governor Lowe hinted at the prospect of no rate hikes next year. The yen fell as the Federal Reserve’s decision reaffirmed yield differentials ahead of the Bank of Japan’s outcome on Friday. Bonds rose after a solid auction. Elsewhere in FX, NOK outperforms in G-10 after Norges Bank rate action, other commodity currencies are similarly well bid. In commodities, Crude futures hold a narrow range around best levels of the session. WTI is up 1.1% near $71.70, Brent near $74.70. Spot gold grinds higher, adding ~$9 near $1,786/oz. LME copper outperforms in a well-bid base metals complex To the day ahead now, and the main highlights will be the aforementioned policy decisions from the ECB and the BoE. On the data side, we’ll also get the flash PMIs for December from around the world, the Euro Area trade balance for October, and in the US there’s November data on industrial production, housing starts and building permits, as well as the weekly initial jobless claims. Finally, EU leaders will be meeting for a summit in Brussels. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.5% to 4,734.25 STOXX Europe 600 up 1.2% to 476.39 MXAP up 0.8% to 193.11 MXAPJ up 0.5% to 623.76 Nikkei up 2.1% to 29,066.32 Topix up 1.5% to 2,013.08 Hang Seng Index up 0.2% to 23,475.50 Shanghai Composite up 0.8% to 3,675.02 Sensex up 0.1% to 57,851.57 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.4% to 7,295.66 Kospi up 0.6% to 3,006.41 Brent Futures up 1.0% to $74.59/bbl Gold spot up 0.5% to $1,786.03 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.36% to 96.16 German 10Y yield little changed at -0.36% Euro up 0.2% to $1.1316 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg The greenback is set for its biggest annual gain in six years and its rally appears to be far from over, market participants say. The prime mover: a hawkish Federal Reserve that’s drawn a roadmap of interest-rate increases over the next three years, while other central banks look much more reticent to withdraw stimulus The ECB is poised to unveil a gradual withdrawal from extraordinary pandemic stimulus in the face of soaring inflation whose path is further clouded by the omicron coronavirus variant The “phenomenal pace” at which the new Covid-19 omicron strain is spreading across the U.K. will trigger a surge in hospital admissions over the holiday period, according to Boris Johnson’s top medical adviser The Swiss National Bank kept both the deposit and the policy rate at -0.75%, as widely predicted by economists. With the global economic recovery on shaky footing due to the omicron variant, President Thomas Jordan and fellow policy makers also reiterated their pledge to supplement subzero rates with currency interventions as needed France will impose tougher rules on people traveling from the U.K., including a ban on non-essential trips and a requirement to self-isolate, as it tries to slow the spread of the omicron variant IHS Markit said its index tracking output across the U.K. economy fell to 53.2 this month from 57.6 in November, reflecting weaker-than-expected growth in service industries including hotels, restaurants and travel-related businesses. Business-to-business services stalled European power prices soared to records after Electricite de France SA said that two nuclear reactors will stop unexpectedly and two will have prolonged halts -- just as the continent heads for a cold snap with already depleted gas inventories Hungary’s central bank increased the effective base interest rate for the fifth time in as many weeks to tackle the fastest inflation since 2007 and shore up the battered forint A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equity markets traded mixed as the region digested the FOMC meeting. The ASX 200 (-0.4%) was negative with heavy losses in the healthcare sector and as COVID infections remained rampant. There were also notable comments from RBA Governor Lowe that the board discussed tapering bond purchases in February and ending it in May or could even end purchases in February if economic progress is better than expected, although it is also open to reviewing bond buying again in May if the data disappoints. The Nikkei 225 (+2.1%) outperformed and reclaimed the 29k level after the Lower House recently passed the record extra budget stimulus and with the latest trade data showing double-digit percentage surges in Imports and Exports, despite the latter slightly missing on expectations. The Hang Seng (+0.2%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.8%) were varied with Hong Kong pressured by losses in the big tech names amid ongoing frictions between the world’s two largest economies and as US lawmakers proposed a bill to allow the US oversight of China audits, although the mainland was kept afloat amid further speculation of a potential LPR cut this month, as well as reports that China will boost financial support for small businesses and offer more longer-term loans to manufacturers. Finally, 10yr JGBs were indecisive despite the constructive mood in Tokyo and with price action stuck near the 152.00 focal point, while demand was also sidelined amid mixed results at the 20yr JGB auction and as the BoJ kickstarts its two-day meeting. Top Asian News Indonesia Reports First Omicron Case in Jakarta Facility Asia Stocks Snap Four-Day Drop as Traders Take on Risk After Fed Shimao Group Shares Set for Best Day in Month Money Manager Vanishes With $313 Million From China Builder Equities in Europe have taken their cue from the post-FOMC rally seen across Wall Street (Euro Stoxx 50 +1.6%; Stoxx 600 +1.1%) following somewhat mixed APAC trade. As a reminder, markets saw relief with one of the major risk events out of the way, and with Chair Powell refraining from throwing hawkish curveballs. That being said, the forecast does see three rate hikes next year, whilst the Fed Board next year will also be more hawkish – at least within the rotating voters - with George, Mester and Bullard poised to vote from 2022. Nonetheless, US equity future continues grinding higher with all contracts in the green and the RTY (+1.3%) outperforming vs the NQ (+0.7%), ES (+0.6%), and YM (+0.5%). Bourses in Europe also experience broad-based gains with no real outliers, although the upside momentum somewhat waned amid some softer-than-expected PMI metrics ahead of ECB. Sectors in Europe paint a clear pro-cyclical bias. Tech outperforms following a similar sectorial performance seen on Wall Street. Basic Resources and Oil & Gas follow a close second, with Autos and Travel & Leisure also among the biggest gainers. The downside sees Personal & Household Goods, Telecoms and Food & Beverages. Healthcare meanwhile fares better than its defensive peers as Novartis (+4%) is bolstered after commencing a new USD 15bln buyback, highlighting confidence in growth and pipeline. On the flip side, EDF (-12%) shares have slipped after it narrowed FY EBITDA forecasts and highlighted some faults with some nuclear reactors amid corrosion. Top European News Britain’s Covid Resurgence Cuts Growth to Slowest Since Lockdown SNB Says Franc Is Highly Valued as Omicron Clouds Outlook Norway Delivers Rate Hike That Omicron Had Threatened to Derail Erdogan Approves Third Capital Boost for State Banks Since 2019 In FX, not much bang for the Buck fits the bill accurately as it is panning out in the FOMC aftermath even though market expectations were matched and arguably exceeded in terms of dot plots showing three hikes in 2022 vs two anticipated by most and only one previously, while the unwinding of asset purchases will occur in double quick time to end in March next year instead of June. However, there appears to be enough in the overall statement, SEP and Fed chair Powell’s post-meeting press conference to offset the initial knee-jerk spike in the Dollar and index that lifted the latter very close to its current y-t-d peak at 96.914 vs 96.938 from November 24. Indeed, the terminal rate was maintained at 2.5%, no decision has been taken about whether to take a break after tapering before tightening, and the recovery in labour market participation has been disappointing to the point that it will now take longer to return to higher levels. In response, or on further reflection, the DXY has recoiled to 96.141 and through the 21 DMA that comes in at 96.238 today. NZD/AUD/CAD/GBP/EUR/CHF - All on the rebound vs their US counterpart, with the Kiwi back on the 0.6800 handle and also encouraged by NZ GDP contracting less than feared in Q3, while the Aussie is hovering around 0.7200 in wake of a stellar jobs report only partly tempered by dovish remarks from RBA Governor Lowe who is still not in the 2022 hike camp and non-committal about ending QE next February or extending until May. Elsewhere, the Loonie has clawed back a chunk of its losses amidst recovering crude prices to regain 1.2800+ status ahead of Canadian wholesale trade that is buried between a raft of US data and survey releases, Sterling is flirting with 1.3300 in advance of the BoE that is likely to hold fire irrespective of significantly hotter than forecast UK inflation, the Euro is pivoting 1.1300 pre-ECB that is eyed for details of life after the PEPP and the Franc is somewhat mixed post-SNB that maintained rates and a highly valued assessment of the Chf with readiness to intervene as required. Note, Usd/Chf is meandering from 0.9256 to 0.9221 vs Eur/Chf more elevated within a 1.0455-30 band. JPY - The Yen is underperforming on the eve of the BoJ and looking technically weak to compound its yield and rate disadvantage after Usd/Jpy closed above a key chart level on Wednesday (at 114.03). As such, Fib resistance is now exposed at 114.38 vs the circa 114.25 high, so far, while decent option expiry interest may be influential one way or the other into the NY cut given around 1.3 bn at the 114.25 strike, 1.7 bn at 114.30 and 1.2 bn or so at 114.50. In commodities, WTI and Brent front-month futures are taking advantage of the risk appetite coupled with the softer Buck. WTI Jan trades on either side of USD 71.50/bbl (vs low USD 71.39/bbl) while Brent Feb sees itself around USD 74.50/bbl (vs low USD 74.28/bbl). Complex-specific news has again been on the quiet end, with prices working off the macro impulses for the time being, and with volumes also light heading into Christmas trade. Elsewhere spot gold and silver ebb higher – in tandem with the Dollar, with the former eyeing a group of DMAs to the upside including the 100 (1,788/oz), 21 (1,789/oz) 200 (1,794/oz) and 50 (1,796/oz). Turning to base metals, LME copper has been catapulted higher amid the risk and weaker Dollar, with prices re-testing USD 9,500/t to the upside. Meanwhile, a Chinese government consultancy has said that China's steel consumption will dip 0.7% on an annual basis in 2022 amid policies for the real estate market and uncertainties linked to COVID-19 curb demand. US event calendar 8:30am: Dec. Initial Jobless Claims, est. 200,000, prior 184,000; Continuing Claims, est. 1.94m, prior 1.99m 8:30am: Nov. Housing Starts MoM, est. 3.1%, prior -0.7% 8:30am: Nov. Housing Starts, est. 1.57m, prior 1.52m 8:30am: Nov. Building Permits MoM, est. 0.5%, prior 4.0%, revised 4.2% 8:30am: Nov. Building Permits, est. 1.66m, prior 1.65m, revised 1.65m 8:30am: Dec. Philadelphia Fed Business Outl, est. 29.6, prior 39.0 9:15am: Nov. Manufacturing (SIC) Production, est. 0.7%, prior 1.2%; Industrial Production MoM, est. 0.6%, prior 1.6% 9:45am: Dec. Markit US Manufacturing PMI, est. 58.5, prior 58.3 9:45am: Dec. Markit US Services PMI, est. 58.8, prior 58.0 DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Yesterday’s biggest story was obviously the Fed. In line with our US economists call (their full recap here), the FOMC doubled the pace of taper to $30bn a month, which would bring an end to QE in mid-March. The new dot plot showed three rate hikes in 2022, up from the Committee being split over one hike in September. Farther out, the median dot had 3 additional hikes in 2023 and 2 hikes in 2024, bringing fed funds just below their estimate of the longer-term rate. Notably, all 18 Committee members have liftoff occurring next year, and 10 have 3 hikes penciled in, suggesting consensus behind the recent hawkish turn was strong. Short-end market pricing increased in line and now has around 2.9 hikes priced for 2022. The first hike is fully priced for the June meeting, but notably, meetings as early as March are priced as live, more on that in a bit. In the statement, the Committee admitted that inflation had exceeded target for some time (dropping ‘transitory’ completely), and that liftoff would be tied to the economy reaching full employment. By the sounds of the press conference, progress toward full employment has proceeded pretty rapidly. Chair Powell noted that while labour force participation progress has been disappointing, almost every other measure of labour market strength shows a very strong labour market, and could create upside risks to inflation should wage growth start to increase beyond productivity. It is within that context that he framed the decision to taper faster, it will leave the Fed in a position to react as needed, providing optionality. In that vein, he stressed a few times that the lag between the end of taper and liftoff need not be as long as it was in the last cycle, and that the Fed will raise rates after taper is done whenever needed, hence meetings as early as March being live. Notably on Omicron, the Chair, like the rest of us, recognises we don’t know much about the variant yet, but seemed optimistic about the economy’s ability to withstand subsequent Covid shocks, regardless of Omicron’s specifics. While Covid shocks can tighten supply chains, discourage labour participation, and reduce demand, as more people get vaccinated those impacts should dwindle over time, so his argument went. Hammering the point home, he sounded confident that the economy can handle whatever Omicron brings without any additional QE, justifying the accelerated taper path despite Covid risks. The hawkish turn had been well forecast through Fed speakers since the last meeting, not least of which the Chair himself during Congressional testimony, which served to dull the market impact. Treasury yields were slightly higher, (2yr Tsys +0.6bps and 10yr Tsys +1.5 bps) but were quite docile for an FOMC afternoon. The dollar initially strengthened on the statement release before reversing course and ending the day -0.24% lower. Stocks were the real outperformers, as the S&P 500 rallied through the FOMC events, gaining +1.63%, the best daily performance in two months, while the Nasdaq increased +2.15%. The Russell 2000 matched the S&P, gaining +1.65%. Obviously the market was anticipating the change in policy, but if doubling taper and adding three rate hikes in the next year isn’t enough to tighten financial conditions, what is? The Chair was asked about that in so many words in the press conference, where he responded by noting financial conditions could change on a dime. Indeed, they will have to tighten from historically easy levels if the Fed is to bring inflation back to target through policy. The Fed may be out of the way now, but the central bank excitement continues today as both the ECB and the BoE announce their own policy decisions later on. We’ll start with the ECB, who like the Fed have faced much higher than expected inflation lately, with the November flash estimate coming in at +4.9%, which is the highest since the formation of the single currency. Whilst Omicron has cast a shadow of uncertainty, with Commission President von der Leyen saying yesterday that it was likely to become dominant in Europe by mid-January, our European economics team doesn’t think there has been anything concrete enough to alter the ECB from their course (like the Fed). In our European economists’ preview (link here) they write the ECB appears on track to initiate a transition to a monetary policy stance based more on policy rates and rates guidance and less on liquidity provision. The ECB is set to confirm that PEPP net purchases will end in March, but will cushion the blow by working flexibility into the post-PEPP asset purchase arrangement. They are also set to make the policy framework more flexible to better respond to inflation uncertainties. One thing to keep an eye out for in particular will be the latest inflation projections, with a report from Bloomberg suggesting that they’ll show inflation beneath the 2% target in both 2023 and 2024. So if that’s true, that could offer a route to arguing against a tightening of monetary policy for the time being, since the ECB’s forward guidance has been that it won’t raise rates until it sees inflation at the target “durably for the rest of the projection horizon”. Today’s other big decision comes from the BoE, where our UK economist is expecting that there’ll be a 15bps increase in Bank Rate, taking it up to 0.25% although they suggest it’s a very close call. See here for the rationale. Ahead of that decision later on, we received a very strong UK inflation print for November, with CPI rising to +5.1% (vs. +4.8% expected), up from +4.2% in October and the fastest pace in a decade. That’s running ahead of the BoE’s own staff forecasts in the November Monetary Policy Report, which had seen inflation at just +4.5% that month, so six-tenths beneath the realised figure. We’ll get their decision at 12:00 London time, 45 minutes ahead of the ECB’s. In terms of the latest on the Omicron variant, there are continued signs of concern in South Africa, with cases coming in at a record 26,976 yesterday, whilst the number in hospital at 7,339 is up +73% compared to a week ago. Meanwhile the UK recorded their highest number of cases since the pandemic began, at 78,610. England’s Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty, said that a lot of Covid records would be broken in the coming weeks, and also that a majority of cases in London were now from the Omicron variant. Separately, the French government is set to hold a meeting tomorrow on Covid measures, and EU leaders will be discussing the pandemic at their summit today. When it comes to Omicron’s economic impact, we could see some light shed on that today as the December flash PMIs are released from around the world. Overnight we’ve already had the numbers out of Australia and Japan where hints of a slowdown are apparent. Japan's Manufacturing PMI came out at 54.2 (54.5 previous) and the Composite at 51.8 (53.3 previous) while Australia’s Manufacturing and Composite came in at 57.4 and 54.9 respectively (59.2 and 55.7 previous). Overnight in Asia stocks are trading mostly higher led by the Nikkei (+1.78%) followed by the Shanghai Composite (+0.28%), and KOSPI (+0.22%). However the CSI (-0.07%) and Hang Seng (-0.81%) are losing ground on concerns of US sanctions on Chinese tech companies. In Australia, the November employment report registered a strong beat by adding 366.1k jobs against 200k consensus. This is being reflected in a +12.75 bps surge in Australia's 3y bond. Elsewhere, in India wholesale inflation for November rose +14.2% year on year, levels last seen in 2000 against a consensus of +11.98% on the back of higher food and input prices. DM futures are indicating a positive start to markets today with S&P 500 (+0.19%) and DAX (+1.04%) contracts both higher as we type. Ahead of the Fed, European markets had put in a fairly steady performance yesterday, with the STOXX 600 up +0.26%. That brought an end to a run of 5 successive declines, with technology stocks in particular seeing an outperformance. Sovereign bond markets were also subdued ahead of the ECB and BoE meetings later, with yields on 10yr bunds (+0.9bps), OATs (+0.5bps) and gilts (+1.2bps) only seeing modest moves higher. In DC, despite optimistic sounding talks earlier in the week, the latest yesterday was President Biden and Senator Manchin remained far apart on the administration’s build back better bill, imperiling its chances of passing before Christmas. Elsewhere, reports suggested the President would have more nominations for the remaining Fed Board vacancies this week. Looking at yesterday’s other data, US retail sales underwhelmed in November with growth of just +0.3% (vs. +0.8% expected), and measure excluding gas and motor vehicles was also up just +0.2% (vs. +0.8% expected). Also the NAHB’s housing market index for December moved up to a 10-month high of 84, in line with expectations. To the day ahead now, and the main highlights will be the aforementioned policy decisions from the ECB and the BoE. On the data side, we’ll also get the flash PMIs for December from around the world, the Euro Area trade balance for October, and in the US there’s November data on industrial production, housing starts and building permits, as well as the weekly initial jobless claims. Finally, EU leaders will be meeting for a summit in Brussels. Tyler Durden Thu, 12/16/2021 - 08:29.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 16th, 2021

As NATO Offers Russia A Meeting, East European Allies Infuriated At Biden Overtures

As NATO Offers Russia A Meeting, East European Allies Infuriated At Biden Overtures Earlier in the week soon after the Biden-Putin virtual summit which focused on renewed and soaring Ukraine tensions, the US president indicated that he hoped to announce a meeting between Russia and NATO leaders by Friday, which will include "at least four of our major NATO allies." As Bloomberg reported, the offer of a meeting infuriated a number of eastern European and Baltic countries seen as most vulnerable in the face of an "aggressive" Russia. Additionally, officials chafed at the likelihood that their small countries would not invited to the table, in favor of more powerful West European NATO countries who are more closely allied to the US. "Russia should under no circumstances be given a say in who may or may not be a member of NATO," Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas told reporters on Thursday. She said that Moscow’s "most worrying wish is to divide Europe into spheres of influence. We remember these kinds of moments from our own history and we are in no way naive on this issue." NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg talks with UK Soldiers. US Army photo And chair of the Estonian parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Marko Mihkelson, called the overture "a disappointing surprise" and urged a diplomatic push to block the meeting should it not include members of NATO's eastern flank, according to Bloomberg.  Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki seemed to liken it to giving into Russia's taking advantage and using the Afghan pullout chaos as geopolitical blackmail: "I believe that after the pullout from Afghanistan, the situation in NATO is tense, it’s difficult and also, unfortunately, our adversaries, foes and Russia is one of them are taking advantage of the situation," he said. Meanwhile, noting that the NATO-Russia Council has not been held for 18 months, which was supposed to be the main avenue for dialogue, Russian media reports indicate that NATO is still offering the Kremlin a meeting: Speaking on Wednesday as part of a discussion on 'Peace policy in our time,' NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the organization champions "what we call the dual track approach to Russia; deterrence, defense but also dialogue."  "There’s no contradiction… between being firm in our strategy to our neighbor in the East, at the same time engaging in" communication, he added. Biden in a Thursday phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed, however, that he wouldn't negotiate "over the heads" of eastern flank countries, The Wall Street Journal noted in its latest reporting.  "The idea that the United States is going to unilaterally use force to confront Russia invading Ukraine is not in the cards right now," Biden says. Adds that U.S. involvement in Ukraine will depend on what other NATO countries are doing. — Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) December 8, 2021 As for Putin, he's seeking legal assurances and "long-term guarantees" that NATO will not push further east either in terms of new membership or expansion of its military infrastructure. But the feeling in Ukraine is that anytime Putin wants to gain "guarantees" from Washington and NATO, all he has to do is order extra forces to muster in Crimea and near Donbass, sparking a crisis which leads to the West giving more and more concessions to avoid a looming conflict. If this is indeed the case, it should be remembered that US mainstream media has played a huge role in hyping the Russian troop build-up and supposed "invasion" of Ukraine plans, dialing up the fear and geopolitical drama, and thus giving Putin significant leverage in dealing both with the White House and Brussels. Tyler Durden Fri, 12/10/2021 - 12:40.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 10th, 2021

84 great gifts for your girlfriend no matter her interests, from astrology jewelry to an REI co-op membership

We rounded up 84 thoughtful gifts to give your girlfriend, from keepsake jewelry under $100 to helpful tech and fitness accessories. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Gift your girlfriend a thoughtful, custom keepsake.Framebridge Giving your girlfriend a meaningful gift doesn't have to require hours of research. Below is a list of thoughtful gifts for your girlfriend, from accessories and tech to home decor. Still looking for gifts? Find more gift guides broken down by interest, budget, and occasion here. Giving gifts as a couple can be a lot of fun. You know your partner: What they love, what rituals they enjoy, what small daily annoyances you could possibly solve with a thoughtful gift. You also know how much they'll appreciate the gift when it comes from you.Odds are you want to give them something wonderful — whatever your price range is. All most of us need is a little direction and a few great options to pick from, so we put together a list of our favorite gift ideas for girlfriends of all personalities and interests to help guide you.Check out all 84 gifts for your girlfriend:This list includes a Sponsored Product that has been suggested by Vuori. It also meets our editorial criteria in terms of quality and value.*The best Apple Watch we've triedAppleApple Watch Series 7, available on Amazon and Apple, from $379If you're looking for a great gift and not concerned about staying in an under-$200 budget, we'd recommend the Apple Watch Series 7.Currently, we think it's the best Apple Watch. The Series 7 can charge up to 80% in 45 minutes, and it's the most advanced version with features such as blood oxygen saturation measuring and an electrocardiogram scanner to detect abnormalities in the heart's rhythm. Earrings made with her birthstoneMejuriAmethyst Flat Sphere Studs, available on Mejuri, $180If your girlfriend wears jewelry, birthstone earrings that she can keep forever are a thoughtful, personalized gift she'll wear often.  Delicious sweets from a famous NYC bakeryMilk BarMilk Bar Treats, from $22If your girlfriend has a sweet tooth, send her Milk Bar — the company delivers its iconic and decadent cakes, cookies, and truffles to her doorstep.A pass to get into a bunch of boutique fitness classesClasspassClassPass Gift Card, from $15Boutique fitness classes are expensive, which can make trying new workouts — either for variety or to figure out what we like — less appealing. ClassPass solves both issues. It's relatively affordable, and members can access a neverending catalog of great workouts with small class sizes. If your partner is getting back into fitness after over a year of at-home workouts, we'd highly recommend a gift card here for whenever they're ready to use it.Leggings fit for workouts and lounge sessionsVuoriVuori Daily Legging, from $50Vuori is known for its smooth, soft fabrics and flattering fits — and the Daily Legging is no exception. Combining the leisure and comfort of a jogger with the function and stretch of a legging, your girlfriend can wear these for both workouts and weekend lounging. *Sponsored by VuoriA disposable camera that doesn't take you out of the momentGamesgamer024 The gamer/YouTubeDisposable camera, $42.49Interested in preserving memories without taking yourself out of them? A good disposable camera or a film camera can take the pressure away from perfection so you and your girlfriend can focus on just savoring experiences together.The best electric toothbrushColgateElectric toothbrush, $39.99If your girlfriend is more interested in gifts she needs as well as wants, an electric toothbrush is a good option. We've tested our fair share of electric toothbrushes, and we think Colgate's Hum is the best value. It cleans thoroughly and offers advanced features and modern design for $70 — which is considerably more affordable than options with fancy features you may not use enough. A planned trip for the two of you to take togetherAirbnbAirbnb Gift Card, available at Airbnb, from $25If you want to gift an experience you and your girlfriend can enjoy together, grab a card, a gift card to Airbnb, and come up with a few location ideas to choose from. You can also book a hotel in your city on Booking.com or Expedia for a sweet staycation. *This gift can be saved and used at a later date.A versatile Exercise DressOutdoor VoicesThe Exercise Dress, available on Outdoor Voices, $100Given the popularity of the Exercise Dress, we wouldn't be surprised if this was on your girlfriend's wish list. The Exercise Dress is comfortable, versatile, and cute — which has made it a cult-favorite item. If she's a fan of dresses, outdoor voices, or clothes she can wear all day long, this may be a good option. Her favorite specialty food straight from the sourceGoldbelly/InstagramOrder her favorite specialty foods using Goldbelly, from $28Goldbelly makes it possible to satisfy your girlfriend's most specific and nostalgic cravings no matter where they live in the US — a cheesecake from Junior's, deep dish pizza from Lou Malnati, and more. Browse the iconic gifts section for inspiration. A streaming bundle that checks off all the boxesHulu/Disney+/ESPN+/Business InsiderHulu, Disney+ ESPN+ Bundle, available at Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu, from $13.99 per monthIf canceled sporting events or trips to Disney have you feeling down, you can gift Disney+, ESPN, and Hulu together to ensure the next few months include plenty of entertainment options. If your partner is not too fond of ads, this bundle can also be purchased with the ad-free version of Hulu.A small skincare tool that removes 99.5% of dirt, oil, and makeup residueAmazonForeo Luna Play Plus 2, available at Foreo, $59In the category of things your girlfriend may love but hasn't asked for yet: Foreo facial brushes. Our team swears by these gentle yet effective cleansing devices. They have hygienic silicone bristles and come in five different models for different skin types. The Luna is small enough to bring on the go, so your partner can maintain their skincare routine while traveling. A thoughtful book she'll loveAmazon"Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar" by Cheryl Strayed, available on Amazon, $12.42Pick up one of your all-time favorite books that you think she'd like, or browse some of the books we love to gift. This collection of Dear Sugar advice columns is a heartfelt favorite. Its topics are diverse, its letters to Dear Sugar are intimate and relatable, and Cheryl Strayed's responses are both witty and extraordinarily compassionate.A membership to a huge outdoor co-opREIREI Co-Op Lifetime Membership, $20, available at REIAn REI membership offers a lifetime of benefits for a one-time purchase. That includes 10%-back dividends, special offers, access to in-store REI Garage sales, and special pricing on REI classes and events. If your girlfriend loves the outdoors, this is an option she can enjoy solo and with you. A Dutch oven to elevate their bread gameLodge mfgEnameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, available at Walmart, $79.90Did your girlfriend get into baking bread and, miraculously, stay committed to it? If so, a really nice Dutch oven can help elevate her experience. You can get something great for under $100, or you can splurge on a beautiful Le Creuset. Other meaningful upgrades include a cooling rack, according to the famous baker Apollonia Poilâne.A subscription that sends her a six-month world tour of teasAtlas Tea ClubAtlas Tea Club 6 Month Subscription, available on Atlas Tea Club, $94This subscription sends your girlfriend single-origin teas from the best tea-growing regions in the world for six months. She'll get two delicious options sent to her home each month.Festive matching underwear from one of the internet's favorite startupsMeUndiesMatching Underwear, available at MeUndies, $42Get yourself and your girlfriend festive matching underwear — which also happen to be some of the most comfortable pairs we've ever found. MeUndies gives you the options to create your own personalized set — two styles listed for women, two styles listed for men, a mix, and whichever length or cut you and your partner prefer. A standing desk for a home office upgradeFullyJarvis Bamboo Standing Desk, available at Fully, from $569If she's working from home, your girlfriend might love a home office upgrade the most. We ranked the Fully Jarvis the best standing desk; it provides the right blend of features and reliable performance. Its customizations for style, height, and accessories make it adaptable to pretty much any need. A framed keepsake of a favorite memoryFramebridgeFramed photo, available at Framebridge, from $45Gift Card, available at Framebridge, from $25Framebridge makes custom framing a bit more affordable. You can print or paint something on your own and have it framed, or have them print and frame it, and you can take advantage of the team of designers for help deciding what frame to get. The best socks she'll ever wearBombasBombas Women's Performance Running Ankle Sock 3-Pack, $49.50Bombas makes the best socks we've ever tried, and they're a gift we find ourselves giving every year to loved ones. They're lightweight, moisture-wicking, and built to circumvent annoyances like uncomfortable seams and heel slipping.A powerful, customizable massage gunTheragunTheragun PRO, available at Therabody, $599This is the best massage gun we've tested — though it's also on the higher end of what you would expect to pay. We loved it in part due to its two-year warranty, adjustable massage arm, customizable speeds, 60 lbs of no-stall force, six different heads, an extra battery, and how easy it is to use. If you can't give your girlfriend an unlimited pass to professional massages, this is a nice in-between option. A nice gold vermeil and sapphire zodiac sign necklaceMejuriAquarius Necklace, available at Mejuri, $395Mejuri is a Canadian startup created in 2015 to make fine jewelry affordable to buy — and it has racked up waitlists with more than 40,000 people before. Their popular Zodiac Necklace is cool, minimalist, and something she can wear every day. It's made in gold vermeil with AAA quality white sapphires. Mejuri's affordable pricing means the estimated traditional retail price of the same necklace elsewhere would be closer to $235.  The best bathrobe that money can buySnoweBathrobe, available at Snowe, $100Snowe's unisex bathrobe has been called the best and most absorbent terry robe on the market, and I'm just one more fervent believer. The cotton fiber traps air for extra absorbency and is soft and plush, and the unisex sizing means it will feel like a blanket-turned-robe. Perfect functionality, and extra points for coziness.A tracker for finding cell phones and wallets quicklyAmazonTile Pro, available at Amazon, $34.99When your girlfriend can't find her phone, all she has to do is click the Tile button to make her phone ring, even if it's on silent. We've found them especially useful lately. A monogrammed jewelry case from a minimalist fashion startupCuyanaLeather Jewelry Case, available at Cuyana, $85 (+ $15 for monogram)Keeping track of tiny and delicate jewelry is difficult — but jewelry cases are a pretty and useful solution. This is a thoughtful and personalized gift, especially if you've gotten your girlfriend jewelry in the past, or plan to in the future. It's made from premium leather, comes in many colors, and can be monogrammed with her initials. Cuyana is a cool leather bag startup she may have already heard of. A pair of blue light-blocking glasses that look good enough to wear outside of the houseFelix GrayFaraday Glasses, available at Felix Gray, from $95If she's ever complained about strain from constant screens, you can help mitigate it with a pair of blue-light-blocking glasses. They might even help with sleep.The convenience of Apple AirPodsHollis Johnson/Business InsiderApple AirPods, available at Best Buy, $119.99When it comes to convenience, truly wireless earbuds are the best. And Apple's AirPods are very popular with iPhone and Android users alike. They look subtle compared to other bigger options, and they're easy to use. For the latest option, you can pick up AirPods Pro for $189.99. A 215-piece art kit for creative projectsAmazonArt 101 215-Piece Wood Art Set, available at Amazon, $49.34If your girlfriend loves to create art, this 215-Piece art kit includes everything she'll need for projects: crayons, colored pencils, oil pastels, fine line markers, watercolor cakes, and acrylic paint.A year-long MasterClass membership to learn about things she's passionate aboutMasterClassAnnual Membership, available at MasterClass, from $180/yearIf your dinner table conversations often include talk of photography, or tennis, or screenwriting, or another passion, consider getting your girlfriend a gift that helps her spend time with her hobbies. We love MasterClass because it kind of feels like entertainment. Classes are short, there's no homework, and she can listen to the audio like its a podcast or watch the videos. The site hosts classes taught by well-known celebrities and industry leaders — from Neil deGrasse Tyson teaching Scientific Thinking and Communication to Malcolm Gladwell on Writing, Shonda Rhimes on Writing for Television, and Bob Iger on Business Strategy and Leadership. You can read our full review here.A one-size-fits-all lid that instantly declutters the cabinetsMade InSilicone Universal Lid Kit, available at Made In, $59This was one of the gifts that professional chefs recommended to us for avid home cooks. If your girlfriend loves to cook and has a plethora of differently sized pots and pans with all the corresponding lids, having one universal lid can declutter and streamline their space in one move. A convenient phone sanitizerPhoneSoapPhoneSoap 3 Smartphone UV Sanitizer, available at PhoneSoap, $79.95This small, easy-to-use device uses UV-C light to sanitize a phone, killing 99.9% of common household germs.A bottle (or two) of wineMcBride SistersMcBride Sisters Black Girl Magic Wine, starting at $19.99As the largest black-owned wine company in the United States, the McBride Sisters Collection is the perfect place to find a wine gift for your girlfriend. The Black Girl Magic collection in particular is inspired by the resilience of black women and includes varieties from Rosé to Merlot. The new Sonos Move portable speakerAmazonSonos Move, available at Best Buy, $399.99The Sonos Move is one of the best speakers on the market. It's powerful, can be controlled by voice or an app, and has Amazon Alexa built-in so on WiFi you can play music, check the news, set alarms, get your questions answered, and more, without much effort.A stylish, savvy carry-on with an external battery packAwayCarry-On, available at Away, from $225Away's hyper-popular suitcases deserve their hype. Their hard shell is lightweight but durable, their 360° spinner wheels make for seamless traveling, and the external (and ejectable and TSA-compliant) battery pack included can charge a smartphone five times over so she never has to sit behind a trash can at the airport for access to an outlet again. It's also guaranteed for life by Away. Find our full review here.16 highly-rated sheet masksAmazon/Business InsiderSheet Mask Set, available at Amazon, $22.99Grab 39 sheet masks to make it easier for your girlfriend to have a frequent and well-deserved "treat yourself" day. These are highly-rated and have both vitamin E and collagen included for healthy, happy skin.   A weighted blanket for better restAmazonYnM Weighted Blanket, available at YnM, from $49.80Weighted blankets help create more restful sleep by "grounding" the body, and YnM makes some of the most popular and affordable weighted blankets on the internet. There are multiple sizes and weights for the ideal fit and width (they recommend picking whichever is about 10% of your body weight), and the segmented design allows you to move around without displacing all the weighted beads inside. A mini multipurpose toolAmazonMini Multitool Knife 12 in 1, available on Amazon, $9.99This lightweight multitool has a knife, pliers, screwdrivers, wire cutters, scissors, and a bottle opener — so it's nine times as many opportunities for being useful as your average gift. A sleek fitness tracker that includes heart rate monitoringFitbitFitbit Inspire 2, available at Best Buy, $69.95Fitbit's affordable Inspire 2 tracker has no shortage of useful features to keep someone informed about their physical activity — tracking calorie burn, resting heart rate, and heart rate zones.An 8-in-1 pan that helps to declutter your homeOur PlaceAlways Pan, available at Our Place, $145If you're spending more time at home cooking together — or re-organizing the kitchen — she may appreciate a good 8-in-1 cookware hack.The Always Pan from startup Our Place is a frying pan, saute pan, steamer, skillet, saucier, saucepan, non-stick pan, spatula, and spoon rest in the space of a single pan. In other words, a clever generalist that's extremely convenient for small spaces or minimalist cooks. You can read our review here.A video message from someone she loves almost as much as youCameo/Business InsiderCameo Video Messages, available at Cameo, from $15Whether it's your girlfriend's favorite actor, comedian, or athlete, you're likely to find someone she admires on Cameo. Cameo allows celebrities to send custom video messages to recipients for nearly any occasion, and a personalized video is a gift that she'll never forget. Personalized cartoon couple mugsShelley KleinPersonalized Family Mugs, available at Uncommon Goods, from $30These cute mugs can be personalized for what you're like as a couple, making for a special weekend morning coffee routine or just a nice reminder in the kitchen cabinet. On the back, you can add a family name and the year the couple was established if you'd like. Silky, breathable leggingsEverlaneEverlane Leggings, $68Everlane's Perform Leggings are some of our all-time favorites — they're breathable and silky, like a slightly less expensive version of Alo leggings. You can read a full review of the Everlane Perform Leggings and see pictures of them here.Beautiful candles from a cool startupOtherlandOtherland Candles, available at Otherland, $36Otherland is a candle company started by Abigail Cook Stone, a former art buyer for Ralph Lauren. If you want to give your girlfriend a candle that burns for 55 hours, looks beautiful, and comes from a startup that she's probably seen (or coveted) before, this is a great option. Find our full review here.The last weekend bag you'll ever need to buy herRothy'sRothy's The Weekender, available at Rothy's, $550With its large, padded top handles and roomy interior, Rothy's The Weekender might be the last overnight bag your partner ever needs. It's got multiple pockets and a sturdy insert that helps it maintain its shape. You'll be shocked by how much you can fit in this bag — definitely enough for a long weekend. It's made of recycled plastic pulled from the ocean and is machine washable.  The "world's most comfortable shoes"AllbirdsWomen's Wool Runners, available at Allbirds, $98The classic Wool Runners make a great gift for the uninitiated, though we'd also highly recommend the brand's casual cup sole Wool Piper for everyday wear if that's more your partner's style. You can find our full review of the Runners here, and the Wool Pipers here.A customized map of her favorite placeGrafomapCustom Map Poster, available at Grafomap, from $49Grafomap lets you design custom maps of anywhere in the world — like the first place you met, the best trip you ever took together, or the hometown she couldn't wait to show you. It's unique, thoughtful, and pretty inexpensive.  You can find our full review here.A gift card to a popular wine subscription clubWincGift Card, available at Winc, from $29.95Winc is a personalized wine club — and we think it's the best one you can belong to overall. Members take a wine palate profile quiz and then choose from the personalized wine suggestions. Each bottle has extensive tasting notes and serving recommendations online, and makes it easy to discover similar bottles. Gift her a Winc gift card, and she can take a wine palate profile quiz and get started with her own customized suggestions. An exercise bike for staying active indoorsNordicTrackCommercial S22i Studio Cycle, available at NordicTrack, $1,499If money is of no object and your partner is trying to figure out how to exercise while staying indoors, an exercise bike is a particularly thoughtful and useful gift right now. We like the NordicTrack option the most overall, but we also like and recommend options that are under $200. A large print on fine art paper of a favorite memoryArtifact Uprising/Business InsiderLarge Format Prints, available at Artifact Uprising, from $22Artifact Uprising makes luxury prints at accessible prices — and they make especially thoughtful gifts that look like they should cost much more. Get one of their favorite photos printed on archival fine art paper for $20 and up, or thoughtful cards for as little as $1 per custom card. You can also make a color series photo book for $22, a set of prints for $9, and a personalized calendar on a handcrafted wood clipboard for $30.A mug that keeps hot drinks hot for up to six hours straightHydro FlaskHydro Flask Mug, 12 oz, available at Hydro Flask, from $24.95This mug is a common desk companion for the Insider Reviews team. The 12-ounce coffee mug has the company's proprietary TempShield insulation that made its water bottles famous. This mug will keep hot drinks hot for up to six hours, and cold drinks cold up to 24 hours. Read our full review of it here.A gift card for delicious, healthy meals she can make in about 30 secondsDaily HarvestGift Card, available at Daily Harvest, from $50Daily Harvest is a food startup that makes it possible to eat healthy, delicious meals for less than $10 each even if you only have 30 seconds to spare for prep time. Meals are pre-portioned, delicious, and designed by both a chef and a nutritionist to make sure they're tasty and good for you. It addressed most of my healthy eating roadblocks. The best hair dryer ever inventedDyson/FacebookDyson Blow Dryer, available at Ulta, $399.99This gift may seem inexplicably expensive, but the Dyson blow dryer is lauded as the best one ever invented, making it a cult favorite. It prevents hair damage by measuring air temperature 20 times per second, has a specially designed Dyson motor for fast drying, and reduces static, breakage, and makes hair look smooth and shiny.Comfy, high-end sheets at the best price on the marketBrooklinenLuxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle, available at Brooklinen, from $240Brooklinen is one of our favorite companies, point-blank. We think they make the best high-end sheets at the best price on the market, and most of the Insider Reviews team uses Brooklinen on their own beds.The Luxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle comes in plenty of colors and patterns, and you can mix and match them to suit your taste. Grab a gift card if you want to give her more freedom. If you opt for a sheet bundle, she'll receive a core sheet set (fitted, flat, two pillowcases), duvet cover, and two extra pillowcases in soft, smooth 480-thread-count weave.This cozy loungewear set that she'll never want to take offKnixKnix Cozzzy Track Pants, available at Knix, $46.75Cozy and warm, the Cozzzy Track Pants from Knix are comfortable enough to wear around the house while also being cute enough to wear to the market. The ultra-soft fabric feels like the softest terry cloth washcloth you've ever used, and its slouchy fit is modern and luxe. She'll love the joggers with cuffed legs that are sleek without being overly tight. Comes in cream and gray.The internet's favorite olive oilBrightlandAwake Olive Oil, available at Brightland, $37Brightland's olive oils make great gifts for cooks and anyone else who loves to entertain. The white bottles protect the EVOO from light damage and look nice displayed on a countertop. Find a full review here. A high-tech towel that keeps her from slipping around during yoga classesMandukaManduka Yogitoes Yoga Mat Towel, from $42.50Manduka is known for making the best yoga products, and their Yogitoes towel is one of the most loved. It has tiny 100% silicone nubs on one side that grab yoga mats and keep yogis from slipping around during the exercise. Having a good towel can make a big difference. It also comes in 19 great colors and gets eco-friendly points. Each Yogitoes towel is made from eight recycled plastic water bottles, and made with dyes free of azo, lead, or heavy metal. A card game that's meant to deepen personal connectionsUrban OutfittersWe're Not Really Strangers Card Game, available at Urban Outfitters, $30This card game, from the popular Instagram account We're Not Really Strangers, is designed to enhance connections between people with different levels: perceptions, connection, and reflection. Not only is it a card game you haven't played before, but it's also a thoughtful activity you can enjoy with your girlfriend.A cooking class from one of the nation's top chefsCozymeal/InstagramGift Card, available at Cozymeal, from $50With a Cozymeal class, you and your girlfriend can learn how to make anything from fresh pasta to Argentinian staple dishes from the nation's top chefs. In addition to cooking classes, Cozymeal offers food tours in various cities (when it's safe to do so). A satin-lined beanieAndrea Bossi / Business InsiderKink & Coil Satin-Lined Beanie, $36Most people with naturally curly hair avoid wearing hats to reduce frizz, but Kink and Coil's satin-lined beanie solves that issue. Just like a silk pillowcase or a bonnet, the inside of the beanie is designed to protect your hair from frizz and damage. On top of that, the pom-pom can be removed, if she'd prefer to wear the hat without it.We spoke with a trichologist to learn more about how satin- and silk-lined beanies can benefit anyone with curly or high-porosity hair. Rihanna's bestselling Fenty skincare setFenty BeautyFenty Skin Start'rs Full-Size Bundle, $75Rihanna's bestselling skincare bundle from her brand Fenty includes everything she'll need to maintain healthy skin. The kit includes a facial cleanser, toner, and two-in-one sunscreen moisturizer. Read our full review of the Fenty skincare set here.A cashmere crew from Everlane that she'll own foreverEverlaneThe Cashmere Crew, available at Everlane, from $120For a closet staple she'll own for years to come, Everlane's $120 Cashmere Crew (available in various colors) is about the safest choice you can make. Everlane has plenty of great gifts (you can find the Everlane basics we wear repeatedly here), so you can't really go wrong. A small cold brew coffee makerAmazonAirtight Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker, available at Walmart, $34.99This small cold brew maker (available in 1-liter and 1.5-liter options) makes coffee's less acidic, smoother cousin cold brew in 12 hours in the fridge, so there's minimal hassle and always a treat ready in the morning on your girlfriend's way out the door to work. A stylish leather makeup pouch that's thoughtful and easy to travel withDagne DoverHunter Toiletry Bag, available at Dagne Dover, from $40Dagne Dover is quickly becoming one of the best women's handbag companies to know, and its toiletry pouches are a great and relatively affordable gift. The small size holds a handful of go-to toiletries, and the large should have enough space for all of the grooming essentials.A comfy zip-up for the months aheadPatagoniaBetter Sweater, available at Patagonia, from $139Patagonia makes our favorite athleisure options overall, and that definitely includes the Better Sweater. It works in pretty much any environment — in the office, at home, on a hike, or on a casual night out — and has zippered pockets to keep hands warm in the cold months. We're also big fans of the 1/4 Zip option.A new waterproof Kindle Paperwhite for reading anywhereAmazonKindle Paperwhite, available at Amazon, $129.99If your girlfriend is a reader, we'd suggest looking at Amazon's new Kindle Paperwhite; it's the company's thinnest and lightest yet, with double the storage. Perhaps the best features are that it's waterproof and has a built-in adjustable light for the perfect reading environment indoors or outdoors, day or night. If she loves a nice, relaxing bath, pair this with a caddy, bath bombs, and a glass of wine for a relaxing night in that you've already taken care of.A cult-favorite hair towel that reduces damage and cuts drying time by 50%AquisAquis Rapid Dry Hair Towel, available at Anthropologie, from $30Aquis' cult-favorite hair towels can cut the amount of time it takes for her hair to dry in half — a claim we're happy to report holds up. The proprietary fabric also means there's less damage to wet hair while it dries. A fun, unique local dateAirbnb/Business InsiderAirbnb Experiences, available at Airbnb, from $10Airbnb started offering experience programming online. You can book from thousands of experiences that range from workouts with Olympic athletes over Zoom to cooking classes with chefs you'd normally have to hop on a flight to meet. We tested a a tango class and a Moroccan cooking class.It's also an under-utilized part of Airbnb, making it a thoughtful and unusual gift — and one you may keep using with your girlfriend for out-of-the-box date nights in the future. As states and countries slowly begin reopening, Airbnb listings and in-person activities are becoming options again, but you can still participate in online activities from home if you're not ready to travel yet or just want a fun activity. A houseplant that arrives already potted and is easy to care forLeon & GeorgeSilver Evergreen, available at Leon & George, from $149Leon & George is a San Francisco startup that will send beautiful plants — potted in stylish, minimalist pots — to your girlfriend's door. All she has to do is to occasionally add water. Flowers are wonderful, but houseplants have a much longer shelf life, and most of Leon & George's options are very easy to care for. We'd also recommend checking out Bloomscape for small plant trios under $70.  Beautiful earrings she'll own foreverStone and StrandSparkle Diamond Cluster Huggies, available at Stone and Strand, $395They're solid gold, conflict-free, and made locally. Plus, the style is versatile enough that your girlfriend can wear them every day.A membership to a popular skincare and makeup subscription that sends new, cool, and bestselling products once per monthConnie Chen/Business InsiderBirchbox Gift Subscription, available at Birchbox, from $45Birchbox is a skincare and makeup subscription that sends tons of samples of new and cult-favorite products to subscribers so they can find products they love without much commitment or cost upfront. Makeup and skincare products can be expensive, so this is a particularly helpful service. A funny and unique cardLoveFromCo/EtsyYou Take My Breath Away, available at Etsy, from $4.09You can pick up a card from Walgreens on your way to exchange gifts, but it'll mean more if you think just a few days ahead. Etsy has great options for cheap, unique, handmade gifts that are cool and thoughtful. This one is perfect for a couple who appreciates a "The Office" deep cut. A streaming stick that gives you access to hundreds of thousands of movies and TV episodesAmazonRoku Streaming Stick +, available at Best Buy, $44.99Roku's Streaming Stick+ is exceptional for its 4K, HDR, and HD streaming, and long-range wireless receiver. Installing it is an easy process and starts by plugging the stick into his TV.A great foam rollerTB12Vibrating Pliability Roller, available on TB12, $160If your girlfriend is very physically active, a foam roller is a nice gift to aid in her workout recovery and soreness. This one is our favorite because it has four levels of vibration, a pattern that targets muscle groups, and a durable exterior. But, if your budget doesn't fit a $160 foam roller, never fear — we like some under-$20 options too. A subscription to a book club that sends her great hardcovers once per monthBook of the Month Instagram3-Month Subscription, available at Book of the Month, $49.99If she's a bookworm, Book of the Month is an especially thoughtful and unique gift — it's a book club that has been around since 1926, and it's credited with discovering some of the most beloved books of all time ("Gone with the Wind" and "Catcher in the Rye" to name a couple). If you gift her a subscription, she'll receive a hardcover book delivered to her door once a month. Books are selected by a team of experts and celebrity guest judges.If she's really more into audiobooks or e-reading now rather than hardcovers, check out a gift subscription to Scribd (full review here).Fancy popcorn and a movie nightWilliams SonomaAmish Popcorn Gift Set, available at Williams Sonoma, $29.95Make a reservation at a nice outdoor restaurant, stock up on your girlfriend's favorite movie candy and some fun drinks ahead of time (wrap them for an extra wow-factor), and create your own in-house cinema experience. Or, perhaps even better, order a bunch of take-out from your favorite local restaurants.A gift set of a dozen decadent bath bombsAmazonBath Bomb Gift Set, available at Walmart, $34.53This bath bomb gift set comes with 12 handcrafted bath bombs that range from mango-papaya to lavender in scent, and some of which include flower petals. They're a great addition to a long bath, as is a bamboo bathtub tray. A subscription to a coffee service that sends coffees specifically for her taste preferencesDriftaway Facebook3-Month Subscription, available at Driftaway Coffee, from $75If your girlfriend loves coffee, she'll probably love to try Driftaway. It's a gourmet coffee subscription that gets smarter the longer you use it, remembering your preferences and steering you towards increasingly accurate brews for your specific tastes. The first shipment will be a tasting kit with four coffee profiles, which she'll rate online or in the app to start getting personalized options.A book of love letters written by history's great menAmazonLove Letters of Great Men, available at Amazon, $13.95It can be hard to do yourself justice in words — whether they're spoken or written in a card. This compilation of love letters written by great men can help you say it without actually technically saying it. Bonus points if you write your own, or mark the ones in the book that most closely resemble your own feelings.  A beautiful diamond necklace she'll have foreverAUrateDiamond Bezel Necklace, available at AUrate, from $320A diamond necklace doesn't have to be thousands of dollars, as fine jewelry startups like AUrate are proving. This necklace is something she can keep and wear forever, and both the solid gold and conflict-free diamonds are of the highest quality. Lush, subtly scented body washNecessaireNecessaire — The Body Wash, available at Sephora, $25New startup Necessaire formulates its body care products with nourishing vitamins and clean ingredients. The subtly scented Body Wash will leave her skin feeling clean, soft, and nourished. Hand sanitizer that smells goodTouchlandTouchland Power Mist Hand Sanitizer, available at Touchland, $9Many of us are using hand sanitizer a lot these days. Why not pick one they'd enjoy using? This version from Touchland is a little moisturizing and doesn't smell like alcohol or make hands sticky. Read our full review here.A stylish weekender to keep her organized on the goCaraa SportCaraa Studio Tote Large, available at Caraa, $250Caraa Sport makes some of the most functional and best-looking gym bags on the market. This one can transition from tote to backpack by adding straps. It also has a hidden shoe compartment and a waterproof and antimicrobial lining.An award-winning at-home facialSephoraDrunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial, available at Sephora, $80This is an award-winning mask with a big following in the beauty and skincare community. It's $80, but it's an at-home pro-quality facial your girlfriend can use anytime — which is a fraction of the price required for regular facials.Kitchen towels that rate wines by how well they pair with certain foodsUncommon GoodsWine Pairing Towel, available at Wolf & Badger, $19If your girlfriend loves having a nice glass of wine and/or cooking, she'll appreciate the thought behind this unique wine pairing towel. Grab a bottle and some corresponding ingredients for a fun night in for the two of you.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytDec 8th, 2021

150+ of the best Cyber Monday deals to shop now: Target, Amazon, Walmart, and more

Shop Cyber Monday deals now. Save big at Amazon, Walmart, Target, and Nordstrom, and with small brands like Outdoor Voices, Eberjey, and Kiehl's. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Alyssa Powell/InsiderIt's November 29, which means Cyber Monday is live. Cyber Monday is explicitly an online-shopping event — even more so than Black Friday — and it's historically brought some of the sales weekend's lowest prices. While Cyber Monday is officially live now, many retailers are continuing Black Friday deals right now.Cyber Monday is a particularly great time to shop for tech, smart home, and gift cards, but categories like kitchen and home, as well as personal care are also very active.  Stock is typically more limited than Black Friday, which means acting fast is key to getting a good deal. Bookmark this page and check back throughout the day to keep up with discounts without spending all day combing the internet; we'll do the heavy lifting for you.At Insider Reviews, we test products all year and track their price history so we can give you solid buying advice during big shopping events like Cyber Monday. Tons of deals are available now on products we love and trust, and we're highlighting the best ones below.Spotlight: Our top 10 standout Cyber Monday dealsSony WH-1000XM4, $248 (originally $349.99)Amazon Echo (4th Gen), $59.99 (originally $99.99)KitchenAid Professional 5 Plus Series 5-Quart Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer, $294.11 (originally $429.99)Molekule Air Purifier, $479 (originally $799)Dyson V8 Absolute, $399.99 (originally $449.99)Eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 15C MAX, $169.99 (originally $279.99)Hulu Monthly Subscription, $0.99 (originally $6.99)Amazon Prime Video Channel Add-Ons, $0.99 for up to two months (originally up to $10.99 per month)L.L.Bean Wicked Good Slippers, Men's $75.65 (originally $89), Women's $67.15 (originally $79), and Toddlers $33.96 (originally 39.94)Lululemon Wunder Under High-Rise Tight, $69 (originally $98)Best Cyber Monday 2021 tech dealsAnker PowerWave Alloy PadIf you have a phone capable of charging at 15W or you want to future-proof, then the Anker PowerWave Alloy Pad is best for you.$24.79 FROM AMAZONOriginally $30.99 | Save 20%Belkin 15W Boost Charge Wireless ChargerBelkin's Boost Charge Wireless Charger is inexpensive, includes a charger and cable, and works as well as all the other options we tested.$29.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $39.99 | Save 25%Apple MagSafe ChargerApple’s MagSafe wireless charger uses magnets snap in place on the iPhone 12 and delivers charging of up to 15 watts. It is still compatible with wireless Qi charging, so older iPhone models can use it too, though they have to rest flat against the charger, as they lack the embedded magnets to take advantage of snap-on alignment. This is great for any iPhone owner looking for wireless charging and is on sale for $34.$29.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $39.00 | Save 23%Roku Streaming Stick 4K (2021)Compared to the Roku Streaming Stick+, the new Streaming Stick 4K provides an improved viewing experience by adding support for Dolby Vision. This advanced high dynamic range (HDR) format can provide better picture quality on TVs that support it.$29.00 FROM AMAZONOriginally $49.99 | Save 42%$29.99 FROM ROKUOriginally $49.99 | Save 40%$29.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $49.99 | Save 40%$29.00 FROM WALMARTOriginally $49.99 | Save 42%Apple Pencil (2nd Generation)The Apple Pencil is a special stylus that lets you draw and handwrite on your iPad. There are two versions of the Apple Pencil, and they each work with a different collection of iPads.$99.00 FROM AMAZONOriginally $129.00 | Save 23%$99.00 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $129.00 | Save 23%$99.99 FROM VERIZONOriginally $129.99 | Save 23%$129.00 FROM APPLERoku Streambar 2020Too much clutter under the TV? The interesting Roku Streambar combines all of the features of a Roku 4K player with a compact soundbar.$79.98 FROM AMAZONOriginally $129.99 | Save 38%$79.98 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $129.99 | Save 38%$79.98 FROM TARGETOriginally $129.99 | Save 38%$99.00 FROM WALMARTOriginally $129.99 | Save 24%Google Nest Hub (2nd gen)The Google Nest Hub is a smart display with a unique Sleep Sensing feature to help you monitor your sleep habits. $49.99 FROM KOHL'SOriginally $99.99 | Save 50%$49.98 FROM WALMARTOriginally $99.98 | Save 50%$49.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $99.99 | Save 50%Apple Watch Series 7Much more than a timepiece, the Apple Watch can also be used for keeping track of workouts, making phone calls, sending text messages, setting timers and alarms, counting calories, and more.$379.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $399.00 | Save 5%$379.99 FROM WALMARTOriginally $399.00 | Save 5%$399.00 FROM APPLESamsung Galaxy Watch 4 (40mm)The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is the obvious choice for Android users looking for a comprehensive, quality, premium smartwatch experience. However, it's a shame that the ECG feature is limited specifically to Samsung phone owners. $199.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $249.99 | Save 20%$199.99 FROM TARGETOriginally $249.99 | Save 20%$199.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $249.99 | Save 20%MasterClass 2-for-1 membershipGet two MasterClass subscriptions for the price of one! Each subscription gets you access to all of MasterClass, so you can watch or sample unlimited celebrity and expert-led classes across a wide range of topics.$180.00 FROM MASTERCLASSOriginally $360.00 | Save 50%Bose QuietComfort 45The QuietComfort 45 have a refreshed design with improved noise cancelling and better battery life.$279.00 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $329.00 | Save 15%$279.00 FROM BOSEOriginally $329.00 | Save 15%$279.00 FROM AMAZONOriginally $329.00 | Save 15%$279.00 FROM WALMARTOriginally $329.00 | Save 15%Apple AirPods (3rd Gen)Apple's third-generation AirPods offer longer battery life, a MagSafe charger, water resistance, and support for spatial audio. $169.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $179.00 | Save 5%$179.00 FROM APPLE$179.00 FROM BEST BUY$174.98 FROM WALMART$154.99 FROM MICRO CENTEROriginally $179.99 | Save 14%Apple Airpods (2nd Generation)You’ll need to pick up your pair from your local Micro Center, but this is a solid deal price for the second-generation Apple AirPods. You can often find them discounted as low as $120, making this extra $5 drop noteworthy. $104.99 FROM MICRO CENTEROriginally $129.99 | Save 19%$114.99 FROM TARGETOriginally $129.99 | Save 12%$114.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $129.99 | Save 12%$119.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $129.99 | Save 8%Apple MacBook Air (M1)The latest MacBook Air released in late 2020 gains Apple's new M1 processor, which brings impressively fast performance and long battery life, for under $1,000, making it the best Apple laptop overall.$899.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $999.99 | Save 10%$999.00 FROM APPLE$999.00 FROM B&HApple 2020 MacBook Air (M1 chip, 8GB RAM, 512GB)The latest MacBook Air released in late 2020 gains Apple's new M1 processor, which brings impressively fast performance and long battery life, for prices starting at under $1,000, making it the best Apple laptop overall. The 512GB storage model adds to the price over the base 256GB model. $1099.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $1199.00 | Save 8%$1149.00 FROM B&HOriginally $1199.00 | Save 4%Apple MacBook Pro with M1 Processor (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB)Apple's latest MacBook Pro with the M1 processor is leaps and bounds beyond its predecessor, but the Intel MacBook Pro still has some tricks.$1199.00 FROM B&HOriginally $1299.00 | Save 8%$1299.00 FROM APPLELG 65-inch C1 OLED 4K TVLG’s C1 is one of the best 4K TVs you can buy. The OLED panel delivers incredible image quality with an infinite contrast ratio. This deal price matches the lowest we’ve seen so far.$1796.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $2499.98 | Save 28%$1796.99 FROM WALMARTOriginally $2499.98 | Save 28%Samsung 65-inch Q60A QLED 4K TVSamsung's Q60A is the company's less expensive lineup of premium QLED TVs. $849.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $999.99 | Save 15%Amazon Fire TV 50" Omni SeriesAmazon launched its own smart TVs in fall 2021 and the Omni Series boasts features like hands-free Alexa support and video calling along with the latest Fire TV software.$359.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $509.99 | Save 29%Amazon Echo (4th Gen)The latest Echo speaker from Amazon takes on a spherical design for more effective room-filling audio. $59.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $99.99 | Save 40%$59.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $99.99 | Save 40%$59.99 FROM TARGETOriginally $99.99 | Save 40%Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K MaxThe Fire TV Stick 4K is designed to be 40% more powerful than Fire TV Stick 4K. It also adds Wi-Fi 6 support.$34.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $54.99 | Save 36%$34.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $54.99 | Save 36%$34.99 FROM TARGETOriginally $54.99 | Save 36%Ring Video Doorbell (2020)The latest affordable Video Doorbell model from Ring features 1080p recording and improved motion tracking. It's a great deal if you're looking to start adding smart devices to your home. Orders made now will be fulfilled in 6 to 7 weeks.$79.98 FROM AMAZONOriginally $99.99 | Save 20%Google Nest Cam Outdoor Battery (2021) Elegant design, reliable performance, and wireless battery power make the Nest Cam Outdoor a tempting option to add peace of mind and checking in on your home's exterior when you're away. $149.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $179.99 | Save 17%$149.99 FROM GOOGLEOriginally $179.99 | Save 17%$149.99 FROM BED BATH & BEYONDOriginally $179.99 | Save 17%$149.99 FROM TARGETOriginally $179.99 | Save 17%$198.00 FROM AMAZONGoogle Nest ThermostatGoogle Nest makes some of the best smart thermostats you can buy. This model lets you control your home's temperature via the internet or through a mobile app. It can also learn your preferred temperature settings over time. $99.99 FROM TARGETOriginally $129.99 | Save 23%$89.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $129.99 | Save 31%Vizio Elevate 5.1.4 SoundbarVizio's Elevate soundbar offers a 5.1.4 Dolby Atmos experience with performance that rivals many full-fledged home theater systems.$798.00 FROM AMAZONOriginally $1099.99 | Save 27%$799.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $1099.99 | Save 27%GoPro Hero 10 BlackThis video and still camera has similar capabilities to larger variants, while maintaining the small go-anywhere form-factor it's known for.$349.98 FROM GOPROOriginally $499.99 | Save 30%Best Cyber Monday 2021 kitchen dealsZojirushi MaestroThis bread machine is specifically calibrated to bake excellent one-pound loaves of bread, making it a solid choice for one or two-person households.$242.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $329.99 | Save 26%$339.99 FROM ABTOriginally $395.00 | Save 14%Café Specialty Drip Coffee MakerWhat makes this coffee maker the best I tested is its combination of simplicity and customizability. It’s also extremely consistent — every cup of coffee brewed at every setting tasted just like it should. $279.95 FROM WILLIAMS SONOMAOriginally $349.95 | Save 20%$279.00 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $349.99 | Save 20%KitchenAid Professional 5 Plus Series 5-Quart Bowl-Lift Stand MixerThis KitchenAid is a powerful mixer that can handle sticky doughs and a few quarts of cake batter, but isn't too bulky for a home kitchen. It comes in eight colors, and each includes a flat beater, a spiral dough hook, and a wire whisk. $249.99 FROM TARGETOriginally $429.99 | Save 42%GreaterGoods Kitchen ScaleThis basic food scale is reliable and easy to use, for a low price.$8.39 FROM AMAZONOriginally $19.95 | Save 58%Nespresso Vertuo Next Deluxe Coffee and Espresso MakerA truly versatile machine, the Nespresso Vertuo Next uses capsules to make both coffee and espresso in a variety of cup or carafe sizes.$126.75 FROM TARGETOriginally $169.99 | Save 25%Ninja Professional Plus Food ProcessorThe Ninja Professional Plus makes food prep fast and easy with presets for chopped vegetables, shredded cheese, more.$79.98 FROM KOHLSOriginally $119.99 | Save 33%Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 Indoor Grill with Air Fryer, Roast, Bake & DehydrateThe Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 has five functions, including grill, bake, and dehydrate. Its temperatures range between 105°F to 500°F, giving it a lot of versatility in cooking options. Many of the parts are dishwasher safe for easier cleanup. $169.99 FROM TARGETOriginally $229.99 | Save 26%$169.99 FROM KOHL'SOriginally $249.99 | Save 32%Vitamix Explorian BlenderThe renewed Vitamix Explorian is pre-owned, but every bit as good as new and comes with a 90-day Amazon Renewed Guarantee on top of a 3-year full warranty.$289.95 FROM TARGETOriginally $449.99 | Save 36%$289.95 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $345.99 | Save 16%Instant Pot Duo Plus Pressure Cooker BundleThis bundle is a Target exclusive, and it includes an extra silicone egg rack and stainless steel steam rack for your pressure cooking needs. It’s only $60 right now — an excellent value for such a multifunctional kitchen appliance.$50.99 FROM TARGETOriginally $129.99 | Save 61%Cuisinart Chef's Classic 17-Piece Hard-Anodized Cookware SetThis nonstick set includes nine different pans, lids to match, and a steamer for a total of 17 pieces. $219.99 FROM KOHL'SOriginally $399.99 | Save 45%Keurig K-Mini Single Serve Coffee MakerThe slim 6- to 12-ounce coffee maker will fit neatly on any kitchen counter and save energy with the auto-off feature after brewing.$49.99 FROM THE HOME DEPOTOriginally $79.98 | Save 37%$89.99 FROM TARGETBest Cyber Monday 2021 home dealsHammam Linen Bath Towels 4-PackThese 100% cotton towels are big, soft, and fluffy.$33.15 FROM AMAZONOriginally $69.98 | Save 53%AeroGarden SproutA smaller option from AeroGarden's lineup, the Sprout lets you grow up to three plants in its narrow footprint. It's down to $70 with promo code SUMMER20 through May 31, a rare and excellent deal direct from AeroGarden.$49.95 FROM AEROGARDENOriginally $99.95 | Save 50%$49.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $99.95 | Save 50%Chewy Pet ProductsFor Cyber Monday, Chewy is offering $30 off purchases of $100 or more. This is only for select products, including food, treats, beds, and more.$70.00 FROM CHEWYOriginally $100.00 | Save 30%Dyson Outsize Absolute+The Dyson Outsize Absolute+ is ideal for whole home, deep cleaning with its full-size dustbin and large cleaner head. $799.99 FROM DYSONOriginally $899.99 | Save 11%Dyson V8 AbsoluteBuilt with a soft roller head for hard floors and a motorized cleaner head for carpets, the Dyson V8 Absolute handles all surfaces efficiently.$399.99 FROM DYSONOriginally $449.99 | Save 11%Dyson Cyclone V10 AbsoluteEquipped with a sensor to detect the difference between carpets and hard floors, the Cyclone V10 Absolute is the perfect vacuum cleaner for any room in the house. We've seen it go for as low as $350 before (it's usually $550), but during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you'll get it for $400 while supplies last.$499.99 FROM DYSONOriginally $549.99 | Save 9%Eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 15C MAXQuiet, slim, and powerful, the eufy RoboVac 15C Max is a solid investment if you're looking for a robot vacuum. It's already very affordable at retail price, but you can also often find it on sale, making it an even better deal.$169.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $279.99 | Save 39%$169.99 FROM EUFYOriginally $249.99 | Save 32%iRobot Roomba i3+ (3550) Robot VacuumThe i3+ costs considerably more than your average robot vacuum, but it also does a lot more than the average robot vacuum. It develops personalized cleaning schedules and empties itself. $399.00 FROM WALMARTOriginally $599.00 | Save 33%$399.99 FROM IROBOTOriginally $599.99 | Save 33%$399.99 FROM THE HOME DEPOTOriginally $565.47 | Save 29%$399.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $599.99 | Save 33%Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI Robot VacuumThe  Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo Pro Mopping System thoroughly cleans floors as opposed to pushing a wet cloth around. When paired with the Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI Robot Vacuum, the two make easy work of time-consuming chores.$499.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $749.99 | Save 33%$799.99 FROM BEST BUYBissell SpinWave Robot VacuumThe Bissell SpinWave Robot Vacuum picked up all the pet hair on carpet in our tests and has a great assortment of mop attachments and accessories. The company is also committed to helping homeless pets and helps them find loving homes. $249.00 FROM AMAZONOriginally $399.99 | Save 38%$299.00 FROM WALMARTOriginally $399.99 | Save 25%Dewalt Atomic 20-Volt Max Compact Drill/Impact Combo Kit This 20-Volt MAX Brushless Compact 2-Tool Combo Kit includes 1 cordless Drill/Driver, 1 cordless Impact Driver, two 20-Volt MAX Lithium Ion Batteries, 1 charger, and a carrying bag. $149.00 FROM THE HOME DEPOTOriginally $229.00 | Save 35%Kitchellence 3-Stage Knife SharpenerThis knife sharpener includes three stages to help repair and sharpen dull blades. It also includes cut-resistant gloves. $19.98 FROM AMAZONOriginally $30.00 | Save 33%Best Cyber Monday 2021 gaming dealsSony Spider-Man: Miles Morales Launch Edition (PS5)An all-new Spider-Man experience, Spider-Man Miles Morales has you master explosive new powers along with some classic web-slinging acrobatics. The PS5 update even lets you play the game in the gorgeous raytracing mode at a smooth 60 fps.$29.99 FROM TARGETOriginally $49.99 | Save 40%$29.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $49.99 | Save 40%$29.83 FROM AMAZONOriginally $49.99 | Save 40%Nintendo Switch Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Digital Download)The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was released for the Nintendo Switch in 2017, but still remains one of the best Switch games out there. Right now, a physical copy is selling for $40, which is a solid price on this rarely discounted game.$35.00 FROM WALMARTOriginally $59.99 | Save 42%Nintendo eShop $50 Gift CardThe Nintendo eShop is the best place to shop for digital copies of Nintendo's games. This gift card is the perfect gift or investment for anyone with a Nintendo Switch. Better still, Nintendo's eShop offers several sales throughout the year. This means, patient shoppers can double their savings.$45.00 FROM WALMARTOriginally $50.00 | Save 10%$50.00 FROM BEST BUY$45.00 FROM NEWEGGOriginally $50.00 | Save 10%Xbox Game Pass for PC (3-Month Membership)Typically, you can get a 3-month Game Pass subscription for $30. Right now, it's only $20, a solid deal. This is the PC version, which gets you EA Play, exclusive member discounts, and unlimited to access to over 100 games. $1.00 FROM MICROSOFTOriginally $29.99 | Save 97%$19.98 FROM AMAZONOriginally $29.99 | Save 33%$19.98 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $29.99 | Save 33%Microsoft Xbox Series S|X Wireless ControllerThis latest-gen Xbox gamepad is the best Microsoft has ever made, and during Cyber Monday, shoppers can save $20 on this recently released controller.$49.99 FROM MICROSOFTOriginally $59.99 | Save 17%$54.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $59.99 | Save 8%$49.00 FROM GAME STOPOriginally $54.99 | Save 11%$49.00 FROM WALMARTOriginally $64.88 | Save 24%Death Loop for PlayStation 5“Death Loop” is an unusual first-person shooter that challenges players to escape a day-long time loop by assassinating specific targets. The game is a great pick for fans of spy movies, sci-fi, and creative gunplay.$29.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $59.99 | Save 50%Call of Duty Vanguard for PlayStation 4The latest Call of Duty game is now on sale for $20 off, just a few weeks after its release.$39.00 FROM WALMARTOriginally $59.99 | Save 35%$44.99 FROM TARGETOriginally $59.99 | Save 25%Call of Duty Vanguard for PlayStation 5The latest Call of Duty game is now on sale for PlayStation 5 just a few weeks after its release.$54.99 FROM TARGETOriginally $69.98 | Save 21%$39.00 FROM WALMARTOriginally $59.94 | Save 35%Nintendo Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit Nintendo Switch Set EditionYou can use a Nintendo Switch to control this real-life Mario Kart toy, and watch Mario or Luigi’s perspective as they zoom around your home.$88.99 FROM TARGETOriginally $99.99 | Save 11%$99.99 FROM BEST BUYLogitech G305 Lightspeed Wireless Gaming MouseCompact and portable, the Logitech G305 is great to take on the go. It's best if you prefer smaller mice and right now it's only $40, a great price drop from a typical selling price of $50.$29.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $59.99 | Save 50%$29.99 FROM WALMARTOriginally $48.97 | Save 39%Nintendo Switch Ring Fit Adventure"Ring Fit Adventure" for the Nintendo Switch uses the exclusive "Ring-Con" attachment and a leg strap to track movement and provide resistance for workouts. The game also includes an adventure mode. Right now, it's selling for $55 at Target and Amazon, $25 off its usual price and the lowest price we've ever seen on this game.$54.00 FROM AMAZONOriginally $79.98 | Save 32%$54.00 FROM WALMARTOriginally $80.00 | Save 33%$79.98 FROM BEST BUY$79.98 FROM TARGETBest Cyber Monday 2021 streaming dealsHulu Monthly Subscription (Deal)Save a huge 85% on an ad-supported Hulu subscription for an entire year. That amounts to just 99 cents per month. This deal is live until Monday, November 29. $0.99 FROM HULUOriginally $6.99 | Save 86%Disney Plus Free Trial with Amazon Music UnlimitedNew Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers can get six months of Disney Plus for free when they sign up. Current Music Unlimited members can get three months of Disney Plus. Music Unlimited costs $8 a month for Prime members or $10 a month without Prime.$0.00 FROM AMAZONAmazon Prime Video Channel Add-OnsPrime Video subscribers can choose from a variety of channel-add ons including Starz, Showtime, Paramount+, AMC+, Discovery+, and more.$0.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $10.99 | Save 91%YouTube PremiumYouTube Premium lets you stream videos and music on YouTube without any ads. The service also features exclusive programs.FREE FROM YOUTUBEOriginally $11.99 | Save 100%Best Cyber Monday 2021 health & fitness dealsTheragun PrimeTheragun's Prime massage gun is the perfect blend of performance and value. It delivers a high-quality massage, is durably built, and features an ergonomic design that makes it easy to use anywhere on your body. It's also half the price of the flagship Pro model.$249.99 FROM THERABODYOriginally $299.00 | Save 16%$249.99 FROM KOHL'SOriginally $299.99 | Save 17%RENPHO Foot Massager MachineWith customizable patterns of kneading, compression, and heat therapy, the RENPHO Foot Massager Machine is a full-service Shiatsu device and feels like a home spa for your feet.$129.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $149.99 | Save 13%Garmin Forerunner 245 MusicThe Garmin Forerunner 245 is a great choice for runners and offers features like calendar syncing, weather forecasting, and notifications, so you can leave your phone at home. $249.99 FROM TARGETOriginally $349.99 | Save 29%$249.99 FROM GARMINOriginally $349.99 | Save 29%Garmin Fenix 6SThe Garmin Fenix 6S Sapphire smartwatch is a premium watch perfect for those looking for enhanced GPS capabilities in a rugged design. The Fenix 6S features an always-on display, stainless steel bezels, an enhanced pulse oximeter for sleep monitoring and altitude acclimation, grade-adjusted pace guidance, and comes preloaded with maps, as well as the ability to tap into three different navigation satellite systems. $549.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $749.99 | Save 27%Philips Sonicare 9900 PrestigeDentists love Philips Sonicare and its new 9900 Prestige has every bell and whistle you could want in an electric toothbrush, including the ability to adjust its vibrations based on how hard you're brushing.$299.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $349.99 | Save 14%$299.95 FROM PHILLIPS SONICAREOriginally $349.99 | Save 14%Fitbit LuxeThe Fitbit Luxe is the company's latest fitness band that comes with a sleek design and advanced health features like stress management and the ability to measure heart rate variation.$99.99 FROM KOHL'SOriginally $149.99 | Save 33%$99.95 FROM FITBITOriginally $149.94 | Save 33%$99.95 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $149.94 | Save 33%Mirror from lululemonThis isn't just a mirror. It's a cardio class, it's a yoga studio, it's a boxing ring, it's your new personal trainer, and it's so much more. For Cyber Monday, Mirror is on sale for $500 with the code "CYBERMONDAY20"$995.00 FROM MIRROROriginally $1495.00 | Save 33%Hydro Flask 32-Ounce Wide Mouth This bottle has all the hallmark features of a Hydro Flask water bottle — 12-24 hours of temperature retention, powder color coating that won't chip or fade with time, a silicone twist top — with the very convenient wide mouth for easy pouring and drinking.$33.71 FROM HYDRO FLASKOriginally $44.95 | Save 25%Amazon HaloAmazon's Halo fitness tracker can analyze the tone of your voice to help you understand how you sound to others.$54.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $99.99 | Save 45%LifeSpan TR1200i Folding TreadmillThe TR1200i is the baby sister of our top pick for a folding treadmill, the TR300i, with fewer built-in training programs and fewer fancy features like manual instead of digital buttons. But it's nearly the same size, has the same motor, and the same shock absorption — but for significantly cheaper.$899.00 FROM LIFESPANOriginally $1199.00 | Save 25%Best Cyber Monday 2021 style & beauty dealsKiehl's Powerful-Strength Vitamin C SerumThis serum by Kiehl’s boasts its ability to reduce fine lines, and customers agree—one even called it “botox in a bottle.”$44.00 FROM KIEHL'SOriginally $88.00 | Save 50%$70.00 FROM SEPHORAKiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado This hydrating, fragrance-free eye cream de-puffs under-eyes. $25.00 FROM ULTAOriginally $50.00 | Save 50%$25.00 FROM KIEHL'SOriginally $50.00 | Save 50%Anastasia Beverly Hills Sugar Glow KitA palette with four metallic highlighter shades compatible with many skin tones, the Sugar Glow Kit is nice to have to change up your daily highlight or to do someone else's. Down to $20, this is a solid price on a palette from a brand known for it's popping highlights.$20.00 FROM SEPHORAOriginally $40.00 | Save 50%Fenty Beauty Portable Contour & Concealer BrushFenty Beauty Portable Contour & Concealer Brush $6.00 FROM FENTY BEAUTY Originally $24.00 | Save 75%Levi's Men's 501 Original Fit JeansNot too skinny and not too baggy, the Levi's 501 features a timeless fit that you'll be able to wear for years to come.$35.70 FROM LEVI'SOriginally $59.50 | Save 40%$35.70 FROM KOHL'SOriginally $59.50 | Save 40%$32.79 FROM AMAZONOriginally $59.50 | Save 45%Levi's 501 Original Fit JeansA blank canvas for self-expression, featuring the iconic straight fit and signature button fly.$58.80 FROM LEVI'SOriginally $98.00 | Save 40%Adidas Adilette Boost SlidesWith full-length Boost soles, these slides are designed for ultimate comfort.$35.70 FROM ADIDAS Originally $60.00 | Save 41%L.L.Bean Wicked Good Slippers - Men'sThis shearling-lined, leather-bottom slipper is one of the best men's slippers we've ever tried.$75.65 FROM L.L.BEANOriginally $89.00 | Save 15%L.L.Bean Wicked Good Shearling-Lined Slides - Women'sThese ridiculously-cozy, shearling-lined slides are easy to slip on and off, and keep your feet toasty around the house.$67.15 FROM L.L.BEANOriginally $79.00 | Save 15%L.L.Bean Toddlers' Wicked Good SlippersEverything we love about L.L.Bean's Wicked Good Slippers — but mini. These shearling-lined, leather-soled booties will keep kid's feet, sizes 3-10, toasty around the house and in a stroller.$33.96 FROM L.L.BEANOriginally $39.95 | Save 15%Lululemon Hooded Define JacketA fan-favorite, now with a hood. Between the technical fabric and a do-anything fit, it's easy to see why this one's a hit. Right now you can save up to 50% on this versatile piece, but sizes are selling out quickly. $64.00 FROM LULULEMONOriginally $128.00 | Save 50%Bombas Women's Gripper Slipper (Sherpa Lined) 2-PackA mix between socks and slippers, Bombas' Gripper Slippers include a cozy sherpa lining and sole grippers to prevent slips. $72.95 FROM BOMBASOriginally $96.00 | Save 24%Columbia Men's Lake 22 Down Hooded JacketThis water-resistant jacket is stocked with 650-fill power down insulation, zippered hand pockets, and a structured hood to keep you zipped up and toasty through any winter weather.$69.98 FROM COLUMBIAOriginally $140.00 | Save 50%Adidas Climacool VentoThe Adidas Climacool Vento features a highly breathable mesh upper to help keep your feet cool.$98.00 FROM ADIDASOriginally $140.00 | Save 30%Nike Adapt Auto MaxThe Nike Adapt Auto Max uses advanced technology to automatically form to your foot without laces.$288.97 FROM NIKEOriginally $400.00 | Save 28%Nike Space Hippie 01The Nike Space Hippie 01 is made from 50% recycled materials and features a lightweight, track-inspired look.$77.56 FROM NIKEOriginally $130.00 | Save 40%Crocs Classic Clog (Unisex)The shoe that really started it all, the Classic Clog is comfortable, breathable, and easy to slip on whenever. With over 20 fun colors to choose from, you can’t go wrong.$39.99 FROM CROCSOriginally $49.99 | Save 20%$27.55 FROM AMAZONDagne Dover Indi Diaper BackpackDagne Dover's Indi Diaper Backpack adds a stylish neutral flair while holding every basic essential.$160.00 FROM DAGNE DOVEROriginally $200.00 | Save 20%Rough Linen St. Barts Linen RobeThe Rough Linen St. Barts Robe is made from top-notch linen that offers a light feel and a cool, casual look.$131.93 FROM ROUGH LINENOriginally $167.00 | Save 21%Kiehl's Since 1851 Avocado Nourishing Hydration MaskWinter is coming, and Kiehls' Avocado Mask is here to provide your skin with hydration all season long. This nourishing treatment infuses your face with avocado and evening primrose oils, offering sumptuous moisture after just one use. Plus, it's green tint is a total throwback. You can save 50% on a jar during Black Friday sale. $21.50 FROM MACY'SOriginally $45.00 | Save 52%Giorgio Armani Lip Magnet Liquid LipstickA liquid lip color that gives you a super matte look, but it's so light it feels like a lip stain. The formula is highly pigmented, smudge-resistant, and comfortable on your lips.$19.00 FROM NORDSTROMOriginally $38.00 | Save 50%Nike Sportswear Essential Fleece PantsMade from soft fleece material, these sweats are perfect for everyday comfort.$48.00 FROM NORDSTROMOriginally $60.00 | Save 20%Thread & Supply Double Breasted PeacoatThis peacoat from Thread & Supply is a classic with a twist. The oversized buttons extend up the lapel to the collar, giving you the option to bundle up if necessary. And if you don't love it in black, never fear — you can save 31% on this coat in black, camel, or light gray. $39.90 FROM NORDSTROMOriginally $58.00 | Save 31%True & Co. True Body Triangle Convertible Strap BraletteThe convertible straps on this wireless bra can be worn either straight or crisscrossed, and the smooth material appears invisible under clothes.$30.80 FROM NORDSTROMOriginally $44.00 | Save 30%Chaps Mens Long Sleeve Button DownMade from an easy-to-care-for cotton blend and a dose of stretch, this men's button-down shirt will keep you looking polished all day.$19.98 FROM WALMARTOriginally $60.00 | Save 67%Nine West Car Coat CardiganThi cozy topper is part coat, part cardigan, and will keep you warm all winter. Save an extra 15% on this cardigan with the code ENJOY15 at checkout.$35.99 FROM KOHL'SOriginally $60.00 | Save 40%When is Cyber Monday?Cyber Monday falls on the Monday after Black Friday every year. In 2021, the shopping event will land on November 29.As a continuation of sorts to Black Friday, Cyber Monday gives shoppers another opportunity to save on tech, home goods, clothing, and more that you might've missed while digesting Thanksgiving dinner. Unlike Black Friday, though, Cyber Monday is entirely online.What time does Cyber Monday start?Cyber Monday officially begins at 12 a.m. ET on November 29. That said, the event is expected to carry over many deals from Black Friday, so some discounts are already available.What is Cyber Monday?Cyber Monday began as the online version of Black Friday, where online retailers offered big discounts to match their brick-and-mortar counterparts. Now, Cyber Monday is one of the biggest shopping days of the year, often surpassing even Black Friday in terms of revenue and sales. Previously, the main distinction between Black Friday and Cyber Monday was that Black Friday focused on in-store sales and Cyber Monday on online sales. But as shopping habits have increasingly favored the internet, shoppers can look forward to a very online-focused Cyber Monday and Black Friday. Cyber Monday offers a great opportunity to save on all your holiday gifts. How long do Cyber Monday sales last? Though Cyber Monday sales once took place on Monday only, we've seen them extend to longer and longer durations, with a handful lasting through the rest of the week. However, the best discounts we see are in limited supply and expire soon after they become available.What's better, Black Friday or Cyber Monday?With more and more buyers shopping online, the debate over which shopping holiday wins, is practically moot. Both events will be held predominantly online, and more than a few deals overlap. In fact, many Black Friday deals become Cyber Monday deals when the dates change. If possible, buyers should shop on both holidays. We've seen different products receive better discounts on each day, and the deals that each retailer offers will vary. Generally speaking, consumers shopping for big-ticket items, such as laptops, TVs, and kitchen appliances, can expect more opportunities on Black Friday. Shoppers looking for last year's models, smart home gadgets, digital subscriptions, and gift cards will likely find more luck during Cyber Monday.What should I buy during Cyber Monday?If a retailer offers Black Friday deals, it's a near guarantee that it will offer Cyber Monday deals, too. Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart are some noteworthy retailers that we know will participate in the shopping event, with deals across many product categories.We will likely see massive discounts on some of our favorite direct-to-consumer products during Cyber Monday, such as retail startups like Leesa and Brooklinen. For some online stores, Cyber Monday (or Cyber Week) will be one of the few times of the year when their products see major markdowns.Will there be Cyber Monday shipping delays?Shipping delays and shopping holidays are inextricably linked, so there's always a risk of late deliveries.To help you avoid the shipping crunch and get your stuff sooner, several retailers, including Walmart, Target, and Best Buy, offer in-store pickup and contactless curbside pickup. This means shoppers can grab their orders at a nearby location, provided that the retailer has it in stock. Best Cyber Monday deals we saw last yearLast year, we saw a lot of great sales on Cyber Monday ranging from sitewide discounts to specific products. Everything from home and kitchen, to subscription services were on sale during last year's annual savings event.Here are a few of the best Cyber Monday deals from 2020.  Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Classic Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush was $179 from Kohl's, originally $229.FujiFilm Instax Mini 11 Camera Bundle was $70 from Kohl's on Cyber Monday last year, originally $120.Keurig K-Supreme Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker was $84 from Target on Cyber Monday last year, originally $140.How we select the best Cyber Monday dealsWe only choose products that meet our high standard of coverage, and that we've either used ourselves or researched carefully.We compare the prices among top retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart and only include the deals that are better than all others offered (not including promotional discounts that come from using certain credit cards).All deals are at least 20% off, with the occasional exception for products that are rarely discounted or provide an outsized value.Read more about how the Insider Reviews team evaluates deals and why you should trust us.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 29th, 2021