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Pop singer Engelbert Humperdinck wants $6.2 million for Bel-Air perch

In the hills of Bel-Air, British pop singer Engelbert Humperdinck is asking $6.2 million for a four-story home overlooking Stone Canyon Reservoir.In the hills of Bel-Air, British pop singer Engelbert Humperdinck is asking $6.2 million for a four-story home overlooking Stone Canyon Reservoir......»»

Category: topSource: latimesMay 13th, 2022

Financial Crime: London singer charged with stealing $5 million from U.S. traders by breaking into their brokerage accounts, buying stocks to manipulate prices — and trading on the swings

Idris Mustapha, aka Drizzle Lomo, presented himself publicly as living a lavish lifestyle, driving expensive cars and sporting flashy jewelry, prosecutors say......»»

Category: topSource: marketwatchMay 11th, 2022

My online course business made $1.2 million last year. Here are 4 lessons I learned growing it from an unpaid side hustle.

Graham Cochrane says teaching music production on YouTube taught him how to use free content to attract paying customers. Graham Cochrane says his online business success taught him the importance of designing the business around his expertise.Graham Cochrane Graham Cochrane, 38, is a business owner who sells online courses on music production. Turning his side hustle into a business and growing his YouTube channel taught him a lot. He says he learned the value of offering free content to attract more paying customers. I never thought I'd make a ton of money as a musician, and for many years I didn't. In 2009, during a terrible recession, I lost two jobs — one in finance when the department dissolved and one at a software startup when it shut down — right after signing up for my first mortgage and having my first child. My wife and I eventually had to go on food stamps to survive. Willing to make anything work, I decided to focus more on my music side hustle. I started doing freelance work producing music for bands and singer-songwriters and creating content about music production on my blog. I also launched a YouTube channel, The Recording Revolution, where I taught musicians how to record professional-sounding music on a budget and from a home studio.Since then, I've grown my YouTube channel to more than 600,000 subscribers. I post every week without fail.For me, the best way to make money on YouTube was to create online courses and sell themSo in 2010 I launched my first product, an online course that taught viewers how to use a popular audio-recording software called Pro Tools. I made only $10,000 in the first year from the course, but it was a start, and over the years I created more courses on music and recording. In 2018, I hit more than $1 million in revenue from selling these courses.The more it grew, the more people began asking me questions about my business, not just music. They wanted to know how they could build an income by making their own courses. In 2018, I decided to launch a second business teaching others how to launch their own online business based on their own areas of expertise. This involved starting a second YouTube channel and blog and a separate website of online courses and coaching products. In 2021, this second business brought in more than $1.2 million in revenue. Growing a side hustle into an income-generating business takes consistency. In the years since launching my businesses, here's what I've learned about what it takes to be successful selling courses online. Lesson #1: Creating free content will generate more paying customers In the business of info-products and selling courses, you need to reach a lot of people to earn their business. Some people run ads to get customers, but I focus on giving my best content away for free because in my experience this generates more leads that can turn into paying customers.In the beginning I was nervous that giving away my "secrets" for free would mean that no one would buy my paid products or I wouldn't have anything left to sell. But the opposite happened — the more content I made available for free, the bigger my audience grew and the more they trusted me. People who had good results after following advice from my free content often email me saying that it's what made them decide to join one of my paid programs. Even after launching for-purchase courses, I still create valuable, free content on my blog, podcast, and YouTube channel. My free content tends to focus on one-off nuggets of information while the paid courses are more in-depth and involved. For example, I might teach a specific technique for free on how to make your drums sound more punchy and aggressive, but also have a paid course that teaches everything you need to know about recording and producing great drum sounds.Lesson #2: More hustle is not the answer I absolutely despise "hustle culture" — in my experience, working more is simply not the answer to earning more. In the early years of launching my online businesses, I averaged between 20 to 30 working hours per week. But since my business products are online courses, once I finish a new one and publish it, it can continually generate passive income. By doing this, I've created systems that keep my business running smoothly and now allow me to work just five to 10 hours per week. For example, in each of my YouTube videos or podcast episodes I offer an exclusive free training in exchange for their email address if they'd like to go deeper with my content. I use automated software to follow up with those leads via email to handle the qualifying and sales process, eventually offering some of my paid digital products and making the sale for me. Then if they purchase, my system automatically delivers the product and takes them through an onboarding welcome process, again via email.Additionally, I have a virtual assistant who handles the uploading, tagging, and sharing of my weekly content. He also handles all customer service emails for me, ensuring I stay out of my inbox as much as possible so I can focus on creating content, which is the best use of my time.When you're ruthless about efficiency and effectiveness, you'll have more bandwidth and time to actually focus on real growth.Lesson #3: If you're good at what you do, your knowledge will be valuable to others When I started my business, I had a lot of self-limiting beliefs and feelings of imposter syndrome. I'd sometimes fall into negative thinking that people wouldn't think I'm good enough to learn from. But in reality, few people have cared that I don't have a Grammy or produce music for household names. Instead, they appreciate that my videos have helped them make better-sounding music. And as my skills and knowledge have increased, I have more value to offer my students and can take them further in their journey. Here were two realities I learned that have helped me overcome feelings of imposter syndrome: People don't need you to be an expert, they need you to get them resultsYou just need to be one step ahead of them on the journey to teach them something valuableLesson #4: Design your business to serve your life, not the other way aroundI don't believe in sacrificing everything in my personal life to grow the business.Family time is important to me, so I built my business around it from the start. Originally, I simply decided to not work on Fridays. At the time my kids were little, so we'd have "Family Fun Fridays" when we'd go to the beach or the zoo or have a picnic in our backyard. As they've gotten older, I've made sure to cut work off every afternoon by 4 p.m. so I can give them and my wife my full attention in the evenings and on weekends. I also adjust my schedule as needed to be able to take them to and from school every day, no matter what. For new business owners, protecting this personal time could look like making plans with friends and sticking to them or putting away your laptop at a set time every night.I didn't learn these lessons overnight — it took me years of trial and error, experimentation, and fighting through my own fears and insecurities. And while building an online business is more doable now than ever, it takes strategy, commitment, and consistent effort to make it happen.Graham Cochrane is a business coach and the author of "How To Get Paid for What You Know." He founded his YouTube channel and an online music business, The Recording Revolution, in 2009. Cochrane has been featured on CNBC, Yahoo!, and HuffPost.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 10th, 2022

My music course business made $1.2 million last year. Here are 4 lessons I learned growing it from an unpaid side hustle.

Graham Cochrane says teaching music production on YouTube taught him how to use free content to attract paying customers. Graham Cochrane says his online business success taught him the importance of designing the business around his expertise.Graham Cochrane Graham Cochrane, 38, is a business owner who sells online courses on music production. Turning his side hustle into a business and growing his YouTube channel taught him a lot. He says he learned the value of offering free content to attract more paying customers. I never thought I'd make a ton of money as a musician, and for many years I didn't. In 2009, during a terrible recession, I lost two jobs — one in finance when the department dissolved and one at a software startup when it shut down — right after signing up for my first mortgage and having my first child. My wife and I eventually had to go on food stamps to survive. Willing to make anything work, I decided to focus more on my music side hustle. I started doing freelance work producing music for bands and singer-songwriters and creating content about music production on my blog. I also launched a YouTube channel, The Recording Revolution, where I taught musicians how to record professional-sounding music on a budget and from a home studio.Since then, I've grown my YouTube channel to more than 600,000 subscribers. I post every week without fail.For me, the best way to make money on YouTube was to create online courses and sell themSo in 2010 I launched my first product, an online course that taught viewers how to use a popular audio-recording software called Pro Tools. I made only $10,000 in the first year from the course, but it was a start, and over the years I created more courses on music and recording. In 2018, I hit more than $1 million in revenue from selling these courses.The more it grew, the more people began asking me questions about my business, not just music. They wanted to know how they could build an income by making their own courses. In 2018, I decided to launch a second business teaching others how to launch their own online business based on their own areas of expertise. This involved starting a second YouTube channel and blog and a separate website of online courses and coaching products. In 2021, this second business brought in more than $1.2 million in revenue. Growing a side hustle into an income-generating business takes consistency. In the years since launching my businesses, here's what I've learned about what it takes to be successful selling courses online. Lesson #1: Creating free content will generate more paying customers In the business of info-products and selling courses, you need to reach a lot of people to earn their business. Some people run ads to get customers, but I focus on giving my best content away for free because in my experience this generates more leads that can turn into paying customers.In the beginning I was nervous that giving away my "secrets" for free would mean that no one would buy my paid products or I wouldn't have anything left to sell. But the opposite happened — the more content I made available for free, the bigger my audience grew and the more they trusted me. People who had good results after following advice from my free content often email me saying that it's what made them decide to join one of my paid programs. Even after launching for-purchase courses, I still create valuable, free content on my blog, podcast, and YouTube channel. My free content tends to focus on one-off nuggets of information while the paid courses are more in-depth and involved. For example, I might teach a specific technique for free on how to make your drums sound more punchy and aggressive, but also have a paid course that teaches everything you need to know about recording and producing great drum sounds.Lesson #2: More hustle is not the answer I absolutely despise "hustle culture" — in my experience, working more is simply not the answer to earning more. In the early years of launching my online businesses, I averaged between 20 to 30 working hours per week. But since my business products are online courses, once I finish a new one and publish it, it can continually generate passive income. By doing this, I've created systems that keep my business running smoothly and now allow me to work just five to 10 hours per week. For example, in each of my YouTube videos or podcast episodes I offer an exclusive free training in exchange for their email address if they'd like to go deeper with my content. I use automated software to follow up with those leads via email to handle the qualifying and sales process, eventually offering some of my paid digital products and making the sale for me. Then if they purchase, my system automatically delivers the product and takes them through an onboarding welcome process, again via email.Additionally, I have a virtual assistant who handles the uploading, tagging, and sharing of my weekly content. He also handles all customer service emails for me, ensuring I stay out of my inbox as much as possible so I can focus on creating content, which is the best use of my time.When you're ruthless about efficiency and effectiveness, you'll have more bandwidth and time to actually focus on real growth.Lesson #3: If you're good at what you do, your knowledge will be valuable to others When I started my business, I had a lot of self-limiting beliefs and feelings of imposter syndrome. I'd sometimes fall into negative thinking that people wouldn't think I'm good enough to learn from. But in reality, few people have cared that I don't have a Grammy or produce music for household names. Instead, they appreciate that my videos have helped them make better-sounding music. And as my skills and knowledge have increased, I have more value to offer my students and can take them further in their journey. Here were two realities I learned that have helped me overcome feelings of imposter syndrome: People don't need you to be an expert, they need you to get them resultsYou just need to be one step ahead of them on the journey to teach them something valuableLesson #4: Design your business to serve your life, not the other way aroundI don't believe in sacrificing everything in my personal life to grow the business.Family time is important to me, so I built my business around it from the start. Originally, I simply decided to not work on Fridays. At the time my kids were little, so we'd have "Family Fun Fridays" when we'd go to the beach or the zoo or have a picnic in our backyard. As they've gotten older, I've made sure to cut work off every afternoon by 4 p.m. so I can give them and my wife my full attention in the evenings and on weekends. I also adjust my schedule as needed to be able to take them to and from school every day, no matter what. For new business owners, protecting this personal time could look like making plans with friends and sticking to them or putting away your laptop at a set time every night.I didn't learn these lessons overnight — it took me years of trial and error, experimentation, and fighting through my own fears and insecurities. And while building an online business is more doable now than ever, it takes strategy, commitment, and consistent effort to make it happen.Graham Cochrane is a business coach and the author of "How To Get Paid for What You Know." He founded his YouTube channel and an online music business, The Recording Revolution, in 2009. Cochrane has been featured on CNBC, Yahoo!, and HuffPost.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytMay 10th, 2022

A mansion featured in HBO"s "Westworld" that includes a crescent-shaped pool is on the market for $23.5 million — take a look inside

The Crescent House, named after its crescent-shaped infinity pool, offers residents panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. The mansion comes with a crescent-shaped infinity pool.Rancho Photos A $23.5 million waterfront mansion in Encinitas, San Diego County, California, just hit the market. The mansion is dubbed "The Crescent House" as it comes with a crescent-shaped infinity pool The 18,872-square-foot estate has four bedrooms and was featured in HBO's "Westworld." An oceanfront mansion in San Diego County, California, that was featured in an episode of HBO's "Westworld" just hit the market for $23.5 million.The home's exteriors.Rancho PhotosThe sci-fi show, which centers on futuristic and dystopian themes, used the sprawling estate in its season three premiere."Westworld's" producers chose the home as a set because it "incorporated a lot of the design details" that were already in the season, production designer Howard Cummings told Architectural Digest.The futuristic-looking property was designed by architect Wallace Cunningham.Cunningham also designed the San Diego mansion that served as inspiration for Tony Stark's home in the "Iron Man" movies, Insider's Katie Warren reported, citing realtors. The "Iron Man" home is currently owned by singer-songwriter Alicia Keys and her husband Swizz Beatz.Lisa Waltman and Kelly Howard of Compass hold the listing.The Crescent House, named after its crescent-shaped infinity pool, was completed in 2003.The pool stands in the middle of the central courtyard, shielded by the curved walls of the home.Rancho PhotosIt was originally built for Bud Fischer, a real-estate developer known for transforming San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter, and his wife, agents told Insider.Throughout its history, the property has consistently been sold for less than its asking price, with every transaction finalized within a month of the house being listed, per listing records.It was first put up for sale in February 2014 for $11.75 million and sold for $10.5 million in March 2014. The property was then relisted for sale in August 2016 for $13 million, but sold for $11.1 million in September 2016, per listing records.The home sits on less than half an acre but comes with 74 feet of waterfront access. It sits on top of a steep bank and overlooks the Pacific Ocean.The mansion comes with numerous outdoor spaces, such as patios, verandas and terraces, where residents can enjoy the ocean view.Rancho PhotosA key highlight of the home is its numerous outdoor spaces, including patios, verandas, and terraces, where residents can lounge and admire the ocean view.The estate is located on Neptune Ave. in the coastal city of Encinitas in San Diego County, California.The real-estate scene in San Diego County has been buzzing recently as housing prices soar. In March, the median sales price for detached homes was $975,000, up by 20.4% compared to March 2021, when the median sales price was $810,000, per the San Diego Association of Realtors.At $23.5 million, the Crescent House is an outlier, but it's not the only multimillion-dollar mansion to hit the market recently. Another waterfront mansion in La Jolla, San Diego County, was listed for $32.5 million last month, per Mansion Global. At 0.43 acres, the estate is one of the larger lots on the street, and the land value alone is expensive, listing agents Waltman and Howard said in a joint statement."With today's building restrictions between the city and the coastal commission, you would not be able to build this house on that site today — it just cannot be duplicated," the agents said.There are floor-to-ceiling glass windows throughout the home for residents to enjoy panoramic views while indoors.The main living area features full-length glass panel windows that offer unblocked views of the ocean. There is also a fireplace.Rancho PhotosThe Crescent House is currently owned by Lance Williams and Eileen Quinn, a couple who primarily lives on Fisher Island in Miami. This estate is their vacation home.While most homes have one or two great views, this mansion is an exception, according to Quinn. "You have views all day long, 24 hours a day. You have views of the ocean, views of Encinitas hillside, views of the beautiful architecture itself," she said, per the factsheet.The home comes with four bedrooms and four full bathrooms.The master bedroom.Rancho PhotosThe main house hosts the master suite along with two bedrooms, while the fourth bedroom is located in separate guest quarters.All the bathrooms are designed in a minimalist style.One of the bathrooms in the house.Rancho PhotosSource: CompassThe main bathroom has double sinks.One of the bathrooms in the house.Rancho PhotosSource: CompassResidents can directly access the outdoor terrace from the guest suite through full-length glass doors.One of the guest suites.Rancho PhotosSource: CompassCunningham designed the house in such a way that all the main rooms, including the living room and master bedroom, were placed on the top floor for the best views.There is a curved metal staircase in the mansion.Rancho Photos"This house happens to be upside down with all of the principal rooms located on the top level," Cunningham said in a statement, per the factsheet sent to Insider.There are multiple ways for residents to move between floors, including ramps, metal staircases, and an elevator. "Each path is designed to shield you from the street and neighboring properties," he said. For example, the lower ramp creates a wall that protects the garden, terrace, and swimming pool from prying eyes.Part of the charm of the estate also lies in its location, according to the agents.The crescent-shaped pool is surrounded by curved walls to ensure privacy.Rancho Photos"Encinitas, this North County San Diego coastal region, is like paradise. It has a very stunning coastline with varying elevations and bluffs," the agents said, per the factsheet.As a result of the beautiful landscape, there is strong buyer interest in properties in the area, the agents said. "Inventory continues to be incredibly low with multiple offers on virtually all listings."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytMay 6th, 2022

Elon Musk"s famous family includes a model, several millionaire entrepreneurs, and multiple sets of twins. Here are the members of the Musk family tree.

Elon Musk has seven kids and a wild life, but he's not the only member of his family who launched businesses, made millions, or achieved fame. Elon Musk with his mother, Maye Musk.REUTERS/Danny Moloshok Elon Musk has a large family that includes multiple millionaire entrepreneurs. Musk himself has divorced three times and has seven children, including two with his ex-partner Grimes. Musk also has a CoverGirl-model mother and two siblings who founded companies.  Elon Musk has had a wild life, but he's not the only member of his family to launch businesses, make millions or achieve fame. Musk's family is chock-full of entrepreneurs and rebels, from his filmmaker sister, Tosca, to his actress ex-wife, Talulah Riley. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO recently added two new members of the family with his now ex-girlfriend, the musician Grimes: a baby boy born in May 2020; and a second, initially secret baby girl conceived via surrogate in 2021.But even before his new babies, Musk — who was born in Pretoria, South Africa, before emigrating to Canada, and eventually, California — already had a large immediate family that included two ex-wives, a set of twins and a set of triplets. Here's a closer look at the Musk family tree.Errol Musk, Elon Musk's father, is an engineer from South Africa.Errol Musk.Denver Post Photo by Cyrus McCrimmonErrol Musk, according to Elon, has a genius-level IQ and was reportedly the youngest person to earn a professional engineer's qualification in South Africa, according to a 2017 Rolling Stone profile. When Elon was a child, he moved in with his dad after this parents divorced. At the time, Errol Musk was working in construction and emerald mining, according to Rolling Stone. Errol Musk made headlines in 2018 when it was revealed that he had a child with his then-30-year-old former stepdaughter, Jana Bezuidenhout, whom he's known since she was 4 years old.Today, Musk and Errol are estranged. The Tesla CEO told Rolling Stone that his father is "a terrible human being." "You have no idea about how bad," Musk said. "Almost every crime you can possibly think of, he has done."Maye Musk, Elon Musk's mother, is a dietitian and model.Maye Musk.Danny Moloshok/ReutersMaye Musk has been modeling for over five decades, since age 15. She has appeared on boxes of Special K cereal and the cover of Time magazine, and has walked in shows at New York Fashion Week, according to The New York Times. In 2017, Musk became a CoverGirl spokesperson at age 69. Maye Musk was married to Errol Musk until 1979, and she described the relationship as abusive in an interview with Harper's Bazaar. After they divorced, Maye Musk moved to Canada along with her three children, where she built a business as a dietitian. Kimbal Musk is Elon Musk's younger brother. He's a restaurateur and philanthropist.Kimbal Musk.Fred Prouser/ReutersKimbal Musk is the founder of three food companies: The Kitchen Restaurant Group, a nonprofit called Big Green, and Square Roots, an urban-farming company. Musk moved from South Africa to Canada along with Elon Musk when he was a teenager, eventually founding Zip2 with Elon and selling it for about $300 million in 1999. He was an investor in PayPal, and currently sits on the board of Tesla and SpaceX. Kimbal Musk went on to enroll in the French Culinary Institute in New York, and after breaking his neck in a tubing accident in 2010, decided to devote his career to food, according to The New York Times. Kimbal has been married twice: first to Jen Lewin, with whom he created The Kitchen Restaurant Group and Big Green. They have two children together. He married Christiana Wyly, the daughter of ex-billionaire Sam Wyly, in 2018 at in "intimate" wedding in Dallas. Correction: Kimbal and Jen Lewin have only two children. An earlier version of this story said they have a third child. Tosca Musk, Elon Musk's younger sister, runs a streaming service called Passionflix.Tosca Musk.Araya Diaz/Getty Images for PASSIONFLIXTosca Musk has been producing movies since 2001, and has made more than 50 to date, according to her IMDb page.She is the cofounder and CEO of Passionflix, a streaming service for movies that have been adapted from romance novels. Musk founded the company in 2016 and has raised over $12 million from investors that include Kimbal Musk. Musk is unmarried and has two children, twins named Isabeau and Grayson. Lyndon Rive is the cofounder of SolarCity and Elon Musk's cousin.Lyndon Rive.Rashid Umar Abbasi/ReutersLyndon Rive, along with his brother Peter, cofounded SolarCity in 2006. He served as the company's CEO until after the company was acquired by Tesla for $2.6 billion in 2016. Rive stayed on as the head of sales for Tesla's energy division until 2017.Prior to launching SolarCity, Rive founded a software company called Everdream with his brothers, Russ and Peter, in 1999. They sold it to Dell eight years later for $120 million.  Peter Rive is also a SolarCity cofounder and a cousin of Musk's.Peter Rive.Mark Von Holden/AP Images for SolarCityPeter Rive, SolarCity's cofounder and CTO, left Tesla eight months after it acquired SolarCity. In February 2019, both Lyndon and Peter Rive joined Zola Electric, a startup focused on bringing clean, affordable energy to Africa.Russ Rive is the founder of an art and technical production company called SuperUber. He's also a cousin of Musk's.Russ Rive.Brandon Williams/Getty ImagesRuss Rive cofounded software company called Everdream with his brothers, Lyndon and Peter. He's since cofounded production company SuperUber, which counts Tesla and SpaceX among its clients.Almeda Rive is Russ, Peter, and Lyndon's sister.A competitive dirt-bike rider, but not Almeda Rive.Mustafa Bayer/Anadolu Agency via Getty ImagesAlmeda Rive is a competitive dirt-bike rider, according to Vanity Fair, and also worked in sales at SolarCity, according to LinkedIn. Justine Musk is an author and Elon Musk's first wife.Justine Musk.Ryan Miller/Getty ImagesJustine Wilson met Elon Musk while they were attending Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. While Musk eventually transferred to the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, they reconnected as Musk started working on his first startup and Justine started working on her first novel after graduation.They got married in 2000, according to Justine Musk's essay in Marie Claire. The couple eventually moved to Los Angeles and had a son named Nevada, whom they lost to SIDS when he was 10 weeks old. They ultimately had twins and triplets — five sons in total — named Griffin, Xavier, Damian, Saxon, and Kai.Justine Musk wrote in Marie Claire that she was a "starter wife," and described her and Musk's relationship as unhealthy. The couple divorced in 2008.Talulah Riley is a British actress. She and Musk have been married twice.Elon Musk, Talulah Riley, Kimbal Musk, and two of Elon Musk's sons.APAfter Musk's divorce from Justine, the tech mogul began dating actress Talulah Riley. They got engaged six weeks later.Riley and Musk married in 2010. Two years later, news of their divorce became public when Musk tweeted: "It was an amazing four years. I will love you forever. You will make someone very happy one day" at Riley on Twitter.The couple remarried in 2013. Musk filed for — then withdrew — a second divorce the following year. In 2016, Riley filed for divorce from Musk, which was finalized later that year.The two remained on good terms, however. "We still see each other all the time and take care of each other," she told People.Grimes, whose real name is Claire Boucher, started dating Elon Musk in 2018.Grimes.Frazer Harrison/Getty ImagesIn May 2018, Musk arrived at the annual Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art alongside Grimes, the Canadian singer and producer. At the time, Page Six reported that the pair had been "quietly dating" for a few weeks.The couple met over Twitter when Musk was planning to make a joke about artificial intelligence and discovered Grimes had beaten him to the punch.In January 2020, Grimes posted a partially nude photo to her Instagram and Twitter accounts that showed her pregnant with a fetus Photoshopped on her belly. She later confirmed she and Musk were having a baby, who was born on May 4.The couple named their son X Æ A-Xii, which is partially a reference to a CIA plane nicknamed "Archangel." In September 2021, Musk told Page Six that he and Grimes had broken up. He said that the two were now "semi-separated" but still loved each other and "are on great terms."Then, in March 2022, Grimes revealed in a Vanity Fair profile that she and Musk had since had a second child — Musk's first daughter, named Exa Dark Sideræl Musk (but they call her simply "Y") — who was conceived through a surrogate. The couple are said to be "fluid" in their relationship.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 4th, 2022

From Kim Kardashian to Rihanna, meet the only 8 Hollywood A-listers who are billionaires

The group of eight celebrities, which includes Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, and Rihanna, is collectively worth $15.6 billion. From left to right: Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, and Rihanna.Ronald Martinez/Kevin Mazur/Getty Images Eight Hollywood celebrities were named in Forbes' World's Billionaires List this year. The group of eight celebrities is collectively worth $15.6 billion. Film mogul Steven Spielberg is the wealthiest celebrity on this year's list, with a net worth of $3.7 billion. Every year since 1987, Forbes has released a ranking of the wealthiest individuals in the world.Hollywood sign in Los Angeles.Perseomed/iStock Editorial/Getty Images PlusForbes' World's Billionaires List compiles the documented net worths of billionaires around the globe and their sources of wealth. There are 2,668 billionaires on this year's list — and only eight of them are Hollywood stars.To create the list, Forbes said it interviews sources and asks billionaires for documentation of their assets. Private and public stakes in businesses are also taken into account when calculating net worth. In 2019, Forbes' list generated a wave of controversy when it named Kylie Jenner — of Kardashian family fame and wealth — the world's youngest self-made billionaire. Forbes later retracted its claim that Jenner was worth a billion dollars and lowered its estimate of her wealth to be closer to  $900 million.Keep reading for a look at the only eight Hollywood A-listers who made the billionaires list in 2022. Entrants are arranged from least to most wealthy.8. Film director and actor Tyler Perry has a net worth of $1 billion.Tyler Perry.Theo Wargo/WireImage/GettyFamous for: Perry is best known for playing the "large and in charge matriarch" Madea. Perry has created multiple television and film franchises based on the character, which have collectively grossed over $660 million, according to Forbes.How he rose to fame: Perry rose to fame by directing, playing, and writing the play "I Can Do Bad All by Myself" (1999), his first project to feature Madea.How he made his wealth: Perry owns the rights to all materials in the "Madea" franchises, and owns a 25% stake in streaming service BET+, per Forbes.Luxury assets: Perry sold his Atlanta estate for $15 million in 2020. He also used to own a Gulfstream V, which costs at least $36 million. He sold the plane in 2018, according to a blog post by televangelist Kenneth Copeland, the jet's buyer.7. Rapper and producer Jay-Z is worth $1.3 billion, which he made from business ventures in the alcohol beverage industry.Jay-Z.Leon Bennett/FilmMagicFamous for: Jay-Z founded record label Roc-a-Fella in 1995 and went on to build a music empire. He founded entertainment and management company Roc Nation in 2008. The rapper and producer has won 24 Grammy Awards.How he rose to fame: Jay-Z's "Hard Knock Life" (1999) was his first top 20 song in the Billboard Hot 100 as a soloist, according to Billboard.How he made his wealth: Most of Jay-Z's wealth comes from his ventures in the alcohol industry. Armand de Brignac, a Champagne company he co-owns with LVMH, is worth $310 million, according to Forbes. Another venture, D'Usse, which he partially owns with Bacardi, is worth $100 million, the publication reported. His stakes in companies like Uber and Tidal are also worth $70 million and $100 million respectively, per Forbes.Luxury assets: Jay-Z's real-estate portfolio is worth $50 million, Forbes reported in 2019. He bought a Bel Air mansion with his wife Beyonce for $90 million in 2017, per the Los Angeles Times. He also owns a $40 million Bombardier Challenger 850. 6. Film director Peter Jackson, who is worth $1.5 billion, made the Forbes' Billionaires List for the first time this year.Peter Jackson.Albert L. Ortega/WireImage/Getty ImagesFamous for: Jackson is best known for directing "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy (2001-2003), "The Hobbit" trilogy (2012-2014), and "King Kong" (2005). His films have grossed more than $6.5 billion at the box office, making him the fourth-highest-grossing film director in history.How he rose to fame: Jackson's first installment of "The Lord of the Rings" was his first blockbuster, grossing almost $900 million.How he made his wealth: Jackson sold part of his visual effects company, Weta Digital, to video-game software company Unity Software for $1.6 billion in 2021, according to Forbes. Jackson and his life partner own a majority stake of 60% in the company, per the publication.Luxury assets: Jackson's real-estate portfolio is worth 150 million New Zealand dollars ($99.7 million), the New Zealand Herald reported in 2018, citing data collected by financial services company CoreLogic. Most of his properties are located in New Zealand. Jackson also owns a Gulfstream G650, which costs around $65 million.5. Singer and cosmetics mogul Rihanna, who has a net worth of $1.7 billion, is the first Barbadian billionaire.Rihanna.Steven Ferdman/Getty ImagesFamous for: Rihanna is best known for her chart-topping albums "Unapologetic" (2012) and "Anti" (2016). She has sold more than 250 million records, and 14 of her songs have topped the Billboard Hot 100. She founded cosmetics brand Fenty Beauty in 2017.How she rose to fame: Rihanna's first international hit was "Umbrella" (2007), which was certified 7x Platinum in the US, and sold more than six million copies worldwide.How she made her wealth: Forbes estimates that the majority of Rihanna's fortune comes from the value of Fenty Beauty. Rihanna's 50% stake in Fenty is said to be worth $1.4 billion, while her lingerie brand Savage x Fenty nets her around $270 million, the publication reported.Luxury assets: Rihanna has a "vast" real estate portfolio, according to Architectural Digest. She has two Beverly Hills mansions, which she bought for $10 million and $13.8 million respectively in 2021. She also owns properties in Hollywood and Barbados, AD reported.4. Reality TV star Kim Kardashian has a net worth of $1.8 billion.Kim Kardashian.Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for ABAFamous for: Kardashian is best known for starring in the reality TV show "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" since 2004. She is also one of the most-followed Instagram users in the world, with over 300 million followers. Kardashian is the face and founder of cosmetic line KKW Fragrance and shapewear brand Skims.How she rose to fame: Kardashian was publicly known as socialite Paris Hilton's best friend in the early 2000s. Her 2007 sex tape with singer Ray-J made headlines when Vivid Entertainment released it as a home movie.How she made her wealth: Kardashian sold a 20% stake of KKW to cosmetic company Coty in 2020 for $200 million, Forbes reported. Her remaining stake in KKW is valued at $500 million, the publication estimated in another report. She has also made at least $225 million with her majority stake in Skims, per Forbes.Luxury assets: Kardashian owned $100 million worth of real estate with her ex-husband Kanye West. After their divorce, Kardashian paid $23 million for full ownership of their then-shared compound in Calabasas, according to the New York Post. Kardashian also reportedly owns a Gulfstream G650ER, which is priced from $66 million. 3. Rapper and fashion mogul Kanye West, who now goes by Ye, is worth $2 billion.Kanye West.Brad Barket/Getty ImagesFamous for: West is one of the most famous rappers in the world. He has sold over 160 million records and won 24 Grammy Awards. He is also known for his fashion and creative projects, which include streetwear label Yeezy.How he rose to fame: West's collaboration with rapper Twista and singer Jamie Foxx in "Slow Jamz "(2003) became his first No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. When his album "The College Dropout" was released in 2004, it sold more than 3.3 million copies. It is West's best-selling album to date.How he made his wealth: The majority of West's wealth comes from Yeezy, according to Forbes: He has made $1.5 billion from the brand. West's publishing rights earn him around $90 million a year.Luxury assets: West owned almost $100 million worth of property until his divorce from Kim Kardashian. Some of his biggest real-estate purchases include a mansion in Malibu, which he bought for $57 million in 2021.2. Talk-show host Oprah Winfrey is worth $2.6 billion.Oprah Winfrey.Steve Granitz/Wire Image/Getty ImagesFamous for: Winfrey is nicknamed the "Queen of All Media." She became the first Black female billionaire in 2003. The Oprah Winfrey Show ran for 25 years and is the highest-rated daytime talk show in US television history.How she rose to fame: Winfrey garnered a national following after launching her talk show in 1986. Many viewers tuned in to her talk show to watch her interview high-profile personalities like Michael Jackson and Rihanna.How she made her wealth: Winfrey made most of her fortune from her ownership of the Oprah Winfrey Show, according to Bloomberg. In 2018 alone, she made more than $427 million from her stake in weight-loss firm Weight Watchers International, the publication reported.Luxury assets: Winfrey has owned real estate in Illinois, Florida, Hawaii, Colorado, Washington, Tennessee, and Indiana. Winfrey paid $50 million for a 42-acre compound in Montecito in 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing local real-estate sources. Winfrey reportedly bought a $25 million Gulfstream G4 jet in 1991.1. Film director Steven Spielberg has a fortune of $3.7 billion, which he made from producing Hollywood blockbusters.Steven Spielberg.Kevin Winter/Getty ImagesFamous for: Spielberg is a three-time Academy Award-winning director. Among his films are "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" (1983), "Schindler's List" (1994), and "Saving Private Ryan" (1999).How he rose to fame: Spielberg's 1975 film "Jaws," which grossed $472 million at the box office, put him on the map.How he made his wealth: Spielberg made most of his wealth from project fees. He has amassed over $2.5 billion in fees and profit participation in films and television deals, according to Bloomberg. Spielberg's films have grossed more than $25 billion, per the publication.Luxury assets: Spielberg owned a superyacht named Seven Seas, which he sold for $150 million in November 2021, according to Forbes. He sold his beachfront Malibu compound for $26 million in 2015, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing property records. Spielberg owns a 20,000-square-foot estate in Los Angeles. He also reportedly owns a $70 million Gulfstream G650 private jet.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytApr 25th, 2022

Glossier tapping Olivia Rodrigo as its first celeb face represents Gen Z"s newfound economic power

The millennial pink and minimal branding seen all over Instagram in the last decade could be on its way out as Gen Z moves into the limelight. Olivia Rodrigo is the first face of Glossier.Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images Olivia Rodrigo is the first celebrity face for millennial-cult brand Glossier. The DTC beauty company is trying to capture Gen Z's loyalty as they become the economy's "it" generation. It's likely the first of many marketing shifts among Instagram-born companies that millennials love. Not even a decade into its existence, Glossier is getting a new face.The millennial cult-favorite beauty brand tapped 20-year-old pop singer Olivia Rodrigo as its first official celebrity ambassador on Tuesday.Following two rounds of layoffs since 2020 and reports of a sometimes chaotic and unstable work environment, it's a strategic bid for the $1.8 million company to stay relevant as Gen Z becomes the economy's trendsetters. It's also the first of what will likely be many companies shifting their look as direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands like Glossier that once catered specifically to millennials work to attract the next generation holding all the upcoming spending power.With a millennial pink palette, a clean typeface, and minimalist pastel packaging, Glossier originally built success by making its product the content. The Instagrammability of its staples made it millennial catnip and the epitome of the aesthetic that reigned supreme in the 2010s, which The Cut's Molly Fischer described as "soft in its colors and in its lines, curved and unthreatening."It's the same aesthetic that has become the norm for many DTC brands born on Instagram to capture the attention of millennials, from Away luggage to Parachute home goods. But what once made Glossier so successful has potentially pigeon-holed the brand in the new decade."Having that fluidity around how you present your brand allows you to morph as time goes on, and allows you the space to do it," Lisa Guerrera, co-founder of beauty and wellness brand Experiment, recently told Beauty Matter. "Glossier never had the brand space, in my opinion, to do that. They set up really strong brand walls, which obviously made the aesthetic super iconic, but it also can create the inevitable feeling that those brand aesthetics are outdated." A post shared by Glossier (@glossier)  Glossier's founder Emily Weiss spent years trying to elevate the beauty brand for its next stage of success by transforming it into a tech company, but former employees recently told Insider's Melkorka Licea the efforts sparked internal tensions. In 2020, Glossier laid off its retail staff and closed all its brick-and-mortars. In January 2022, it laid off more than 80 employees."Over the past two years, we prioritized certain strategic projects that distracted us from the laser-focus we needed to have on our core business: scaling our beauty brand," Weiss wrote in an email to employees.Enter Olivia Rodrigo. A partnership with the Gen Z singer who burst into the limelight last year "signifies the brand's focus on building authentic talent partnerships grounded in real-life connections and shared values," according to Glossier's press release. The company's play to refocus its efforts comes during the much-talked-about vibe shift in the economy. Part of that shift has seen Gen Z become the 'it' generation in a post-vaccinated world, with the eldest driving trends and influencing consumer spending. While millennials still hold the most spending power, Gen Z is set to take over the economy in a decade as their collective income reaches $33 trillion.Gen Z is known for dismissing the 2010s economy in which millennials came of age, opting for aesthetics reminiscent of a pre-social media era. Glossier may not have changed its aesthetic, but signing a celebrity as the face of a beauty brand is a pre-social media marketing tool used by classic retail beauty brands like Maybelline. In this sense, Glossier is aligning with Gen Z's rejection of Instagram trends by relying on a Gen Z superstar.It's a shift that many millennial DTC brands will have to rely on as Gen Zers continue to reject the perfectly curated Instagram vibes that were at the backbone of their success, preferring unfiltered, bright, and fun trends. Tapping Olivia Rodrigo is just one way these brands can make Gen Z hear them.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderApr 20th, 2022

Peek inside former Badgers star Russell Wilson’s new $25M Denver mansion (Photos)

Russell Wilson is really coming to Denver now. The former Wisconsin Badgers and Seattle Seahawks quarterback and his wife, singer-songwriter Ciara, purchased a home in the Cherry Hills Village neighborhood south of Denver on April 1. The Denver Broncos secured Wilson as their new starting quarterback in a deal that became official in March.  The 5-acre property has lots of goodies: four bedrooms, 12 bathrooms and a 2,590-square-foot pool house with an indoor pool. The $25 million sale is also….....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsApr 16th, 2022

Donald Trump to be deposed over use of Eddy Grant hit "Electric Avenue" in Biden-bashing tweet.

Trump and the disco-reggae hitmaker may have little in common. But now they'll both hit "record" in a lawsuit over the song's use in a Biden-bashing tweet. Singer Eddy Grant performs in concert in honor of Nelson Mandela in Hyde Park, London June 27, 2008.Andrew Winning/Reuters "Electric Avenue" singer Eddy Grant and Donald Trump will both tape depositions in an ongoing copyright case. Grant is suing over the song's use in a Biden-bashing video posted to Trump's Twitter in 2020.  The disco-reggae star and former president must walk down to separate microphones by June 21. Donald Trump and "Electric Avenue" singer Eddy Grant are about to collaborate on some recordings — their sworn depositions in an ongoing copyright case.Both Trump and Grant must be deposed by June 21 in the singer's 2020 lawsuit, which seeks $300,000 in damages from the hit song's use in a Biden-bashing tweet from the last presidential election, court filings revealed Wednesday.Grant is suing both the former president and his campaign over the use of the ear-wormy 1983 single, which plays in the background of an animation that was posted to the Trump Twitter site on Aug. 12, 2020.Forty seconds of the song was used in the animation, which made fun of then-candidate Joe Biden, showing him puttering along on a slow-moving hand-car as the Trump campaign barrels by in a high-speed train.The animation was viewed more than 13 million times before it was taken down a month later.Grant's side is suing for copyright infringement; Trump's side has said the animation was political satire and so is exempt from copyright law; his lawyers say the campaign just reposted the clip with no idea where it came from.Lawyers for the two sides had tried to work out their disagreement over the dance floor staple before a magistrate judge, during a closed-door, March 2 settlement conference, according to court records.But on Wednesday, a new filing by Grant's lawyer revealed that a settlement was not reached; the Manhattan-based federal lawsuit will instead be moving forward with the taping of depositions from all parties."We write with consent from defendants Donald J. Trump and Donald J. Trump For President, Inc. ... to request a 60 day extension for the parties to complete discovery," Grant lawyer Brett Van Benthysen said in a letter to the judge dated Wednesday, referring to the process of sharing evidence."Both parties have issued written discovery and an exchange of documents has taken place," Van Benthysen wrote. "However, additional time is needed to schedule and take the depositions of both parties." Trump is notoriously deposition averse.Only one lawyer has managed to get him to sit for a deposition in the five years since the 2020 presidential election; the former president will sit for his next deposition, in a civil lawsuit alleging he promoted a scam multi-level marketing scheme, on June 16, just five days before the Grant deposition deadline.New York Attorney General Letitia James has meanwhile tried since December to compel Trump to sit for a deposition in her three-year civil probe of the Trump Organization.The judge presiding over the "Electric Avenue" lawsuit, US District Judge John G. Koeltl, did not immediately sign off on the parties' scheduling agreement.The Guyanese-British singer could not be reached for comment; he has toured on and off over the years, performing at Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday party in 2008 and on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" in 2019.Lawyers for both sides have agreed to a strict gag order in the case and have repeatedly declined to comment on the lawsuit.He told the Financial Times in July that he has lived in Barbados since 1982, turning a cane-field surrounded estate called "Bayley's Plantation" into the home and studio where "Electric Avenue" was written and recorded.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytMar 30th, 2022

Former US army general says Russia"s army in Ukraine lacks "motivated" soldiers and is "poorly led"

"There's nothing worse in any organization than crappy leadership and that's exactly what the Russians are displaying," former major general James Marks said. In this photo taken from video provided by the Russian Defense Ministry Press Service on Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022, Russian army tanks are loaded onto railway platforms to move back to their permanent base after drills in Russia.Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP A former US major general called Putin's army in Ukraine "unmotivated" and "poorly led." "There's nothing worse in any organization than crappy leadership and that's exactly what the Russians are displaying," former US major general James Marks told CNN. Ukraine and Russia have been at war for more than three weeks now. A former US Army general on Saturday characterized Russia's army in Ukraine as "unmotivated" and "poorly led.""What you're seeing is this Russian army that's been trying to modernize over the course of the last couple of decades and it's done a fairly good job of getting the right equipment and capabilities, but they are poorly led," former US major general James Marks said on CNN. "There's nothing worse in any organization than crappy leadership and that's exactly what the Russians are displaying."Ukraine and Russia have been at war for more than three weeks now, and there's no sign of Russia retreating.So far, more than 3.3 million Ukrainians have fled since the beginning of the invasion, according to data from the United Nations Refugee Agency. Just in the first week alone, more than 1 million Ukrainians left.Ukrainian soldiers are working to stave off Russian forces from taking control of Kyiv. The city is under curfew, and no one but soldiers is allowed out after 8 p.m. as Russian forces continue to try to advance into the capital. Some Ukrainian men have described to Insider how they chose to stay in Ukraine in the event that they are drafted to fight in the war. Ukrainian singer Serge Tiagniryadno, for example, told Insider his family has fled to Poland. But he's staying in Kyiv "because it's my city and I'm ready to protect it and I'm not going to let anyone in."A New York Times report said Russian commanders didn't tell soldiers that they would be going into war. Some soldiers felt unprepared and surprised to learn they'd be going into war."Their soldiers are unmotivated. They haven't been able to get out of their vehicles and really kind of exercise and maneuver at a pace and with the momentum they demonstrated they've learned anything from their training and they're now transitioning to a defensive posture which means they've culminated," Marks continued."They're at the end of their logistics, they've transitioned to defense, which means they're incredibly vulnerable and Ukrainians know that," he said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytMar 20th, 2022

A Ukrainian singer says Kyiv residents are now used to hearing missiles shoot through the sky: "This is the new reality"

Serge Tiagniryadno told Insider the sound of missiles used to wake him up in the dead of night. But now the sounds have become part of a new normal. Members of the Territorial Defence Forces learn how to use weapons during a training session held in a public park on March 9, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.Chris McGrath/Getty Images Ukrainian singer Serge Tiagniryadno told Insider he's become used to the sound of missiles flying over Kyiv. "People are starting to accept it and they're getting used to it and think that this is the new reality," he said. Kyiv is under curfew as Russian forces continue to try to advance into the capital.  Three days into the Russian invasion, Serge Tiagniryadno could not sleep as he listened to the sound of missiles shooting through the sky over Kyiv.Now, more than three weeks in, Tiagniryadno said he no longer notices them. Tiagniryadno, a Ukrainian singer who's toured in the United States with Chicago tribute band Leonid and Friends, told Insider he stopped waking up to the sound of every explosion."You just get used to it at some point," he said in an interview. The first few days of the invasion "were pretty scary," he said, adding that it "was not comfortable to sleep" while Ukrainian and Russian soldiers traded fire in the dead of night. Ukraine and Russia have been at war for 22 days now, and there's no sign of Russia retreating.So far, more than 3.3 million Ukrainians have fled since the beginning of the invasion, according to data from the United Nations Refugee Agency. Just in the first week alone, more than 1 million Ukrainians left.The unrelenting war has created a new normal for Tiagniryadno and the residents of Kyiv, the Ukrainian singer told Insider.Tiagniryadno described hearing explosions go off hour after hour "all over the city" when the invasion first began.But now, the sounds at this point have become so familiar to Tiagniryadno that he said he can distinguish whether the explosions are coming from Ukrainian soldiers or Russian forces."I know different kind of explosions," he said. "The most good one is when our air defense system is working. It's like a very low impact. That means that our air defense system fired on their missiles or jet planes.""And probably if we will not hear another sound after that, that means that we succeeded to destroy their missile or jet fighter," he added. "So if they succeeded to destroy their missiles, we are not hearing the second one. But sometimes you hear the sound that's not the same with the air defense system. And that means that the Russians fired and hit at some targets in the city."A view of empty streets following the curfew in the country after explosions and air raid sirens wailing again in Kyiv, Ukraine on February 26, 2022.Photo by Aytac Unal/Anadolu Agency via Getty ImagesAt times in the beginning of the invasion, Tiagniryadno said he'd look up in the sky and see a missile whooshing through. "It's like a firework, but upside down," he told Insider."It's weird," he said. "But probably at some point you start to get used to it. You see that and you say, 'Well, it is what it is.'" On February 24, the first day of the invasion, Tiagniryadno woke up at 5 a.m. from the sound of explosions and Russian forces "shelling the missiles," he said. All around him, his neighbors and friends in Kyiv appear to be disturbed by the events but trying their best to carry on with their lives."People are starting to accept it and they're getting used to it and think that this is the new reality," he said.Still, he said he can tell they're nervous because they're speaking and moving faster than they did before the invasion. Tiagniryadno's family has fled the country, but he said he's chosen to stay behind "because it's my city and I'm ready to protect it and I'm not going to let anyone in."Kyiv is under curfew, and no one but soldiers are allowed out after 8 p.m., he said, as Russian forces continue to try to advance into the capital. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytMar 19th, 2022

Rihanna"s lingerie brand considering an IPO, value could reach $3 billion

Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty lingerie company is considering an initial public offering that would value the business at as much as $3 billion. The singer is working with banks and advisers on potentially listing this year, Bloomberg reported. Savage X Fenty secured a $125 million funding round in January after opening its first brick-and-mortar location in Las Vegas. The brand, which features sizes from XS to 4XL, has since opened one more physical store with three openings planned for March and….....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsMar 14th, 2022

Savage X Fenty IPO: Is Rihanna’s Lingerie Company Coming Public?

InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips Rumors are building that the singer is planning to bring her lingerie business public later this year in a Savage X Fenty IPO. The post Savage X Fenty IPO: Is Rihanna’s Lingerie Company Coming Public? appeared first on InvestorPlace. More From InvestorPlace Get in Now on Tiny $3 ‘Forever Battery’ Stock It doesn’t matter if you have $500 in savings or $5 million. Do this now. Stock Prodigy Who Found NIO at $2… Says Buy THIS Early Bitcoin Millionaire Reveals His Next Big Crypto Trade “On Air”.....»»

Category: topSource: investorplaceMar 11th, 2022

Drake is buying Robbie Williams" Beverly Crest mansion for more than $70 million

In Beverly Crest, rapper Drake is buying a 20,000-square-foot mansion owned by singer-songwriter Robbie Williams. In Beverly Crest, rapper Drake is buying a 20,000-square-foot mansion owned by singer-songwriter Robbie Williams......»»

Category: topSource: latimesMar 10th, 2022

Printing Money: How Celebrity Book Deals Measure Up

Printing Money: How Celebrity Book Deals Measure Up Three months after Britney Spears' 13-year conservatorship was terminated by a Los Angeles County Superior Court in November, the 40-year-old singer has signed a lucrative book deal with publishing house Simon & Schuster. The deal for a tell-all memoir, first reported by Page Six, is said to be worth at least $15 million, making it one of the largest celebrity book deals ever. In the past, Spears has repeatedly hinted at the explosive stories she could share about her family, with which she has fallen out over the infamous conservatorship. As the following chart by Statista's Felix Richter shows, Britney's deal pales in comparison to the $65 million deal the Obamas signed in 2017, but it matches Bill Clinton’s $15 million advance for “My Life”, while narrowly beating Hillary Clinton, who netted $14 million for “Hard Choices” in 2014. You will find more infographics at Statista Spot the odd one out! Tyler Durden Fri, 02/25/2022 - 23:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeFeb 25th, 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

Neil Young urges Spotify workers to quit their jobs before the company "eats up your soul," and says CEO Daniel Ek "is your big problem — not Joe Rogan"

Spotify has been mired in controversy after Joe Rogan's podcasts prompted Young and Joni Mitchell to request their music be taken off the platform. Neil Young has urged Spotify employees to leave the company, saying Spotify CEO Daniel Ek "is your biggest problem."Gary Miller/Getty Images Musician Neil Young has hit out at Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, calling him the company's "big problem." Ek has backed keeping Joe Rogan's podcast on Spotify despite recent controversy. Scientists and healthcare professionals have expressed concerns that Rogan's podcasts spread Covid misinformation. Musician Neil Young has urged Spotify employees to "get out of the place before it eats up your soul."Young's statement on Monday came as Spotify CEO Daniel Ek doubled down in support of controversial podcaster Joe Rogan."To the workers at SPOTIFY, I say Daniel Ek is your big problem — not Joe Rogan. Ek pulls the strings," Young wrote on his website."The goals stated by Ek are about numbers — not art, not creativity," Young added.In January, Young and singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell requested their music be taken off the platform in protest of Rogan's continued support from Spotify.That same month, 270 doctors, nurses, scientists, and educators issued an open letter calling on Spotify "to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform" after a December 31 episode of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast featured Robert Malone, MD, a conspiracy theorist who referred to the pandemic as "mass formation psychosis."Rogan, the letter said, "has a concerning history of broadcasting misinformation, particularly regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. By allowing the propagation of false and societally harmful assertions, Spotify is enabling its hosted media to damage public trust in scientific research and sow doubt."At a company town hall last week, Ek defended Spotify's decision to keep streaming Rogan's podcast."If we want even a shot at achieving our bold ambitions, it will mean having content on Spotify that many of us may not be proud to be associated with," Ek said, according to The Verge. "Not anything goes, but there will be opinions, ideas, and beliefs that we disagree with strongly and even makes us angry or sad."On Sunday, Ek backed the Rogan again after a viral video resurfaced showing the podcast host using the N-world multiple times on his show."I do not believe that silencing Joe is the answer," Ek in a staff memo first reported by Axios' Sara Fischer.Spotify paid more than $100 million to acquire the rights to Rogan's popular podcast, according to the Wall Street Journal. His show was added to the streaming platform in September 2020.Spotify did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment on Young's latest statement.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderFeb 8th, 2022

6 telenovelas Netflix is launching this year as it looks to boost slow growth in Latin America

The Colombian hit "Café con Aroma de Mujer" is one of Netflix's most popular series right now and one of its biggest international shows ever. "Café con Aroma de Mujer"Netflix Netflix recently detailed six upcoming telenovelas that have release dates or are in production. Netflix is looking to combat slowing subscriber growth in regions like Latin America. The Colombian hit "Café con Aroma de Mujer" is currently one of Netflix's most popular shows. Netflix is ramping up its output of telenovelas as it faces slowing growth in Latin America. During the company's Q4 2021 earnings call last month, CFO Spencer Neumann cited "macroeconomic strain" from the coronavirus pandemic in markets like Latin America as a reason for why the company's growth has slowed. It gained 8.3 million subscribers in the fourth quarter, below projections.Soon after, the company's head of content for Latin America, Roberto Stopello, highlighted upcoming Netflix novelas in a blog post, including the third season of "Who Killed Sara?""A Netflix novela pairs the best of series with the best of novelas — taking so much of what we love from the novelas we grew up watching, combined with the edge, pace and freedom of the streaming world," Stopello wrote. The announcement came on the heels of a hit Colombian Netflix series, "Café con Aroma de Mujer," which has been one of the service's top shows in recent weeks since debuting in December (it's not available on Netflix in the US, where is airs on Telemundo and streams on Peacock, both owned by NBCUniversal).The series is Netflix's fifth biggest international series of all time with 326.91 million hours viewed in its first month.Below are six upcoming novelas Stopello detailed in his blog post, including descriptions provided by Netflix:"Pálpito" — available April 6NetflixDescription: "In this Colombian production, Simon's wife is murdered in order to extract her heart and transplant it to Camila, the wife of a wealthy man. In search of revenge, Simon immerses himself in the dangerous world of organ trafficking. In his frantic search, destiny will make him fall in love with Camila, the woman who survived thanks to his murdered wife's heart. The ultimate climax will be reached when they both discover the truth.""Who Killed Sara?" season three — available June 1NetflixDescription: "Just when we thought we knew who planned to have Sara killed, everything changed during the final scene of the second season when Nicandro mentions that it was not Marifer but 'us' who killed her. Who is behind the truth? Who really killed Sara?""Donde Hubo Fuego" — available this yearNetflixDescription: "Created by José Ignacio Valenzuela 'El Chascas,' the force behind the worldwide success '¿Quién mató a Sara?,' the Mexican novela 'Donde hubo fuego' is a homage to those women and men who put their life on the line to save us. Through its stellar cast, that includes Eduardo Capetillo, Itatí Cantoral, Iván Amozurrutia, Antonio Sotillo, Polo Morín, Daniel Gama, Humberto Busto, Oka Giner, Plutarco Haza and Esmeralda Pimentel, among others, we'll be witness to what occurs on the inside and outside of a fire station.""Rebelde" season two — available this yearNetflixDescription: "The second season of 'Rebelde' will arrive this year along with the entry of Okane, a new student played by the Mexican musician, singer and producer Saak, who will set the EWS on fire.""Triada" — in productionDescription: "Maite Perroni and the creator of 'Dark Desire,' Leticia López Margalli are back and full of drama and mystery. Both find themselves in preparation of Triada under the Argos production, a new project where the characters immerse themselves in their own past, to decipher, one by one, the secrets of their lives.""Madre de alquiler" — starts production this monthNetflixDescription: "In 'Madre de alquiler,' a young indigenous woman (starring Shaní Lozano) surrogates her womb to a powerful family. Years later, she will discover that everything she believed about her pregnancy was a lie. In this story, produced by Argos, the protagonist will question the significance of motherhood, whilst living a romance full of contradictions in the midst of a society full of prejudice."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderFeb 7th, 2022

Futures Tread Water Amid Peripheral Bond Rout As Key CPI Print Looms

Futures Tread Water Amid Peripheral Bond Rout As Key CPI Print Looms U.S. index futures swung around in a volatile, illiquid overnight session, and at last check were flat despite traders' concerns about growing fireworks in the European bond market where Italian and Greek bond plunged amid fears of ECB rate hikes as soon as October, while waiting for Thursday's key CPI data and further corporate earnings. S&P 500 futures were up 2 points or 0.05%, Nasdaq futures were up 26 points or 0.18% and Dow futures were up fractionally as markets now expect more than five quarter-point Federal Reserve interest-rate hikes in 2022 to keep inflation on check following a strong U.S. jobs report. Treasury yields and the dollar were stable, while the euro snapped a six-day strengthening run. WTI crude fell after last week's rally. Chinese shares climbed on their return from a weeklong holiday. Bitcoin extended its recovery surge. In the premarket, Peloton was in focus, soaring 27% on reports it's evaluating interest from potential suitors including Amazon and Nike. That's a relief for investors in the one-time pandemic darling, which has lost more than 80% since its January 2021 high thanks to easing restrictions and, Mr. Big's heart attack. But the breather might not last long as sellside analysts warn that regulators will probably crank up the resistance hard on any deal that involves Big Tech. Other notable premarket movers: Alibaba (BABA US) declined 4% in U.S. premarket trading after Citigroup analysts saw its additional American depositary share registration in the U.S. as a sign that SoftBank Group Corp. may intend to sell part of its stake. Cryptocurrency-exposed stocks rise in premarket trading Monday as Bitcoin gains for a fifth straight day to climb back above the $42,000 level. Hive Blockchain (HIVE CN) +6.5%, Bit Digital (BTBT US) +6.5%, Hut 8 Mining (HUT CN) +6%. Snowflake (SNOW US) gains 3.8% in premarket trading after Morgan Stanley upgraded to overweight, citing a pullback in the stock and saying the software solutions provider is executing ahead of plan. Iveric bio(ISEE US) has a “blockbuster opportunity” in the field of geographic atrophy (GA), Morgan Stanley writes in a note as it initiates coverage with an overweight recommendation and a $25 price target. Shares of airlines jump in premarket trading after Spirit Airlines and Frontier Group announced a definitive merger agreement whereby Frontier will buy Spirit at an implied value of $25.83 per share “We continue to be more focused on what growth is going to do rather than rates and believe investors are still too optimistic, particularly as it relates to consumption,” Morgan Stanley strategists led by Michael Wilson write. “Exacerbating that risk is the fact that inventories are now rising rapidly,” they add, keeping a “defensive Posture.” European equities reverse opening gains, with the Euro Stoxx 50 dipping into the red having initially rallied 0.8%, while the Stoxx Europe 600 Index was little changed, with basic resources outperforming on stronger iron ore prices. Italy's FTSE MIB lags, dropping more than 1.5%. Utilities were trading lower, dragged down by Enel, after Fitch cut its debt rating while real estate and energy are the worst performing sectors. Strategists from JPMorgan reiterated upside ahead for the region’s stocks on a positive macro-economic backdrop, strong earnings and cheaper relative valuations. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Konecranes shares rise as much as 9% on a Reuters report from late Friday, saying the EU is close to clearing the company’s deal with Cargotec. Kone shares are up 5% Adevinta, Rightmove and Schibsted rise after UBS upgraded all three to buy from neutral, saying that the European online classifieds sector is trading at an attractive entry point. Faurecia gains as much as 3.6% in Paris trading after the French car-parts supplier set out financial targets after taking control of German rival Hella. H&M rises as much as 3% after local Swedish business daily Dagens Industri named the shares its pick of the week in an article, seeing a buying opportunity for the fashion retailer. Reckitt climbs as much as 2.4% after Bloomberg reported that the British consumer-goods company is weighing options for its infant nutrition unit, including a potential sale. Tobii rises as much as 21% after the firm said it is negotiations with Sony to provide its eye-tracking technology in the next PlayStation VR headset. Asian equities slipped following their best weekly rally in five months, as traders eyed key U.S. inflation data due later this week for more clues on the Federal Reserve’s plan to raise interest rates. Chinese stocks rallied as the market reopened after a week-long holiday. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell as much as 0.5%, dragged by losses in technology shares. Stocks fell in South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong, while the mainland’s CSI 300 Index surged 1.5% in catch-up trade after the Lunar New Year break. Read: China Stocks Climb Most in Two Months in Holiday Catch-Up Trade Bonds dropped after a strong U.S. jobs report Friday increased bets of tighter monetary policy, and as traders look ahead this week to U.S. consumer-price figures expected to show the biggest rise since 1982. Decisions are also due from several Asian central banks. “Rising bond yields will remain a key theme into the trading session,” said Jun Rong Yeap, a market strategist at IG Asia. “The week ahead will bring focus to a series of central banks’ decisions in the region in the likes of India, Thailand and Indonesia, all seemingly set to hold their accommodative policies in place for now.” Alibaba Group was the single-largest drag on the regional benchmark Monday, falling 4.5% after registering one billion American depositary shares that hadn’t been registered before. This suggested to Citi that SoftBank may intend to sell some of its Alibaba shares. Japanese equities fell, slipping after their best weekly gain since mid-October, with electronics and chemical makers the biggest drags on the Topix. Auto makers also weighed on the benchmark, which fell 0.2%. Olympus and Fast Retailing were the largest contributors to a 0.3% loss in the Nikkei 225. Australia’s equity benchmark recovered from its initial decline to close little changed after the government said it will allow double-vaccinated visa holders to enter the country from Feb. 21, ending about two years of strict border controls. The S&P/ASX 200 Index pared earlier declines as much as 1% to close 0.1% lower with materials stocks contributing the most toward the gauge’s move. GrainCorp was among the top gainers on the gauge after the company forecast underlying profit for the full year of A$235 million to A$280 million, beating analyst estimates.  Magellan was the worst performer the company announced founder Hamish Douglass would take a medical leave of absence from the asset manager, which is grappling with fund outflows and a tumbling stock price. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.5% to 12,279.56 India’s key stock indexes posted their biggest slump in two weeks as investors turned cautious ahead of the central bank’s monetary policy announcement on Thursday and an extended sell off by foreign funds.  The S&P BSE Sensex fell 1.8% to 57,621.19 in Mumbai, while the NSE Nifty 50 Index dropped 1.7%. The key gauges fell for the third straight day, posting their biggest drop since Jan. 24. All but three of the 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. slipped, led by finance companies.  “We expect that the markets will continue to remain volatile on the back of the recent interest rate movements globally,” according to Naveen Kulkarni, chief investment officer, at Axis Securities. He expects most emerging markets to witness outflows of foreign funds, leading to currency depreciation in the short term. The Reserve Bank of India’s monetary-policy panel will meet Feb. 8-10, starting a day later than initially scheduled. The decision will be announced on Thursday.  The change was made as the nation mourns the death of celebrated singer Lata Mangeshkar. Banks in Mumbai bond and currency markets were shut Monday.  HDFC Bank contributed the most to the Sensex’s decline, falling 3.7%, its biggest drop since April 30. Out of 30 shares in the Sensex index, five rose and 25 fell. State Bank of India, which reported December quarter earnings ahead of analysts’ expectations over the weekend, rose 0.6%.   Fixed income trades heavy with losses led by peripheral bonds which tumbled on Monday following weakness on Friday. Short-dated Italian bonds snapped almost 10bps wider to Germany, while 10y Greek spreads blow out ~20bps, helped by hawkish comments from ECB’s Knot. iTraxx Crossover widens ~17bps. Bunds bear-steepen, cheaper by 4bps at the back end. Gilts and Treasuries are calm, relatively speaking. Euribor futures drop 4-5 ticks across the red pack, money markets wager on 27bps of hikes in September. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was a tad higher as the dollar traded mixed versus its Group-of-10 peers; AUD and CAD are the strongest performers in G-10 FX, NOK and EUR underperform. The euro snapped six days of gains while the move in the common currency’s skew has been steep and a retreat for bullish wagers could be due after investors added longs in spot and options markets alike last week, after European peripheral bonds extended their declines and underperformance vs the core as markets bet on more tightening after ECB’s Knot said rate hikes are possible as soon as the fourth quarter. Australia’s dollar and sovereign yields advanced on announcement that the nation will allow double-vaccinated visa holders to enter the country from Feb. 21. A strong ex-inflation retail sales print underpinned the moves. Japan’s benchmark 10-year yield rose to the highest in six years as the Bank of Japan refrained from conducting an unscheduled bond purchase operation to stem the recent rise in yields. In commodities, crude benchmarks are pressured, perhaps taking impetus from broader sentiment; however, we remain elevated in the broader picture and geopols continue to dominate. Overnight, Brent tested but failed to successfully surpass USD 94.00/bbl with WTI falling ~1.3% before stabilizing close to $91. Focus on Macron/Putin talks today, though the Kremlin has downplayed the chance of a 'breakthrough' while Iranian talks are to recommence Tuesday. Spot gold/silver are contained and remain near multiple DMAs while base metals benefit from the return of China. Marathon’s Galveston Bay Refinery (593k bpd) and Valero’s Texas City refinery (225k bpd) were knocked out of production due to a power outage on Friday amid severe cold weather, according to Reuters. Saudi Arabia raised oil prices for customers in Asia, US and Europe, according to Bloomberg. Indian government is to express serious concern over crude oil price volatility; government to take up this topic with oil producing nations/groups, via Reuters. Gazprom says it does not intend to hold spot gas sales sessions on its electronic platform this week, via Reuters. Turkey lifted its ban on importing scrap metals from Lebanon, according to Reuters. Base metals are mixed; LME copper falls 0.6% while LME aluminum gains 0.8%. Spot gold rises roughly $3 to trade near $1,811/oz. Expected data on Wednesday include consumer credit, while Amgen, Hasbro, Loews and Take-Two are among companies reporting results. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.2% to 4,481.50 STOXX Europe 600 little changed at 462.60 MXAP little changed at 187.71 MXAPJ down 0.1% to 614.38 Nikkei down 0.7% to 27,248.87 Topix down 0.2% to 1,925.99 Hang Seng Index little changed at 24,579.55 Shanghai Composite up 2.0% to 3,429.58 Sensex down 1.7% to 57,660.26 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.1% to 7,110.85 Kospi down 0.2% to 2,745.06 German 10Y yield little changed at 0.22% Euro down 0.3% to $1.1420 Brent Futures down 1.2% to $92.19/bbl Gold spot up 0.2% to $1,812.36 U.S. Dollar Index up 0.11% to 95.59 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg French President Emmanuel Macron meets Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday as Western leaders continue their push to deter any moves against Ukraine. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the talks will be “substantive and quite prolonged,” but he doesn’t expect a breakthrough Boris Johnson promised his Conservative Party an overhaul of his top team as he strives to keep his job after a series of gaffes and scandals. Two rapid appointments over the weekend may already be too late Currency analysts downplayed China’s move on Monday to set the yuan reference rate with the biggest weakening bias versus forecasts, saying it was simply a recalibration following the weeklong Lunar New year holiday The global stockpile of negative-yielding bonds has dropped to the lowest in more than six years after nearly $3 trillion was wiped out in just two days last week Fidelity International Ltd. and abrdn Plc are among the firms avoiding Asian local debt and favoring bonds elsewhere in the developing world on the view that the region will take longer to start tightening monetary policy. Bond managers are turning lukewarm on Asian debt on speculation the region will be the last in emerging markets to start raising rates A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian stocks were mixed amid recent increases in global yields and after the blowout NFP data stoked bets for a more aggressive Fed rate hike in March, while geopolitical concerns also lingered. ASX 200 (-0.1%) was dragged lower by weakness in real estate, healthcare and financials although finished off its lows amid resilience in the commodity-related sectors and stronger than expected quarterly Retail Trade data. Nikkei 225 (-0.7%) suffered as Japan plans an extension of COVID-19 measures for Tokyo and other areas. Hang Seng (U/C) and Shanghai Comp. (+2.0%) were varied as Hong Kong stocks took a back seat to the outperformance in the mainland which re-opened for the first time since the Lunar New Year, while Chinese Caixin Services and Composite PMIs slowed but remained in expansion territory Top Asian News Hong Kong Braces for Curbs as Cases Double Every Three Days H.K. Sees Record Cases; Australia Reopening: Virus Update Hysan to Buy 25% Stake in Henderson Land’s Project for HK$3.05b Taiwan FX Trading Punishment on Deutsche Bank Lifted: Reuters Core European bourses are choppy and mixed overall, Euro Stoxx 50 -0.1%, though the periphery is pressured on domestic debt downside; FTSE MIB -1.6%. Sectors are mixed overall though Basic Resources outperform on base metals while Energy/Utilities pulls-back given benchmark pricing and Friday's upside. Stateside, US futures are pressured but have also been choppy/rangebound for the most part, RTY lags. Top European News Var Energi Valued at $9.1 Billion in Rare Big Energy Listing U.K. House Prices Rise at Slowest Pace Since June, Halifax Says Ajax Shares Fall as Director Overmars Leaves Club Over Messages Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey Promotes Operations Head Daly as CEO In FX, the dollar retains bulk of its stellar BLS labour report gains, but eases from best levels Loonie gets over Canadian LFS jobs release disappointment with aid from WTI crude holding a firm line. Aussie underpinned by iron ore prices, record retail sales data and plans to reopen international borders from February 21st. Euro hands back some ECB inspired upside, but even higher EGB yields should provide traction. Yuan undermined by PBoC setting a weak onshore fix, soft Chinese Caixin PMIs and more angst with the US over compliance to terms of Phase One trade deal. Turkish President Erdogan tested positive for COVID-19, according to Reuters. South Africa’s Eskom announced that loadshedding was suspended from Sunday evening amid a sufficient recovery in generation capacity, according to Reuters. In commodities, crude benchmarks are pressured, perhaps taking impetus from broader sentiment; however, we remain elevated in the broader picture and geopols continue to dominate. Overnight, Brent tested but failed to successfully surpass USD 94.00/bbl. Focus on Macron/Putin talks today, though the Kremlin has downplayed the chance of a 'breakthrough' while Iranian talks are to recommence Tuesday. Spot gold/silver are contained and remain near multiple DMAs while base metals benefit from the return of China. Marathon’s Galveston Bay Refinery (593k bpd) and Valero’s Texas City refinery (225k bpd) were knocked out of production due to a power outage on Friday amid severe cold weather, according to Reuters. Saudi Arabia raised oil prices for customers in Asia, US and Europe, according to Bloomberg. Indian government is to express serious concern over crude oil price volatility; government to take up this topic with oil producing nations/groups, via Reuters. Gazprom says it does not intend to hold spot gas sales sessions on its electronic platform this week, via Reuters. Turkey lifted its ban on importing scrap metals from Lebanon, according to Reuters. US Event Calendar 3pm: Dec. Consumer Credit, est. $25b, prior $40b DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap After a week for the ages that we'll fully review in the second half of this note, this week should be calmer until of course US CPI comes along on Thursday. What made last week so fascinating was the rare interplay between macro and micro. Not only did the rates world shake and reverberate (2yr bunds +35.9bps and the worse week since 2008), but on successive days we saw the biggest market cap fall in history for any company (Meta), followed by the biggest rise ever (Amazon). We have 83 S&P 500 companies reporting this week but no Goliath sized ones, so it'll be a more normal week for earnings. The macro and micro last week was enough to push the Russian/Ukraine tensions into the background but they are clearly still there so we have to watch out for that as well. Over the weekend ECB governor Knott (a hawk) became the first ECB official to endorse a 2022 hike by suggesting that he expects a hike around Q4 and another in Spring 2023, and that they are most likely to be in 25bps increments. He also suggests bond purchases should end as soon as possible and that Euro Area inflation will remain above 4% all this year. There will be excitement about the comments in markets today but pricing is already above 50bps before year-end so as the ECB catch up with the market, will the market now go another step further? When the dust settles we will soon move on to US CPI on Thursday. In terms of what to look out for, note that 8 of the last 10 CPI releases have seen the monthly headline figure come in above the consensus estimate on Bloomberg. Our US economists are projecting that monthly headline CPI growth will slow to +0.36% in January, with core inflation also slowing to +0.36%. However, this would still push YoY readings to 7.2% and 5.8% (consensus at 7.3% and 5.9%) respectively the highest since 1982 for both. There are plenty of wildcards in the release but we'll be watching rents/OER most as this makes up around 40% of core and around a third of the headline number. Since last summer it's been clear from our models that this was going to continue going up and up and given its weight it's very difficult for inflation to mean revert without it also doing so. It's showing no sign of this at the moment and likely won't for several months at least. Otherwise it’s a fairly quiet week on the data front, though it’ll be worth looking out for the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index for February on Friday. January saw the measure fall to its lowest level in a decade, whilst longer-term inflation expectations have been picking up as well, so one to keep an eye on. Elsewhere, we’ve got the UK’s GDP release for Q4 coming out on Friday as well. Earnings season is past the peak but will continue to be busy, with a further 83 companies in the S&P 500 and 89 in the Stoxx 600 reporting. Among the highlights to look out for will be Pfizer, BP and BNP Paribas tomorrow. Then on Wednesday, we’ll hear from Disney, L’Oréal, GlaxoSmithKline, Uber and Toyota. Finally on Thursday, there’s reports from The Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo, AstraZeneca, Philip Morris International, Linde, Siemens, Unilever, Crédit Agricole, Société Générale, Twitter and Credit Suisse. See the day-by-day calendar for more on the week ahead. Asian markets are a bit softer to start the week. The Nikkei (-0.84%), Kospi (-0.43%) and Hang Seng (-0.31%) are down. China has reopened after last week’s Lunar NY holiday and both the Shanghai Composite (+1.91%) and the CSI (+1.62%) are catching up. Equity futures in the US point towards a steady start with contracts on the S&P 500 (+0.08%) and Nasdaq (+0.13%) slightly higher. In terms of economic data, China’s services sector activity dipped to 5-month lows as the Caixin services PMI edged down to +51.4 from 53.1 in December as a rise in local Covid-19 cases coupled with restrictive measures hit consumer sentiment. Looking back on last week, the main story was the historic sell off in sovereign yields at the end of the week. Hawkish communications from the ECB and BoE, along with much stronger-than-expected employment data in the US, drove advanced economy sovereign bond yields to their highest post-pandemic levels. Recapping region-by-region. The ECB left policy unchanged, though tilted their communications in a much more hawkish direction. President Lagarde noted that near-term risks to inflation were tilted to the upside and did not repeat her previous remarks that a 2022 hike was unlikely. The week ended with the market fully pricing liftoff in July, with an 86% probability of liftoff happening in June, and 5 full (10bps) hikes through 2022. 2yr bund yields increased +35.9bps (+8.4bps Friday), their largest weekly increase since April 2008, while 10yr bunds increased +25.0bps (+6.2bps Friday), their largest weekly increase since June 2015. Notably, 5yr bunds were the latest tenor to cross into positive territory, closing above 0 for the first time since May 2018 after increasing +35.3bps this week (+9.1bps Friday), the largest weekly increase since January 2011. In the UK, the BoE raised the Bank Rate +25bps to 0.5% and began the passive unwind of its securities portfolio. Notably, four MPC officials dissented, instead favouring a +50bps hike. The BoE also upgraded their inflation forecasts to have CPI peaking around 7.25% in April. The market has now priced in 5 additional Bank Rate increases (25bps) through 2022. 2yr gilts increased +29.4bps this week (+11.8bps Friday), their largest weekly increase since September 2017 and 10yr gilts increased +16.7bps (+4.3bps Friday). Treasury yields increased following the hawkish pivots from central banks across the Atlantic, albeit in smaller magnitudes. It took Friday’s employment report to really get Treasuries to join the sell-off. US nonfarm payrolls increased by +467k in January, and the prior two months were revised +709k higher, while average hourly earnings increased +0.7%, month-on-month. There was a big BLS population adjustment but the report was strong adjusting for that. This data came as FOMC officials were warning beforehand that the employment data was more than likely to surprise to the downside but would not impact the path for policy. With employment remaining robust through the worst of the Omicron wave, markets meaningfully increased the probability the FOMC would raise its policy rate by +50bps, rather than 25, at its March meeting. At the end of the week a +140% chance of a +25bp move in March was priced, while 5.3 25bps hikes were priced through the year. 2yr treasury yields climbed +16.7bps (+11.4bps Friday) and 10yr yields increased +13.9bps (+7.8bps Friday). Real 10yr yields increased +18.9bps (+7.5bps Friday) to -0.50%, the highest level since June 2020, while real 30yr yields moved into positive territory for the first time since last May, closing the week at 0.04%, after increasing +20.2bps (+6.1bps Friday). Onto risk markets, and the S&P 500 impressively gained +1.55% (+0.52% Friday) after a week where ECB liftoff was moved to June, half the BoE wanted to hike +50bps, the Fed pricing moved toward a +50bp liftoff, and the 6th biggest company in the US lost a third of its market value. European stocks underperformed, given the sharper repricing of monetary policy expectations, with the STOXX 600 down -0.73% (-1.38% Friday), the DAX -1.43% (-1.75% Friday), and the CAC -0.21% (-0.77% Friday). In the S&P 500, all but three sectors were higher on the week. Mega-cap tech earnings were the main focus, with sentiment breaking both ways. Meta decreased -21.42% (-0.28% Friday) following earnings that portended slowing subscriber growth and increasing streaming competition from other social media sites. Supporting sentiment, Alphabet had a strong earnings release and announced a 20-for-1 stock split, seeing their shares +7.46% higher on the week (+0.14% Friday), while Amazon shares climbed +9.49% (+13.54% Friday) on reports that they’d be raising the price of US Prime memberships and that their investment in electric carmaker Rivian was performing well. So a wild ride. In terms of credit, after holding in well in the sell-off of two weeks ago, the asset class lagged equities last week, especially in Europe after the rates shock. Itraxx Main was +5.5bps wider on the week (+2.7bps Friday), while Xover was +29.2bps wider (+14.2bps Friday). In the US, IG CDX was +2.6bps wider (+1.3bps Friday) while HY widened +12.6bp (+9.5bp Friday). Year-to-date US HY CDX is +63bps wider and IG CDX is +14bps wider, while ITraxx Xover is +73bps wider and Main is +17bps wider. Cash index spreads were more varied last week, given $IG spreads were actually unchanged over the course of the last week, while €IG spreads were +8bps wider (+7bps Friday) and £IG spreads were +14bps (+8bps Friday). High yield spreads were somewhat similar with $HY spreads just 5bps wider on the week, while €HY spreads were +12bps wider and £HY spreads were +16bps wider. Ash indices tend to lag in fast moves. OPEC+ agreed to a further output increase of +400k barrels per day in March broadly as expected, though production figures are bound by suppliers that are struggling to meet their quotas. All in, crude futures were +3.60% this week (+2.37% Friday). Tyler Durden Mon, 02/07/2022 - 07:48.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeFeb 7th, 2022

Spotify CEO says he won"t "silence" Joe Rogan after viral video showed podcaster repeatedly using N-word on show

"Canceling voices is a slippery slope," Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said Sunday in a staff memo, which was first reported by Axios. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek (left) and podcast host Joe Rogan.Drew Angerer/Getty Images/Michael S. Schwartz/Getty Images Spotify CEO Daniel Ek sent a staff memo Sunday amid fresh controversy around podcaster Joe Rogan. It came after a viral video showed Rogan using the N-word multiple times in old episodes of his show. Ek said: "I do not believe that silencing Joe is the answer." Spotify CEO Daniel Ek on Sunday defended Joe Rogan after a viral video on Friday showed the podcaster using the N-word multiple times on his show."I do not believe that silencing Joe is the answer," Ek said Sunday in a staff memo first reported by Axios' Sara Fischer.On Friday, Grammy-winning singer-songwriter India Arie posted a compilation video of Rogan using the N-word multiple times across older episodes of his show. Rogan used the slur 24 times across the 23 clips used in Arie's video. Rogan released an apology Saturday.Spotify paid a reported sum of more than $100 million to acquire the rights to Rogan's show, which was added to the platform in September 2020.Ek said Sunday that his company had held conversations with Rogan about his past use of "racially insensitive language" and that Rogan had chosen to remove an undisclosed number of episodes from Spotify.In his memo Sunday, Ek told staffers he was "deeply sorry" for "the way The Joe Rogan Experience controversy continues to impact each of you.""I know this situation leaves many of you feeling drained, frustrated and unheard," Ek said. "While I strongly condemn what Joe has said and I agree with his decision to to remove past episodes from our platform, I realize some will want more."Ek continued: "I want to make one point very clear — I do not believe that silencing Joe is the answer. We should have clear lines around content and take action when they are crossed, but canceling voices is a slippery slope."Ek said in the memo that Spotify had committed to an "incremental investment" of $100 million for developing artists from "historically marginalized groups."Rogan was previously the subject of a backlash for spreading COVID-19 misinformation on his show, prompting artists Neil Young and Joni Mitchell to demand that their their music be removed from the platform.Ek has had to deal with fallout from Rogan's show before. Vice reported in September 2020 that Ek fielded concerns from employees over transphobic content on Rogan's show, and in October 2020 the company faced a backlash after Rogan hosted far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.In an all-hands meeting last week, Ek told Spotify staff that content like Rogan's was crucial to the company's "bold ambitions," as reported by The Verge.Do you work at Spotify? Got a tip? Contact this reporter at ihamilton@insider or iahamilton@protonmail.com. Always use a non-work email account.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderFeb 7th, 2022