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China operates more than 100 secret "police stations" in dozens of countries to monitor its citizens in exile, report says

Beijing operates more than 100 police facilities abroad to monitor, harass and repatriate its citizens in exile, Safeguard Defenders alleged. The Chinese flag.Getty Images China has more than 100 "police stations" globally to monitor its citizens in exile, a report said. Some of these facilities are set up with the help of the host nations, Safeguard Defenders alleged. FBI Director Christopher Wray said he's "very concerned" about Chinese "police stations" in the US.  China operates more than 100 so-called police stations worldwide to monitor, harass and repatriate its citizens in exile, according to a report from Madrid-based human rights campaign group Safeguard Defenders quoted by CNN.Many of these stations are set up through bilateral security agreements with host countries in Europe and Africa, the report alleged.Safeguard Defenders tracked forced disappearances in China by looking through open-source, official Chinese documents for evidence of alleged human rights abuses.It first revealed the existence of 54 such stations in September, and said it had now found evidence of 48 more.The organization cited specific examples of a Chinese national being coerced into returning to China from France and other instances of Chinese nationals being forcibly returned from countries including Serbia and Spain.Safeguard Defenders said it had found four separate police jurisdictions of China's Ministry of Public Security active in at least 53 countries, per CNN.China has denied running undeclared police forces overseas, with its Ministry of Foreign Affairs telling CNN in November: "We hope that relevant parties stop hyping it up to create tensions. Using this as a pretext to smear China is unacceptable."China has claimed that the facilities are simply for expatriates who need help with administrative tasks like renewing documents.They have also claimed that some of the stations were set up in response to the pandemic, but the Safeguard Defenders report claimed that the offices were opened several years before.FBI Director Christopher Wray told a Homeland Security Committee last month he was "very concerned" about possible unauthorized Chinese police stations in US cities. "It is outrageous to think that the Chinese police would attempt to set up shop, you know, in New York, let's say, without proper coordination. It violates sovereignty and circumvents standard judicial and law enforcement cooperation processes," he said.The revelations about the police stations have sparked investigations in at least 13 countries, CNN said.Ireland ordered a Chinese police station found on its territory to shut down, as has the Netherlands. Canada has issued "cease and desist" warning to China over police stations.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: NYT15 hr. 12 min. ago Related News

4 waitresses carried an Animal Rebellion protester out of Salt Bae"s London steakhouse on Saturday night

Video shows staff members putting an activist on the sidewalk outside Nusr-Et in Knightsbridge, where steaks with gold leaf cost up to $1,750. A protester at Salt Bae's steakhouse in London on Saturday night.Animal Rebellion Diners applauded as staff physically removed Animal Rebellion activists from the Nusr-Et Steakhouse. The restaurant serves gold-plated steaks that cost as much as $1,750. Animal Rebellion said it targeted the restaurant because it symbolized a "broken system." Waitresses physically removed animal rights protesters from Salt Bae's steakhouse in an upmarket part of London on Saturday night following a non-violent protest.Eight protesters from Animal Rebellion entered the restaurant and sat at empty tables holding mock menus outlining their demands, the Evening Standard reported.In a video tweeted by the group, one activist was carried out of the restaurant by four staff members to the applause of diners shortly before 7pm.—Animal Rebellion (@RebelsAnimal) December 3, 2022 Nusret Gökçe, better known as Salt Bae, rose to fame after his salt-sprinkling technique went viral online. The Turkish butcher, chef and restaurateur owns a chain of steakhouses.The London branch targeted by Animal Rebellion serves gold-plated steaks costing up to £1,450 (almost $1,800).  A post shared by Nusr_et#Saltbae (@nusr_et)  Activists raised concerns about the employees' actions. One protester told the Press Association: "I'm not sure they're allowed to do that."Another, identified as 21-year-old Orin Cooley-Green, said: "It was tougher than police would do it."Activist Ben Thomas, 20, said in a statement: "Restaurants like these are symbolic of a broken system. Whilst 2 million people are relying on food banks in the UK right now, influencer chefs are selling gold-plated steaks for more than £1,000."Animal Rebellion is calling for "a plant-based food system and mass rewilding." In a press release, the group said they targeted Nusr-Et because steaks, and other red meats, carry "the highest environmental impacts."The group also occupied the Michelin-starred Mana restaurant in Manchester in northwest England on Saturday night. Police removed a number of protesters following the peaceful action and Animal Rebellion said in a tweet that arrests were made. Nusr-Et did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYT16 hr. 12 min. ago Related News

The Gemini crypto exchange run by the Winklevoss twins is owed $900 million following FTX"s collapse, report says

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss's Gemini is trying to get its customers' funds back from Genesis and DCG, the Financial Times reported. Gemini was founded by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss in 2014.Gemini Crypto lender Genesis owes exchange platform Gemini $900 million, the Financial Times reported. Gemini, run by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, is trying to recover its customers' funds. It has created a creditors committee and has hired an investment bank to devise solutions. A crypto exchange run by the Winklevoss twins is owed $900 million by Genesis, a crypto broker, and its parent company Digital Currency Group, the Financial Times reported.Genesis, which has $2.8 billion in active loans according to its website, tweeted that redemptions and new loans were being paused on November 16. The company cited "unprecedented market turmoil" resulting in a lack of disposable funds. Gemini has a crypto lending product through its partnership with Genesis, which acts as its broker. Genesis was caught up in the collapse of FTX and Gemini, the platform co-founded by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, is trying to recover its customers' funds, according to the FT.Gemini has created a committee made up of creditors to try to reclaim its funds from Genesis and DCG. Genesis has been trying to raise emergency funds and hired an investment bank to look at potential solutions to repay the funds, the newspaper reported.After the FTX fallout where it was made public that the company was missing at least $1 billion in customer funds, Gemini tweeted to assure its own customers that it held their digital assets in accounts that are separate from its own assets.Gemini tweeted on November 29: "We do not do anything with your digital assets unless explicitly authorized and directed to do so by you. We are more confident than ever that asking for permission, not for forgiveness — is the right way to build trust with you and a lasting business."Gemini was founded in 2014 by the Winklevoss twins and it was the first US-based licensed Ethereum exchange.Genesis and Gemini did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Insider.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYT16 hr. 12 min. ago Related News

Portland store is reportedly selling psychedelic mushrooms – but they"re not legal in Oregon yet: "They"re breaking all sorts of laws over there"

The retail sale of psychedelic psilocybin isn't legal in Oregon, but a Portland herbal shop is pushing the boundaries with their supply of mushrooms. The retail sale of magic mushrooms is forbidden by law and those taken in licensed medical settings must be consumed on-site.KOIN 6 A Portland herbal shop is selling magic mushrooms to locals in spite of state laws, KPTV reports. Locals waited in long lines to score some psilocybin even though it's only been approved for licensed medical use. Shroom House offers 'Penis Envy,' 'Albino Golden Teacher,' 'Knobby Tops,' and more in the selection, Willamette Week says. Magic mushroom enthusiasts in Portland waited in line for an hour to buy the psychedelics from a local herbal shop, although it isn't exactly legal to buy them in Oregon.Shroom House, an online herbal shop, has attracted many in-person patrons hoping to score some psilocybin in the state where it has been legalized only in licensed medical settings, local news reported.But, if they want to purchase from Shroom House, patrons must be at least 21 years old, provide two forms of identification, and fill out an application that asks about depression, anxiety, and more to become a member of the "Shroom House Society," according to Willamette Week, an alternative weekly local newspaper. Although the process sounds lengthy, a reporter from Willamette Week said they were able to order fungi about five minutes after submitting the documents.The shop gained attention after a former employee reached out to a Portland news outlet about its potentially illegal operation."I was led to believe by management at Shroom House that this was the first, medically licensed and sanctioned place to buy psychedelics in the state of Oregon," Kace Colwell told KOIN 6. "They're breaking all sorts of laws over there."And despite the drug's schedule one classification at the federal level, locals were excited to get their hands on some shrooms."A friend of mine sent me an article," a patron in line told KPTV. "The article that was posted. I told my wife, and she was like, 'What are we waiting for? Let's go get some.'"Shroom House reportedly has a variety of mushrooms to choose from – including "Knobby Tops," "Penis Envy," and "Albino Golden Teacher." Seven grams could be purchased at $85 to $95, Willamette reported.Oregon passed Measure 109 — also known as the Oregon Psilocybin Services Act — in November 2020, and the move legalized the use of mushrooms in a medical setting under the guidance of a licensed facilitator.The Oregon Health Authority isn't set to issue licenses until January, KPTV reported.Sam Chapman, executive director of the Healing Advocacy Fund, emphasized the importance of following the steps outlined in Oregon's Measure 109 in a statement to KPTV."Retail sales of psilocybin are not legal under Oregon law. Nothing in Measure 109 or any other law allows the sale of psilocybin mushrooms today or in the future," Chapman said."Many Oregonians stand to benefit from the healing properties of psilocybin, including those suffering from depression, anxiety and addiction, but the therapy must be delivered safely." Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYT16 hr. 12 min. ago Related News

Fox News ends Lara Trump"s employment following father-in-law Donald Trump"s 2024 announcement

Lara Trump will no longer be a paid contributor for Fox News after her father-in-law, Donald Trump, announced his 2024 presidential bid. Lara Trump pre-records her address to the Republican National Convention on August 26, 2020.Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images Lara Trump, Eric Trump's wife, will no longer be a paid contributor for Fox News, per the Los Angeles Times. A company protocol doesn't allow the network to employ people linked to active campaigns. The decision was made after former President Donald Trump announced his 2024 presidential bid. Lara Trump, who is married to former President Donald Trump's son Eric Trump, is no longer a paid contributor for Fox News because of her father-in-law's 2024 announcement, the Los Angeles Times was first to report. The network confirmed to the Los Angeles Times on Saturday that Lara Trump, who became a Fox News contributor last year, will no longer be paid to appear on the network.In a statement provided to Insider, a Fox News spokesperson said: "We appreciate Lara's valuable contributions across FOX News Media programming."According to the Los Angeles Times, her departure is due to company rules that do not allow people running for office or directly linked to active campaigns to be employed by the network.The network decided that Lara Trump is directly connected to her father-in-law's campaign, the Los Angeles Times said. She has been a surrogate for the former president and received payment for advisory roles.The newspaper said that she has not appeared on Fox News since the week of November 15, which is when the former president announced his third presidential run. She can still, in theory, appear as an unpaid contributor.There is a precedent for such decisions; Sarah Huckabee Sanders had her paid contributor deal terminated when she announced she was running for governor of Arkansas.Fox is owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch. According to The Guardian, Murdoch has warned Trump that his media empire will not back his White House bid. His publications, including the Wall Street Journal, described Trump as a "loser" after the midterm results were disappointing for Republicans.The Guardian also reported that Lachlan Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch's eldest son, has told Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis that the media group would back him if he ran against Trump in 2024.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYT16 hr. 40 min. ago Related News

Herschel Walker isn"t the only pro-footballer-turned-politician. Here are 16 others who"ve tossed the pigskin into the political arena.

Republican Herschel Walker, a former NFL star, is locked in a close battle with Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock to represent Georgia. Herschel Walker, who is a Republican running for the US Senate in Georgia, played professional football for the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1990s and was also a member of the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, and Minnesota Vikings.Photo by David Madison/Getty Images Georgia's upcoming runoff election will determine whether GOP candidate Herschel Walker will enter the US Senate. Walker was a notable college and professional football player. Here are other prominent politicians and government officials who've transitioned from a career football to politics. On December 6, Republican US Senate candidate Herschel Walker and Democratic incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock will face-off in their highly anticipated runoff election in Georgia. This race — one of the most expensive in US history — has garnered national media attention from start to end.For voters in the Peach State, its a choice between Warnock, a senior pastor at Atlanta's historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, versus Walker, a former college football star and ex-NFL player.Walker's football career made him a celebrity not only in Georgia where he was a standout running back, but nationwide, making his campaign launch exciting for fans of America's favorite pasttime.But the pro-baller-to-politician pipeline hardly begins with Walker.Meet 16 other political and governmental figures who played or otherwise participated in pro football before entering public office:Herschel WalkerIn 1982, Herschel Walker was awarded a Heisman Trophy for being the top player in college football. He'd go on to play professional football until 1997. In 2022, Walker launched a campaign to run for US Senate in Georgia as a Republican.Bettman/Getty Images, Jessica McGowan/Getty ImagesWalker was the star running back for the University of Georgia, where he won his Heisman Trophy in 1982. He went on to play professional football for the New Jersey Generals of the US Football League, which was partially owned by Donald Trump at the time, for three years before being drafted by the Dallas Cowboys.Walker also played for the Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles, and the New York Giants. "He had what they call straight-ahead skills, which is he was fast and he was strong. And you weren't going to bring him down on your own," author Jeff Pearlman who covered much of Walker's football career told Vox's Ben Jacobs in October. "It doesn't mean he was going to juke you but he was a great athlete.As of this year, Walker is ranked in the all-time top-12 in the NFL for all-purpose yardage, according to Pro Football reference. He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. Walker also competed on the US Olympic two-man bobsled team in 1992.Colin AllredBefore being elected to the House of Representatives, Colin Allred was a linebacker for the Tennessee Titans.Nick Laham/Getty Images, Emil Lippe/Getty ImagesBefore embarking on his political journey, Rep. Colin Allred, a Democrat from Texas, was a linebacker for the Tennessee Titans, playing from 2006 to 2010.Allred attended Baylor University on a full-ride football scholarship and was accepted to play in the NFL immediately after graduating, leading him to defer his acceptance to law school.After five seasons in the NFL, Allred sustained a career-ending injury, bringing him back to pursuing a career as a civil rights attorney, according to Allred's official House of Representatives page.Today, he represents Texas' 32nd District, having first been elected to Congress in 2018.Tommy TubervilleSen. Tommy Tuberville is ranked as one of the top 50 most winning football coaches of all time.Chris Graythen/Getty Images, Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesRepublican Sen. Tommy Tuberville was once known as Coach Tuberville when he lead Auburn University's football team from 1999 to 2008.Tuberville is the only coach in Auburn's history to defeat their in-state rival, the University of Alabama, six consecutive times.He also served stints as assistant coach and defensive coordinator for the University of Miami and Texas A&M, before being named the head coach at the University of Mississippi, according to his website.Tuberville has also coached at Arkansas State, Texas Tech, and the University of Cincinnati. While coaching the Cinncinnati Bearcats, Tuberville earned $2.2 million a year, ranking him as the second highest in the American Athletic Conference's (AAC) pay ranks at the time, according to The Enquirer. In 2004, Tuberville was named national coach of the year.He retired from coaching the sport as one of top 50 most winningest football coaches of all time.He has been serving as a US senator from Alabama since 2021.Steve LargentDuring his time as a House representative, Largent was considered highly conservative, even by other Republicans.Focus on Sport/Getty Images, LUKE FRAZZA/AFP via Getty ImagesFormer US Rep. Steve Largent was a wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks for 14 seasons.Largent played college ball at the University of Tulsa. The Houston Oilers drafted Largent in 1976 but traded him to the Seahawks before he ever played a regular season game for the Texas team. An NFL Man of the Year winner in 1988 and Football Hall of Fame inductee in 1995, Largent only ever missed four games in his whole career because of injuries, according to the Football Hall of Fame.The Republican represented Oklahoma's 1st district from 1994 to 2002. Largent resigned from Congress to run for governor of Oklahoma in 2002 but lost in a close race.Largest later served as president of CTIA-The Wireless Association, a top Washington, D.C., trade and lobbying association, before retiring in 2014.Heath ShulerDemocratic Rep. Heath Shuler began his political career in 2006, following his retirement from the NFL.Doug Pensinger/ALLSPORT, David Howells/Corbis via Getty ImagesAfter leading his high school football team to three state championships, Joseph Heath Shuler went on to play quarterback for the University of Tennessee.Shuler's pro career began in 1994, when he was a first-round draft pick for the Washington Redskins, now known as the Washington Commanders. He received a 7-year, $19.25 million contract.But his career never really took flight.After three middling years in Washington, Shuler was traded to the New Orleans Saints. He started nine forgettable games and suffered a serious foot injury that took two surgeries to correct. He signed a contract with the Oakland Raiders, but re-injured his foot during training camp, so he was cut and later retired.In all, Shuler threw 15 touchdowns against 33 interceptions as a professional, according to Pro Football Reference.Shuler, a Democrat, was elected to represent North Carolina's 11th District in 2007. He did not seek re-election in 2012 and served in Congress until 2013.Since then, he's worked as a lobbyist and is now a senior advisor at law firm BakerHostetler.Donald TrumpIn 1983, Donald Trump bought the United States Football League's New Jersey Generals. He purchased the team for around $20 million, in today's dollars.Circa Images/GHI/Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images, Tasos Katopodis/Getty ImagesEven former President Donald Trump had a brief stint with professional football — although not with the NFL.In 1983, the then-business tycoon bought the United States Football League's (USFL) New Jersey Generals. He purchased the team for around $20 million, in today's dollars. Trump's running back for the Generals was none-other than Herschel Walker. However, Trump was widely cited for the failure of the USFL because he cared too much about merging with the NFL than he did about the team he owned."I think it was a big mistake," Dr. Ted Diethrich, one of the league's original owners, told USA Today at the time. "When that decision was made, the course for this was charted, and it was going to be a wreck."In 2014, Trump re-entered the football realm when he faced off with Jon Bon Jovi and the Pegula family to purchase the Buffalo Bills. But Trump underbid, and the Pegula family ultimately purchased the team.Less than a year later, Trump announced a bid for the presidency, ultimately winning the Republican Party nomination and defeating Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in one of the biggest political upsets in modern American history.Trump served as president from 2017 to 2021. He lost his bid for a second presidential term to current President Joe Biden. He has refused to accept the results of the 2020 election, claiming it was riddled with fraud. And in November, Trump officially announced he will run for president in 2024.Trump, who himself played football at the New York Military Academy as a youth, has long been in what Insider dubs "The Pigskin War" over players, team ownership, coaches, social injustice, Deflategate, and safety issues with the NFL.Jon RunyanRepublican Rep. Jon Runyan was elected to represent New Jersey after he retired from playing professional football.Joseph Labolito/Getty Images, Tom Williams/Roll CallRepublican Rep. Jon Runyan was elected to represent New Jersey's 3rd Congressional District in 2011, serving until 2015 after deciding not to seek a third term.Before entering politics, Runyan Sports Illustrated labeled him one of the "dirtiest players in the NFL" in its October 2006 issue.Most notably, Runyan, known as "The Enforcer," was an offensive lineman for the Philadelphia Eagles where he signed a $30 million contract, making him the highest paid offensive lineman at the time.He also had a stint with the Tennessee Titans from from 1996 to 1999. After a micro-fracture surgery on his knee and his Eagles contract expired in 2009, Runyan played five games with the San Diego Chargers before retiring later that year. Runyan's son, Jon Runyan Jr., is following in his father's footsteps and is currently a football guard for the Green Bay Packers.Jack KempThe late Jack Kemp served as a Republican on the House of Representatives from 1971 to 1989.Focus on Sport/Getty Images, Cynthia Johnson/Getty ImagesPre-politics, Jack Kemp played professional football as one of the most notable quarterbacks of his era.Kemp played from 1957 to 1969 across three pro leagues — the NFL, the Canadian Football League, and the American Football League.Kemp was captain of both the San Diego Chargers and Buffalo Bills. In 1965, he received the AFL Most Valuable Player award after leading the Bills to their second consecutive AFL championship.Kemp quickly entered politics after retiring from football.He served not only as a member of the US House of Representatives for New York from 1971 to 1989, but also as secretary of Housing and Urban Development during the George H. W. Bush Administration.In 1996, Kemp was the Republican vice presidential pick for presidential candidate Bob Dole, who lost to the Democratic ticket of Bill Clinton and Al Gore.Kemp, who died in 2009, also made an unsuccessful bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 1988.J.C. WattsRep. Julius Ceasar "J.C." Watts Jr. attended the University of Oklahoma on a football scholarship and then went on to play professional in the Canadian Football League.Mark Perlstein/Getty Images, © Wally McNamee/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty ImagesJulius Caesar Jr. "J.C." Watts started his football career in high school where he was the star quarterback, leading him to receive a football scholarship to the University of Oklahoma. Watts was originally drafted by the NFL's New York Jets, but they weren't able to guarantee him a position as quarterback, so he opted to play professionally in the Canadian Football League during the early- and mid-1980s, mostly with the Ottawa Rough Riders.He retired from football in 1986 and became a Baptist minister. Watts served in Congress starting in 1995 and represented Okalahoma's 3rd District until 2003.Watts then became a lobbyist.Anthony GonzalezAnthony Gonzalez was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in 2007 after playing college football at Ohio State University.G. N. Lowrance/Getty Images, Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesVoters elected Republican Rep. Anthony Gonzalez to the House of Representatives in for the first time in 2018.He won re-election in 2020 but did not seek a third term in 2022 after voting to impeach Trump and otherwise running afoul of the former president. Gonzalez will exit Congress in January."While my desire to build a fuller family life is at the heart of my decision, it is also true that the current state of our politics, especially many of the toxic dynamics inside our party, is a significant factor in my decision," Gonzalez said in 2021 when announcing his decision.Before he began his political career, Gonzalez played wide receiver for the Indianapolis Colts from 2007 to 2011, catching 99 passes and seven touchdowns, according to Pro Football Reference. He also had a brief stint with the New England Patriots before retiring from the sport in 2012.Before being drafted into the NFL, Gonzalez played college ball for Ohio State University.Burgess OwensGOP Rep. Burgess Owens of Utah, played professional football for the Oakland Raiders and the New York Jets.Focus on Sport/Getty Images, Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesAfter graduating from the University of Miami, Burgess Owens was drafted by the New York Jets in 1973.He played safety for the Jets until moving to the Oakland Raiders and Los Angeles Raiders. In 1980, he played for the Raiders' Super Bowl XV championship team.During his career, he notched 30 interceptions, returning four of them for touchdowns, according to Pro Football Reference.When he played college football for the University of Miami, Owens was one of only four Black athletes recruited that year and one of three to receive a scholarship. A Republican, Owens assumed political office in 2021 to represent Utah's 4th District. Owens is a frequent contributor for Fox News and has been endorsed by Donald Trump. Tom OsborneTom Osborne won the ESPN Coach of the Decade award in 1999.John D. Hanlon/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images, Tom Williams/Roll Call/Getty ImagesIn the early 1960s, Tom Osborne played in the NFL for the Washington Redskins — now known as the Washington Commanders — after the San Francisco 49ers initially drafted him in 1959.But Osborne is most remembered for his 25 seasons coaching the University of Nebraska's Cornhuskers.During this time, Osborne's teams never won fewer than nine games in a single season, and he posted three undefeated seasons.Nebraska renamed their Memorial Stadium in 1998, calling it "Tom Osborne Field." In 1999, Osborne was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame and was named ESPN's "Coach of the Decade" for the 1990s. He represented Nebraska's 3rd district as a Republican from 2001 to 2007. Osborne ran for governor of Nebraska in 2006 but lost in a Republican primary to then-incumbent Gov. Dave Heineman.Clint DidierClint Didier was elected to public office in 2018 as a Franklin County Commissioner.Focus on Sport/Getty Images, AP Photo/Gene JohnsonClint Didier is a two-time Super Bowl Champion. He played tight end for what was then the Washington Redskins (now the Washington Commanders) from 1981 to 1987. During that time, the team won Super Bowls XVII and XXII.Didier went on to play for the NFL's Green Bay Packers for one year before retiring from professional football.He unsuccessfully sought public office on four separate occasions as a Republican — including two attempts to win a US House seat — and was finally elected as a Franklin County commissioner in Washington in 2018.Alan PageIn 2018, Justice Alan Page was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Donald Trump.Bettman/Getty Images, Calla Kessler/The Washington Post via Getty ImagesAssociate Justice Alan Page received national recognition as a defensive tackle in the NFL during his 15 season with the Minnesota Viking and Chicago Bears. He was the first defensive player in NFL history to win the league MVP award and is considered one of the greatest defensive lineman of all time.Following his football career, Page pursued a legal career and was elected as the first African-American to the Minnesota Supreme Court in in 1993. He served until 2015.In 2018, then-President Donald Trump awarded Page the Presidential Medal of Freedom.Byron WhiteThe late Byron "Whizzer" White served as a United States Supreme Court Justice from 1962-1993.Bettman/Getty Images, New York Times Co./Getty ImagesAn all-American halfback at the University of Colorado, Byron "Whizzer" White originally had no intention of playing pro football and was set to attend the University of Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship. But, in 1938, he was drafted to the NFL by the Pittsburgh Pirates, now Steelers.Oxford allowed him to defer his acceptance and White played for Pittsburgh for one year. White also played for the Detroit Lions from 1940 to 1941.His football career was cut short, however, when he joined the Navy to fight in World War II. After the war, he finished law school and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1954.In 1962, then-President John F. Kennedy nominated him to serve on the United States Supreme Court where he was confirmed and presided until 1993.Jay RiemersmaIn 2009, former tight end for the Buffalo Bills, Jay Riemersma launched an unsuccessful campaign for Congress.George Gojkovich/Getty ImagesIn 2009, Jay Riemersma, a former tight end for the Buffalo Bills and Pittsburgh Steelers, launched an unsuccessful campaign for Congress in Michigan.The race was decided by fewer than 700 votes and it is believed that last-minute campaign violations may have been the cause of his political failure.Riemersma's opponent at the time claimed that Riemersma illegally coordinated his campaign strategy with a political action committee that paid for attack ads against him. Riemersma, however, called it a "last minute PR trick."It was also rumored that Riemersma used false smear tactics against his opponent, Republican Bill Cooper, who later sued Riemersma over their differences.During his time with the Bills, Riemersma showed flashes of brilliance but was plagued with injuries. He underwent eight surgeries throughout the course of his NFL career. He played six seasons for the Bills and another two with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Although Riemersma had signed a three-year contract with the Steelers, he ruptured his Achilles tendon on a 26-yard touchdown play, ending his football playing career in 2004.He ended his career with 221 receptions and 23 touchdowns, according to Pro Football Reference.Gerald FordGerald Ford was the 38th president of the United States.Bettman/Getty ImagesRepublican President Gerald Ford is the only president who was never elected as president or vice president, although he served in both capacities. He was serving in the House of Representatives when then-President Richard Nixon appointed him as his vice president in 1973. When Nixon resigned the next year, Ford became president.Before his political career took off, Ford played center, linebacker, and long snapper for the University of Michigan's football team.Although Ford never played professional football, he received offers from the NFL's Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers. He turned them down to be a boxing and assistant varsity football coach at Yale University.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYT16 hr. 40 min. ago Related News

A woman had to move out of her tiny home after 1 day because the city threatened to fine her $1,000 a day

Chasidy Decker is taking legal action against the city of Meridian, Idaho over its ban on living in trailers and RVs in residential areas. Chasidy Decker's tiny home.Institute for Justice A woman is suing the city of Meridian, Idaho over its ban on living in mobile homes.  Chasidy Decker bought her tiny home because she couldn't afford a traditional house. City officials told her she can't live in it legally despite her paying rent to park it in a yard. A woman who bought a tiny home is taking legal action against her city because she was left homeless after being threatened with fines of $1,000 a day if she lived in it. Chasidy Decker of Meridian, Idaho, couldn't afford to buy a house so opted for the 252-square-foot tiny home and arranged to put it on Robert Calacal's property paying for $600 a month, according to the lawsuit.A neighbor called the Meridian Police Department when it arrived on the property and asked whether living in it would be legal.In May, a day after Decker moved in, a Meridian city code enforcement officer threatened both Decker and Calacal with criminal prosecution and fines of $1,000 a day unless she moved out, the Institute for Justice wrote in a blog post. Chasidy Decker is a 46-year-old woman who bought a 252-square feet tiny home.Institute for JusticeThe institute, which files constitutional cases in state and federal courts, said in the blog post that Meridian's city code permitted trailers and recreational vehicles to be parked in residential neighborhoods but did not permit living in them.Decker and Calacal filed a lawsuit to challenge the city's ban, bringing five claims as to why the restriction on tiny homes breached the Idado constitution.Judge Jason Scott of the District Court of Ada County allowed four of the five claims to proceed, but blocked Decker from being allowed to live in her home during the legal proceedings.Decker said she was "disappointed because I really wish I was living in my home again. But I have high hopes that in the end, something good will happen. And I appreciate that the judge is so engaged with the case, because this is something that affects a lot of people in the housing crisis," according to another blog post by the law firm.Robert Belden, a lawyer with the Institute for Justice, told Insider: "Everyone needs a place to live, but the city would rather have Chasidy be homeless than living in a tiny home on wheels parked on private property. That's not just wrong, it's unconstitutional. Making Chasidy homeless does nothing to improve public health, safety, or welfare in Meridian, and it certainly doesn't improve Chasidy's.""At a time when so few affordable housing options are available, why is the city's zoning ordinance further reducing such options?" Belden concluded.Lawyers representing Decker and Calacal didn't immediately respond to a request for comment by Insider. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYT16 hr. 40 min. ago Related News

"Andor" almost dropped the first F-word in "Star Wars" franchise history, actress says

A character says "Fight the Empire" in the "Andor" season-one finale — but originally, she said a stronger word than "fight." Diego Luna as Cassian Andor.Disney+ "Andor" almost dropped the F bomb in its first-season finale. A character originally said "Fuck the Empire" before it was changed, according to actress Denise Gough. "Andor" is the best-reviewed "Star Wars" live-action series yet, and feels more gritty than previous shows. Disney+'s "Andor" isn't like any other "Star Wars" show — so much so, that the F-word almost made it in to an episode, according to an actress in the series.Actress Denise Gough, who plays the villain Dedra Meero in the series, told Empire Magazine that the phrase "fuck the Empire" was left on the cutting room floor of the first-season finale, which aired last week. "Fiona's voice was over all of us," Gough told Empire, referring to actress Fiona Shaw's monologue in the episode. "Except, at the end, she didn't say, 'Fight the Empire!' She said, 'Fuck the Empire!' Which we were all really excited about. But we weren't allowed to keep it, obviously.""Andor" could be described as a "gritty" "Star Wars" series. No Jedi, no Force, and no Baby Yoda — just rebels. So if any franchise installment were to throw in a curse word, it makes sense that it would have been this one.It's received glowing reviews from critics, with the first season receiving a 96% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, the best of any of Disney+'s live-action "Star Wars" series.Fans also enjoy it, as it has an 85% audience score — better than "Obi-Wan Kenobi" (63%) and "Book of Boba Fett" (55%).Early on in the season, though, it was trailing those other shows in popularity, despite its acclaim. With the first season now concluded, it's possible that further data could show that it gained momentum as the series went on.But the three-episode premiere lagged behind other "Star Wars" debuts in viewership, according to Nielsen data.For instance, the first three episodes, which debuted on a Wednesday, were watched for 624 million minutes in their first five days of release, according to Nielsen. The first two episodes of "Obi-Wan Kenobi," which were released on a Friday, were watched for 1.026 billion minutes in three days.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYT16 hr. 40 min. ago Related News

I"m a bikini barista. The tips and customers are almost always great, but I keep tasers nearby just in case

Shay Harmon's job is to serve coffee while wearing a bikini. She's used tip money from the job to buy a new car and take a trip to Hawaii. Shay Harmon in a red top.Shay Harmon Shay Harmon, 23, works as a bikini barista in Washington State.  She said she loves her job, but keeps pepper spray and tasers close by in case of creepy customers.  Harmon has used the tip money she earned to buy a new car and go on trips to Las Vegas and Hawaii. This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Shay Harmon, a 23-year-old bikini barista in Washington State. It has been edited for length and clarity.My job is to serve coffee — while wearing a bikini.I started this job right out of high school. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do, but I had just gotten into the rave scene, which is all about cute outfits and self-expression. My sister mentioned being a bikini barista, and one of the selling points was that I could wear my festival outfits to work. I was hesitant because I didn't want to be judged or looked down on for having a job that has to do with sex appeal, but eventually I decided it would be worth it. Now it's been four years. I see it as a great stepping stone to the life I want to live.The money I've made from tips as a bikini barista has let me buy a new car and take trips I never would've been able to afford to do those things if it wasn't for this job. I just went to Las Vegas for my birthday weekend and recently visited Hawaii. It's also pretty flexible, so I've gotten my esthetician license too, which is helping me build my future.I honestly expected there to be more creeps than there are. Surprisingly, it feels like people come to the stand for a few minutes of therapy or human connection. They talk to me about anything and everything, from their relationship problems to trips they're taking to what's going on at work. I look at pictures of their kids' birthdays and their new cars. Probably 90% of the customer base is men, but we love it when women come throughSometimes women come without realizing that it's a coffee stand with bikini baristas, and you can see the judgment on their faces. Their whole mood just changes. If they're judging you, they always ask, "Aren't you cold?" It's kind of funny, because it's always that same line.It can get a little scary at times, especially when it gets dark earlier in the day, but most of the stands have panic buttons inside that you can press to immediately call the police. We also have tasers and pepper spray around the stand. Mostly, though, I feel safe. I love the freedom of my jobI can put a lot of creativity into my outfits, or I can be more casual if I want. The dress code is simple: a bra or lingerie, but you have to make sure it's not mesh. When I'm working, I'm usually the only one in the stand, so I don't have to worry about coworkers or drama. It's just me and the customers having a good conversation and drinking good coffee.Some coffee stands require you to post on Instagram as part of your job, but mine doesn't. I do like sharing parts of my day or my outfits on Instagram and TikTok, though. It helps us build our customer base and develop those relationships with regulars. It's fun to share about our industry on TikTok. I want people to know what it's like to be a bikini barista: the good, the bad, and the ugly. We make a base wage at the coffee stand and then tips on top of that. People can be very generous. They know they're not just coming for the coffee — they're coming for the view, and they need to compensate the girls for that. And most of the time, they do.I feel like people think bikini baristas are girls with no ambitions or life dreamsBut that's just not true at all. They assume we just care about using men and taking their money (even though they're the ones coming to see us). When people get to know me, they realize that I'm an esthetician and I have goals and dreams. I'm more than a pretty face. They're blown away, which feels incredibly misogynistic. Just because I have a job that includes sex appeal doesn't mean I'm lesser than someone who doesn't. For me, this is a stepping stone to the life I want. But if it wasn't, that'd be OK too.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYT16 hr. 40 min. ago Related News

When a coworker swings by to chat, you’ve been "desk-bombed" – but some people hate the distraction

Working from home seems to have made approaching a colleague's desk for an unscheduled chat even more divisive for those now back in the office. Approaching a coworker at their desk for an unscheduled chat has been dubbed "desk-bombing".Luis Alvarez/Getty Images Offices seem to be divided on whether desk-bombing is good practice in the workplace. Desk-bombing is the act of unexpectedly approaching someone at their desk to have a chat. Some workers welcome it as it can be more efficient than emailing, others think it's disruptive. So you're back in the office, for a couple of days a week at least. But after almost three years of silencing those Slack notifications when they get too annoying, there's one distraction proving much more difficult to avoid: "desk-bombing". That's the term for a colleague coming over to your desk for a conversation about work – or simply a casual chat. While some workers prefer doing that over sending an email or DM to a colleague, especially if they're also in the same room, others hate the interruption to their workflow. Insider asked five workers what they think about desk-bombing.'Pet hates'David Clare, a managing director at a communications agency, has been a hybrid worker for the past seven years. "One of my pet hates is desk-bombing," he says. "The days I got to work from home were so productive, and I feel the lack of desk-bombing on those days is the reason why." He adds: "Since remote working has become far more commonplace, the remote equivalent – sudden, unexpected video calls – can be similar, but I feel you have a lot more control over these. You can simply ignore or decline the call, and get back to the person when you're ready." 'Approachable'George Fryer, a consultant, welcomes desk-bombing, especially in a post-pandemic world where employees are granted more freedom about where they work. "If I choose to work in the office, then I am also choosing to open myself to being approached at my desk," he says. "I think it's important to be approachable when at your desk, as it helps to facilitate quick decision-making when responses are needed urgently, and helps to build relationships with co-workers."'Very disruptive'Amanda Wallace, a content and marketing executive, hates being desk-bombed, however. "As someone who works in content, staying focused is important, and being interrupted can often take me out of the flow state, which can be difficult to get back into."She adds: "I don't mind when it's just a quick discussion at my desk, but longer talks can be very disruptive."'Gets the work done'Dmytro Kondratiev, an attorney, says he is well-known for desk-bombing. "While desk-bombing may be uncomfortable or aggressive to the other party, it gets the work done," he tells Insider. "I feel like sending emails and making arrangements or inquiries by phone is not as effective as face-to-face conversations."Kondratiev even desk-bombed another office a few weeks ago. He sent an email requesting approval from a company but didn't hear back. Follow-up emails also went unanswered, so he decided to desk-bomb the receptionist. "Ironically, the approval was made in less than 10 minutes."'Annoying'Another worker, who preferred to be anonymous as she didn't want to offend colleagues, says she can see both sides. "It might catch anxious people off-guard and can be annoying if they drag out the conversation when you need to get work done," she says. "I think people prefer different approaches." Jack Devlin, a commercial director from London, says desk-bombing is nothing to feel guilty about. "Since when did we expect to be left completely alone in our almost omnipresent culture of open plan offices?" he asks."If I never desk-bombed, I wouldn't have made half of the friends and connections I have over my career, and would have massive knowledge gaps into the overall running of the business."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYT16 hr. 40 min. ago Related News

7 times NASA"s James Webb Space Telescope spotted something Hubble missed

With its infrared gaze, the James Webb Space Telescope can capture galaxies, planets, moons, and auroras that Hubble can't detect. The James Webb Space Telescope (left) is 100 times more powerful than Hubble (right).NASA/Chris Gunn; NASA The James Webb Space Telescope can capture a more complete view of galaxies, stars, and planets. The powerful telescope is 100 times stronger than its predecessor, Hubble, and uses infrared light. JWST began science operations in July. Scientists stress it's just beginning to unveil the universe. NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has been delivering mind-blowing views of the cosmos since it began science operations in the summer.Before Webb, astronomers had another workhorse cosmic observatory: the Hubble Space Telescope. Both are space-based telescopes, but they differ in many ways. Hubble sees ultraviolet light, visible light, and a small slice of infrared, while Webb looks at the universe across the infrared spectrum.Webb is 100 times stronger than Hubble, which allows astronomers to peer even further into space. As its first few months of observations have proved, Webb is capable of taking the most striking shots yet of the universe.Webb provided sharp views of Jupiter's auroras and storms that Hubble can't seeHubble image of Jupiter (left) JWST image of Jupiter (right)Hubble, NASA, ESA, Jupiter ERS Team; image processing by Judy SchmidtIn August, Webb snapped images of Jupiter — the largest planet in our solar system. When compared to Hubble's images of the gas giant, above on the left, Webb offers a sharper and crisper image, and showcases new details of Jupiter's auroras and storm systems.In Webb's image of Jupiter, above on the right, the planet's Great Red Spot — an enormous storm that has been swirling for centuries — is so bright with reflected sunlight that it appears white.Webb's infrared image also shows Jupiter's auroras lighting up both the planet's poles. Auroras are colorful displays of light that are not unique to Earth. Jupiter has the most powerful auroras in the solar system, according to NASA.On both Earth and Jupiter, auroras occur when charged particles from the sun interact with the magnetic field — known as the magnetosphere — that surrounds a planet. Jupiter's magnetic field is about 20,000 times stronger than Earth's.Webb revealed thread-like filaments in the Orion Nebula hidden to HubbleHubble image of the Orion Nebula (left ) JWST image of the Orion Nebula (right)NASA, ESA, Massimo Robberto (STScI, ESA), Hubble Space Telescope Orion Treasury Project Team NASA, ESA, CSA, Data reduction and analysis : PDRs4All ERS Team; graphical processing S. FuenmayorNASA released images of the Orion Nebula — a massive star-forming region 1,350 light-years from Earth — that Webb took in September. The nebula is the nearest stellar nursery to us.Dense clouds of cosmic dust in the nebula obscure star-forming structures from instruments that rely on visible light, like in Hubble's image of the nebula, above to the left. By gathering infrared light, Webb is able to peer through those layers of dust, giving astronomers unprecedented views of the nebula's various components.Astronomers believe nebulae are clouds dominated by vast, tangled, thread-like structures, called filaments, which feed material like gas to form and fuel stars. Webb's images reveal these gaseous threads in great detail.Webb revealed hundreds of stars Hubble couldn't see in the epic Pillars of CreationThe Pillars of Creation, imaged by Hubble in 2014 (left) and JWST in 2022 (right).NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI; Joseph DePasquale (STScI), Anton M. Koekemoer (STScI), Alyssa Pagan (STScI).In October, NASA released a snapshot Webb took of the Pillars of Creation — towering columns of gas and dust where stars are born. The epic stellar nursery is within the vast Eagle Nebula, a cloud of dust and gas 6,500 light-years away.Hubble also imaged the famous nursery in 1995, above to the left. When comparing the two images next to one another, Webb's camera pierces through solid columns of cosmic dust, revealing hundreds of stars that Hubble couldn't see.Webb spied countless galaxies that Hubble missedA side by side collage of the same area taken by the Hubble and the James Webb space telescopes.NASA/STScI; NASA/ESA/CSA/STScIOne of the first images that NASA shared from Webb was a "deep field" image — a long-exposure observation of a region of the sky, which allows the telescope to capture the light of extremely faint, distant objects. The image took less than a day to capture, according to NASA.When unveiling the image in July, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said that if you held a grain of sand at arm's length, that would represent the speck of universe you see in this image."The deep field image fills me with wonder and hope," Lisa Kaltenegger, professor of astronomy at Cornell University and director of the Carl Sagan Institute, previously told Insider.A side-by-side of Hubble's deep field next to Webb's reveals just how much sharper and stronger the new space observatory is.Webb revealed 2 stars inside this nebula, where Hubble only saw oneHubble's image of the Southern Ring Nebula (left) has just one light at its center, whereas JWST (right) clearly shows two stars.The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA/NASA); NASA, ESA, CSA, STScIThis is the Southern Ring Nebula, where a dying star is slowly expelling the layers of its atmosphere in successive waves, creating ever-expanding bubbles of colorful gas. Scientists knew there were two stars at the nebula's center, but couldn't see them in Hubble's images.The new Webb picture reveals the dying star, which glows red because it's surrounded by dust, right next to its white companion star.An iconic cluster of 5 galaxies is much brighter and clearer in Webb's eyeThe galaxy cluster Stephan's Quintet, as imaged by Hubble (left) and JWST (right).Hubble SM4 ERO Team/NASA/ESA/CSA/STScIFour of the galaxies in this image of Stephan's Quintet are about 300,000 light-years away, locked in a cosmic dance as each galaxy's gravity influences the others.The Webb image also reveals new galaxies far in the background, which weren't visible to Hubble.Where Hubble saw a faint dot, Webb resolved 2 distinct mystery objectsOne of the lensed images of MACS0647-JD, from the James Webb Space Telescope.SCIENCE: NASA, ESA, CSA, Dan Coe (STScI), Rebecca Larson (UT), Yu-Yang Hsiao (JHU) IMAGE PROCESSING: Alyssa Pagan (STScI)Dan Coe, a researcher with the Space Telescope Science Institute, first discovered this object in deep space about 10 years ago, using Hubble."With Hubble, it was just this pale, red dot. We could tell it was really small, just a tiny galaxy in the first 400 million years of the universe. Now we look with Webb, and we're able to resolve TWO objects," Coe said in an October NASA release.SCIENCE: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, and Tiger Hsiao (Johns Hopkins University) IMAGE PROCESSING: Alyssa Pagan (STScI)Both Hubble and Webb study the early universe through gravitational lensing. That's what happens when a cluster of distant galaxies is so massive that it warps space-time, bending the light from galaxies far in the distance behind it. That creates mirror images of those galaxies, reflected back at us.So the imprint of the mystery objects appears in three spots in the images above. Breakouts of those three images of the system, on the right, show how much clearer Webb's images are. They clearly show two different objects."We're actively discussing whether these are two galaxies or two clumps of stars within a galaxy," Coe said in the release. "We don't know, but these are the questions that Webb is designed to help us answer."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYT16 hr. 40 min. ago Related News

Tulsi Gabbard"s one-time Democratic colleagues are both perplexed and unsurprised by her far-right pivot: "An Elise Stefanik kind of turn"

Asked what happened to his one-time supporter, Sen. Bernie Sanders dramatically threw his hands up. Others say she's showing her true colors. Tulsi Gabbard speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, FL on February 25, 2022.Octavio Jones/Reuters Former Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard left the Democratic Party before campaign with far-right Republicans. Insider asked some of Gabbard's former colleagues what they made of her political pivot. One said it was "disturbing," while others shrugged it off, suggesting it's who she always was. As Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont strode through the Capitol basement, on his way to the last vote of the evening on the Tuesday following the midterm elections, he quickly recoiled when asked about a one-time political ally."Nope," Sanders said when Insider asked if he'd like to talk about former Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, an early supporter of his 2016 presidential campaign. "Thank you."Asked what he thought had happened to Gabbard, who resigned a position at the Democratic National Committee that year in order to back the independent senator's upstart campaign, he dramatically threw his hands up as he boarded an escalator en route to the Senate chamber."Don't know," he said, adding that the last time that he spoke with her was a "long time ago."In the course of the last two years, Gabbard has pivoted from being a somewhat unconventional Democrat — whose greatest controversy may have been her decision to travel to Syria to meet with dictator Bashar al-Assad — to a Republican in all but name, embracing right-wing positions on abortion and transgender rights and accusing Democrats of "stoking anti-white racism.""To be honest, I find it disturbing," Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, who served with Gabbard on the House Committee on Armed Services, told Insider at the Capitol.A spokesperson for Gabbard did not respond to Insider's request for comment.'I think it was who she was all the time'In October, after competing in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary and endorsing Joe Biden, she announced that she was leaving the party. Recently, she has become a Fox News contributor and has guest-hosted Tucker Carlson's show.She went on to campaign in the final months of this year's midterm elections with some of the GOP's most extreme candidates, including Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, New Hampshire Senate candidate Don Bolduc, and GOP House candidate Joe Kent, who attended a rally in support of January 6 rioters.Moulton noted his own history of criticizing the Democratic Party, and his prior disagreements with Gabbard on policy, but said her support for extreme Republicans went too far. "Outright supporting election deniers and people who are dangerous for our national security — something that should be important to a veteran like Tulsi — is very difficult to understand.""It's sort of like an Elise Stefanik kind of turn," he continued, referring to the New York GOP congresswoman who transformed over the course of a few years from a prominent skeptic of former President Donald Trump to one of his most dogged supporters in Congress. "This is bigger than national security, this is about morality in the Constitution of the United States, and supporting people who don't support our democratic principles."Moulton described his relationship with Gabbard as "friendly and cordial," but said he hadn't spoken to her since her latest pivot. "If I thought I could change her mind, I would reach out to her at this minute."But others expressed a mixture of disdain, dismissiveness, and outright mockery of the former Democratic congresswoman."There's nothing that she does that ceases to amaze me," said Democratic Rep. Kai Kahele of Hawaii, who launched a primary bid against Gabbard in 2020 before she announced her retirement from Congress. "I think it was who she was all the time.""I'm not surprised," said Democratic Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia, another former Armed Services Committee colleague of Gabbard's. "She's always shown the knack for opportunism for herself.""I mean, that's her personal right to do," he said of her apparent party switch. "She does have some people who listen to her, and those Fox viewers will continue to listen to her, and life will go on."Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, who Gabbard counted as a friend during her congressional tenure, contested the idea that she had changed at all."I don't really view it as much of a pivot," said Gaetz. "I view her current work as kind of a continuation of her bulldog attitude in Congress.""There is a feature of this place that does silo people as Republicans or Democrats," he continued. "I think she's able to be herself maybe a little bit more."Gaetz added that he was "more an admirer than a confidante," saying he hadn't spoken with Gabbard in a while.Hawaii's two Democratic senators — Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz — both declined to speculate about what may be driving Gabbard's political movement, despite serving with her in the Hawaii delegation."I think she's home," Hirono said repeatedly when asked what she thought had happened, referring to Gabbard's political home. "Why do I want to even talk about her? No, thank you.""She's a private citizen, and I don't comment on private citizens," said Schatz, adding he had "no takes" on the former congresswoman.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT17 hr. 39 min. ago Related News

I visited the flagship stores of Nike and Adidas in NYC to compare the shopping experiences and it was clear which store was more popular

The Nike and Adidas flagship stores stand like sportswear palaces on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. See what it's like to shop at these massive stores. Sarah Belle Lin/Insider I visited the flagship stores of two of the world's largest athletic brands, Nike and Adidas, to see which shopping experience was better.  Adidas' flagship store was soccer heaven and paid homage to the FIFA World Cup.  Nike's store took me to an otherworldly space and wowed me with its Sneakerlab collection. You don't need to be a sneakerhead to own at least one pair of Adidas or Nike shoes — or maybe one of each — as well as a cache of athletic apparel from both brands. The two multibillion-dollar, multinational corporations have continuously blazed trails and faced challenges as they continue building their respective empires.Nike remains the industry powerhouse, with $46.7 billion in sales in its most recent fiscal year. Adidas reported $21.2 billion in 2021 sales.The companies' Manhattan stores are at the leading edges of their bricks-and-mortar retail strategies and often preview technologies and features that will roll out to other locations.With that in mind I felt it was worth visiting both flagship locations to compare the shopping experience. Follow my trek through these retail palaces. I first stopped by the Adidas flagship store.Adidas flagship store on 565 Fifth Avenue in New York City.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderThe store is equidistant from Times Square and Grand Central Station. It's on the corner of 46th Street and Fifth Avenue in a bustling neighborhood that drives much of the city's tourism. The store opened in December 2016 and spans 45,000 square feet. The entrance tunnel might bring some visitors back to their high school football days.An Adidas store associate greets customers at the end of a short, glowing tunnel.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderThe store's design is based on Adidas' "stadium retail concept," which takes inspiration from US high school sports stadiums, Insider previously reported. The Adidas store's tunnel, albeit a little underwhelming, did make me feel like I was about to enter a stadium. The first floor was covered with soccer jerseys for fans planning on cheering on their team at the World Cup.'World Cup Couture' on display.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderI visited in late October and again in early November, and upon exiting the tunnel, I saw the theme was not football, but soccer, in anticipation of the FIFA World Cup, which kicked off Nov. 20 in Qatar.  Adidas, which is an official FIFA World Cup supplier, had outfitted its first-floor displays and mannequins with soccer jerseys of all stripes and colors. I'd safely assume every team playing for the cup was well-represented inside the Adidas flagship store during my visits.The first floor is where you'll find the most personalized Adidas shopping experience.There are four levels inside the Adidas flagship store.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderThe Adidas flagship store offers real-time fitness consultations from EXOS trainers, healthy juices and snacks co-created with Brooklyn-based Grass Roots Juicery, a concierge desk, a same-day hotel delivery service, personalized shopping experiences such as the Run Genie gait analysis tool, and more. The customization lab allows walk-ins. Prices range from $10 to $35 depending on the service.There is an area on the first floor for customers to customize their own Adidas apparel.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderCustomers could customize World Cup national team jerseys or shorts by adding names or numbers for $35.The Adidas customization area is modest in size and approachable.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderAs someone who enjoys table sports, I loved seeing a foosball table on the first floor.A foosball table awaits players at the flagship store.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderAn employee told me the foosball table was there for the World Cup.Adidas was having a sale on women's pants at the moment and there were a lot of good deals: $40 tights for $16, and $75 track pants for $53.These mannequins were wearing apparel representing Mexico's national soccer team.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderIt's fall in New York City and I'm sporting black joggers and sweats everywhere I go. I've always been a fan of the Adidas tracksuit look, and how it's evolved within popular culture in the US: from Run-DMC to the deep-teal tracksuits on Netflix's "Squid Game."  Some of Adidas' shoe collections: NMD_V3, Stan Smith, Superstar, Nizza, and Y-3.Adidas' popular shoe collections on display.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderIn my opinion, both the Superstar and Stan Smith are classics that will live on.The Adidas Superstar shoe in a display case.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderIn 2016, the Superstar was the top-selling sneaker in the US in terms of dollar sales, according to The NPD Group. But its popularity diminished. Sales of the Superstars fell by $565 million from 2017 to 2018, Insider reported.Still, I say nothing beats timeless style.I'm not really on board with this whole purposely dirtied look.Forum 84 Low AEC shoesSarah Belle Lin/InsiderAdidas has given its Forum 84 Low AEC shoes a "well-loved look" to reflect a bygone era. I noticed this Adidas shopper wearing Yeezys.Adidas shopper wearing Yeezys.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderAdidas reportedly is expected to lose $246 million in profit this year after terminating its Yeezy partnership, Insider reported. It's estimated that Yeezy generated $1.7 billion in annual revenues for Adidas — 8% of Adidas' total sales in 2021.  The soccer section was the busiest area on both days that I visited.The soccer section with its jerseys took the most real estate at the flagship store.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderI saw several people carrying Argentina national team jerseys. The men's section had far more variety, tracksuits, and foot traffic compared with the other floors. I'd almost describe the environment as lively.The women's section had various interpretations of the traditional sweatpants.Purple was a dominant color in some of the displays.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderThere were birds of paradise designs, pants with crisscross seams on the sides, yoga tracksuit pants, and sky-blue pants with three orange stripes.I saw these Adidas-branded wireless bluetooth earbuds that piqued my interest, but not enough for me to convince me to drop my over-the-ear, noise-canceling headphones.Adidas earbuds.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderThere were a few clothing options for youth. Many items were marked with the brand's signature three stripes.The youth section at the flagship store.Sarah Belle LinThe youth section carried several different soccer cleats and running-shoe options.Shoes for youth, including options for soccer players and runners.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderThese were the most fashion-forward shoes I saw at the Adidas store.The Adidas x Ivy Park mule shoes go for $150.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderGrowing up I didn't associate Adidas with high fashion, but seeing these shoes showed me that the brand is evolving, for better or worse.I thought these "Rick and Morty" soccer cleats had the coolest colors out of all the cleats I saw in the soccer section.The X Speedportal soccer cleats, in partnership with "Rick and Morty."Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderKnowing that "Rick and Morty" is such a popular show across the world, I think these collaborations are a smart idea for Adidas.The bleachers, with a statue of Adidas founder Adolf Dassler, were cool and unexpected.The interior design was built to match a high school stadium.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderThere are also elevators on each floor for customers who have mobility challenges or prefer to skip the extra steps.The all-black ensemble has grown on me, so I liked the vision of Adidas' newest clothing release.Adidas Y-3 is the company's latest collection.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderI thought this was the most innovative pair of shoes I saw at Adidas. Would I wear it? Probably not.The Human Made x NMD cheetah-print shoes from the Pharrell Williams x Adidas collection.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderI thought that the golf section was hidden towards the back of the third floor and harder to spot from the main walking area. It could have been better lit, as well.The golf section was small and towards the store's corner.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderThe checkout section had grab-and-go items including sliders and socks.The checkout area.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderI think it's great that Adidas invites customers to round up their total costs to support charities like the Boys & Girls Clubs.Customers can round up their total to donate to the Boys & Girls Club.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderAfter my Adidas visit, I walked up five blocks to 650 Fifth, where Nike's flagship House of Innovation occupies most of the block.The Nike flagship store at 650 Fifth Avenue in New York City.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderNike's flagship store has two more floors than the Adidas store. It occupies 68,000 square feet of prime real estate on Manhattan's famed Fifth Avenue.I visited the Nike flagship store twice: once in the morning and again in the late afternoon.A very busy Nike flagship store entrance.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderAt 4:30 p.m. the store was almost overflowing with people going in and out.Nike also had an archway. This one transported shoppers to an out-of-this-world dimension.Nike entrance archway leading to the first floor.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderWhile Adidas had a founder's statue to commemorate its history, Nike placed tons of mementos within the entranceway.Nike history was captured in memorabilia items within the archway walls.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderThe display features Nike cofounders Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight, and honors the legacies of female athletes like world-famous runners Jacqueline Hansen and Joan Benoit. I liked seeing the mishmash of Nike artifacts, but think they could have been strategically placed elsewhere in the store. Because they're located at the entrance, you can't really stop for too long without potentially disrupting traffic flow.Staff were more approachable and greeted people. Music was a big part of the experience, playing at a much louder volume than in Adidas.Nike associates and shoe displays greet customers at the store's entrance.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderOnce I made it into the first floor of the Nike flagship, I realized that space was a huge theme.Seeing this Nike display, I felt transported to the inside of a spaceship.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderShoe models were incorporated into futuristic displays that looked like they could belong on the surface of Mars. I felt like this theme could be enjoyed by all athletes, as opposed to Adidas' soccer setup.There was a small booth on the first floor to make purchases, and two employees checking customers out.The checkout area on the first floor was small relative to the size of the store.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderIt seemed like a small area relative to the rest of the store, and I wondered if bottleneck situations are common at this checkout point.There are free Essex Squeeze drinks for Nike members.Nike's House of Innovation for performance running shoes.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderIt seems like Adidas and Nike are going head to head with their apparel, with Nike also offering New York City-branded clothing, but with what I felt like are bolder designs.The flagship store has six levels for customers to explore, and on both visits, sometimes it felt like I was competing for roaming space with throngs of visitors.There are six levels in the Nike flagship store.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderMany of the visitors were international tourists. I most often heard French and Spanish being spoken at the store.I found out that there were self-checkout kiosks located on each floor, which I guess helps ease the flow of traffic. However, these kiosks are only for people who have the Nike app.There is a self-checkout kiosk for Nike app users on the second floor.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderNike has far more sports bra selections and they are displayed in a more spread-out fashion, really utilizing the space.Sports bras are arranged by size and support level.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderThe sports bras seemed to be made with better materials, and were pricier than the Adidas sports bras.Nike had its own tech display, featuring the Apple Watch Nike.Nike flexes its partnership with Apple Watch in the women's section.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderThese watches are aesthetically different from other Apple Watches, with unique bands and watch faces. I thought it was interesting that the watches were placed on the second floor in the women's section and wondered if they were trying to target women.Similar to the Nike-wearing customer at the Adidas flagship, I saw a Nike shopper wearing Adidas apparel, reaffirming my belief that both brands are held up almost equally in public perception.A shopper wears an Adidas backpack in the Nike flagship store.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderThe men's apparel section on the third floor wasn't heavily frequented, so I continued to follow the crowds as they meandered up the stairs.The men's section is on the third floor of the flagship store.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderI did notice that black and neon green were common color schemes for men's apparel.I knew I'd reached the hot spot once I hit the fourth floor and Nike's Sneakerlab, holding the largest assortment of Nike shoes in the world.Nike's Sneakerlab is on the fourth floor of the flagship store.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderThe music seemed more deafening here, and the chatter was at its loudest in the store on my visit so far.The Sneakerlab was the busiest part of the flagship store.One of the pickup areas at the Nike Sneakerlab.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderThe bright-white light really brought out the displays and kept my energy level up. There were shoppers waiting around for their shoes, while others were checking out the displayed models. It looked like a museum.I spent the most time examining the Nike Air Maxes and VaporMaxes, which I felt like were the boldest and most inventive.There was a dizzying array of Nike Air shoes – from the VaporMax Plus to the Air Max 1.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderI found the Nike Air Force 1 section, which was almost blindingly white, the signature color for Air Force 1s. Each shoe boasted ample display space and each Sneakerlab area felt like an exhibit.The Nike Air Force 1 shoe section.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderI passed through a section with mirrored walls and an animated display featuring sneakers that were soon to be released.This Nike mirror offers a sneak peek of sneakers coming down the line.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderIt was one of my favorite parts of the Sneakerlab because of its ingenuity and innovation. I thought it was a great way to engage with customers.I made an effort to glance down at customers' shoes while walking around and wasn't surprised to see many people wearing Nikes. But I also saw Adidas, Reebok, Vans, and Pumas.Nike-wearing customers don't seem to get enough of Nike.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderWhile Adidas had its slips hung up next to the checkout counter, Nike's slips had their own displays just like the sneakers.Nike's sliders and slip-ons had their own spot in the Sneakerlab.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderNike's customization lab has its own floor and is only available for NikePlus members.The top floor is the spot to get your Nike products customized.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderThe lab takes same-day appointments for 30-minute time slots, but you have to schedule in-person on the 5th floor. The costs run from $3 for small graphics, to $7 for medium, and $8 for large. On both of my visits, the fifth floor had only a few people mingling about the customization lab. I wonder if it's by virtue of the appointment system the store has set up.The top floor was less frequented and swathed with Nike basic essentials.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderI still enjoyed checking out what amenities were offered for NikePlus members.I passed by these fitting rooms, which I thought elevated the shopping experience. The fitting rooms on this floor look like futuristic space yurts.Fitting rooms on the fifth floor of the flagship.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderThe Nike By You bar came with different designs people could use to customize outfits.Nike customers looking to get a little creative with their clothes.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderBoth times I visited, there were people in the middle of their projects and designing sweatshirts with small graphics. In a city like New York, customized items are all the buzz. I saw a sweater for $130 and a t-shirt for $61.Examples of customized sweatshirts and Air Force 1s.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderThe stairs to the kids section were tucked at the back of the first floor, which took me some time to find. It actually felt out of the way.The kids section is on the basement level.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderYouth had an entire floor to explore – plenty of clothing and shoes to mix and match. There were many more options for children than what Adidas offered at its flagship store.There were several racks of clothing on the kids floor.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderI got a real kick out of seeing this wall of preschool and toddler shoes.Teeny-tiny 1s and Js for preschoolers and toddlers.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderThe integrity of the AF1s, Js, and Dunks were preserved in these teeny-size versions.After my visits, I could easily see how distinct the store experiences were between Adidas and Nike.Customers can do returns and exchanges on the kids floor.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderThe interior designs, for one, were vastly different: Adidas went for stadium appeal — clearly catering to its soccer fans — while Nike went for multidimensional outer-space vibes.As for retail offerings, I felt like I could go to Adidas for fitness wear and Nike for their street style and shoes.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT17 hr. 39 min. ago Related News

Take a look inside Elvis Presley"s 1962 Lockheed 1329 JetStar private jet that"s up for auction

Elvis Presley bought the plane in 1976, a year before the King of Rock and Roll died. It was last sold at an auction for $430,000 in 2017. Elvis Presley purchased the jet in 1976.Mecum Auctions Elvis Presley's 1962 Lockheed 1329 Jetstar private jet is being auctioned in January. It has red velvet seats, a TV, cassette and VCR player, but needs repairs – and an engine. The King of Rock and Roll paid $840,000 in 1976 and the jet last sold at an auction for $430,000.  A private plane once owned by Elvis Presley is set to go on auction in January. The 1962 Lockheed 1329 Jetstar, which comes with red velvet seats, a TV, cassette player, and microwave, was bought for $840,000 by the King of Rock and Roll in 1976. The jet was sold in 1977 after Presley died. It's been stored at an aircraft graveyard in Roswell, New Mexico, for decades. It was last sold for around $430,000 in an auction in 2017. "With a busy touring schedule, these crafts were needed to transport the singer, his TCB band, backup groups, Col. Tom Parker, and the ever-present Memphis Mafia to venues, concerts, and appearances all around the country. Elvis kept several pilots on retainer that were ready to fly him to adoring fans at a moment's notice," Mecum Auctions' listing says. The private jet has a red interior with silver accents but needs repairs.Mecum AuctionsThe Jetstar comes with its original six red velvet seats that can swivel and recline, as well as a couch.Mecum AuctionsThe jet is in need of restoration. It currently does not have an engine and a lot of cockpit components are missing.Mecum AuctionsThe jet’s original wood cabin paneling has been kept since the 1970s.Mecum Auctions"It serves as an incredible restoration opportunity and a chance to create a unique Elvis exhibit for all the world to enjoy," Mecum Auctions says in the listing.Mecum AuctionsThe new owner will also get a copy of the Aircraft Security Agreement documents, which are signed by Presley.Mecum AuctionsThere's a microwave and drink dispenser on board.Mecum AuctionsThe onboard toilet and vanity have also been preserved.Mecum Auctions"Elvis and his effect on the music industry are known the world-over, and this opportunity for a new owner to acquire an extravagant piece of his aviation past is a momentous occasion with untold room for flights of rock 'n' roll fancy," the listing says.Mecum AuctionsIt also has an entertainment system inside a cabinet with a TV, VCR player, audio cassette player, and headphone ports.Mecum AuctionsAccording to the listing, Presley owned a fleet of private jets including a custom Convair 880 called "Lisa Marie" and a second Jetstar. The planes went by the call signs Hound Dog 1 and 2 respectively.Mecum Auctions“Elvis kept several pilots on retainer that were ready to fly him to adoring fans at a moment’s notice,” the Mecum Auction ad reads.Mecum AuctionsRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT17 hr. 39 min. ago Related News

Avoid the dust-collectors! Expert tips for finding hidden treasures at yard and estate sales

Experts' key advice: Arrive early at sales and bring tools of the trade, like a black light, which can help determine authenticity of items. Interior garage sale, housewares, clothing, sporting goods and toys.Trekandshoot/Shutterstock It's possible to discover valuable items at local yard sales, but having a strategy and tools is important. One expert advised arriving early, and using a black light and loupe to examine potential finds. Developing expertise in a specific area and sticking to a budget is also recommended. As you're doing your holiday shopping this season, you may stumble upon a local yard or estate sale that piques your interest — and spot something more valuable than you realize. There are many stories about bargain items bought at garage sales that turn out to be valuable. Differentiating between trash and treasure isn't easy, but experts say there are tricks to navigating sales to help you strike gold.Bring the essentials Vincent Zurzolo, COO of Metropolis Collectibles and the auction house ComicConnect, advised arriving at local sales as early as possible as the best items go fast."Get there an hour before the sale says it's starting, or go the day before and knock on the person's door and ask if you can look through everything to prepare for the sale or to buy early," Zurzolo said. He added that shoppers should come prepared with cash, since most sales require cash payments rather than credit cards.Reyne Hirsch, a former appraiser for "Antiques Roadshow" and the owner of an art gallery, recommends bringing two items: a black light and a loupe."Black lights can be used for spotting fake artwork," Hirsch said. She recommended taking paintings into a dark room and hovering the black light over the signature. If the signature appears to pop off the canvas, it was added at a later time and the painting is not an original piece of art. Signatures and markings on fine silver or jewelry can be very small and hard to read, so a loupe magnifying device can help, said Hirsch."If you can see that an item was manufactured in a certain location or country, marked as silver, has a maker's mark, or indicates the quality of gold, the item might be worth more," Hirsch said. "These are things you can't always see with the naked eye."Making sure it's the real deal Hirsch said there are a couple of things to look for when identifying fakes.For clothing, furniture, or handbags, check labels to ensure that an item is not only from the apparent designer, but that the label is consistent with a company's brand during a specified period.She also said shoppers should buy pricey items from a seller with a good reputation or know the return policy, especially at resale or antique stores. Another trick is to see if something is handmade rather than made by a machine, Hirsch said, or if something is in its original condition vs. restored. She recommended using a black light again, to see if furniture has been repainted or touched up, which can diminish value. Using a smartphone or collector's book can help determine the price and value of items you find, she added. Turning to Google, or resale sites like eBay, can also assist with pricing.When browsing handbags, if an item has a high price tag, Hirsch advised searching for stains, repairs, and fabric damage. Any of those can lower resale value and the item should only be purchased if it's something you want to use yourself. Look closely at vintage Christmas ornaments Hirsch said vintage Christmas ornaments are commonly found at local sales and are potentially valuable collector items. To buy these and flip them for money, she said, condition is important."Make sure the hooks at the top aren't missing and the silver caps are still attached to the ornament," said Hirsch. "Also, look inside to see the coating to make sure the silver hasn't faded over the years, since those are less valuable."Vintage Christmas ornaments in the original packaging have added value of 10-20%, she said.Figure out an approach and stick to a budget If you're completely new to hunting for treasures, Zurzolo advised having a set strategy.He recommended developing expertise in one type of item or category, like comic books, stamps, or baseball cards. Spend time learning the market to determine what's valuable and pricing, he said.Learn via Google about key time periods in certain categories and pick a specialty site, like 1stdibs or Artsy, where dealers from all over the world sell merchandise, advised Hirsch.Another important factor is budget. Zurzolo said it's key to know how much you want to spend to avoid piling up items and overspending. He also suggested having a plan and deadlines for determining which items to keep and which to resell.Zurzolo recommended selling finds on platforms like eBay, Craigslist, or even Etsy. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT17 hr. 39 min. ago Related News

A luxury three-bedroom 3D-printed home project in Tampa has been listed at nearly $600,000 — see what it"ll be like to live in

The future project — Tampa, Florida's first — is already seeing "tremendous" interest, its listing agent and the founder of CPH-3D told Insider. CPH-3D Alquist is partnering with 3D printing construction startup CPH-3D to build a printed home in Tampa, Florida. The 1,521-square-foot pre-construction project has been listed at $599,300. The luxury three-bedroom, two-bathroom home can come with additional printed furniture.  Alquist, a 3D printing construction tech company, has partnered with Tampa, Florida startup CPH-3D (Click, Print, Home) to build the city's first luxury 3D printed concrete home.CPH-3DBut this isn't just a test run to prove the tech: The 1,521-square-foot pre-construction project has already been listed on Compass at $599,300.CPH-3DSource: CompassAnd so far, the future home has seen "tremendous" interest, Matt Gibson, the listing agent and the founder of CPH-3D told Insider in an email.CPH-3DAlquist has been a budding player in the growing construction tech industry.AlquistThe startup has built several units throughout Virginia, including a $235,000 three-bedroom, two-bathroom home.Virginia HousingSource: InsiderAnd it now has plans to construct an additional 200 concrete homes in the state within the next five years.AlquistSource: InsiderTo build this Tampa home, CPH-3D will use Alquist's COBOD BOD2 3D printer …The printer.Alquist and Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg… the same model that has been used to build units like Alquist's three-bedroom Virginia home and a 400-square-foot tiny home in Denmark, shown below.3DCP GroupSource: InsiderBy using this printer — which precisely excretes the concrete walls of the home — CPH-3D says it can cut the construction project's waste by up to 95% …CPH-3DSource: CPH-3D… while saving time, money, and labor compared to traditional construction methods, according to proponents of the tech.CPH-3DWith all these benefits, it's no surprise Zack Mannheimer, Alquist's CEO, believes more homes will be printed than built traditionally by 2027, he told Insider earlier this year.3DCP GroupSource: Insider"The Florida market has proven itself resilient and there's a need for cost effective technology — along with natural disaster resistant construction — like never before," Mannheimer said in a press release.CPH-3DSource: InsiderLike other 3D printed homes, this build will have curved walls made possible by the printer.CPH-3DAnd it's not just for aesthetic purposes: The concrete curves and the lack of wood will help make the home hurricane wind, fire, and flood resistant, according to its listing on Compass.CPH-3DSource: CompassInside, the three-bedroom home will have two decks, an open-concept kitchen, living, and dining room …CPH-3D… as well as a laundry room, walk-in closets, and two bathrooms.CPH-3DOne bathroom will also be in a uniquely curved room to serve as a "safe room" amid severe weather conditions, which Tampa, Florida is no stranger to.CPH-3DSource: CompassDesign features like 10-foot-tall ceilings, quartz countertops, and a walk-in pantry and closets will add a luxurious flair to the home.CPH-3DAnd because it hasn't been built yet, there are still plenty of opportunities for its future owners to customize the build.CPH-3DThe home's renderings depict walls with a layered concrete, a byproduct of the printing process. Future owner can opt to finish these walls instead.CPH-3DAnd according to the listing, additional features like a garage and furniture can be printed as well.CPH-3DOverall, the home has already caught the attention of several buyers who have expressed interest in the construction project, which Gibson says could end up costing under $599,300 to build.CPH-3DAnd those who aren't interested in this exact home and lot have already asked CPH-3D about other build opportunities on their own lots.CPH-3D"More and more requests come through every day," Gibson said, adding that it's proving local demand for printed homes.CPH-3D"Buyers are embracing this new approach to home building and loving the design freedom, strength and efficiency," he said.CPH-3DRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT17 hr. 39 min. ago Related News

I visited the American Girl Doll Cafe in NYC and ate lunch with a few of the iconic toys. The experience was unforgettable — if a bit overpriced.

The American Girl Place flagship location in New York City has a salon, doll hospital, and in-store cafe for dolls and their owners to enjoy. Ann Matica/Insider The American Girl Place store in New York City launched in 2017, complete with an in-store cafe.  We decided to grab lunch at the cafe and see what the dining experience was like.  While the prix fixe meal didn't feel worth the $27 each, the overall experience was a blast. Since its inception in 1986, American Girl Doll has established itself as an iconic toy brand. The company has racked up millions in sales and has been at the forefront of creating retail experiences to draw customers to its American Girl Place locations.Ann Matica/InsiderThe company was originally founded by retired teacher and writer Pleasant Rowland who invested $1.2 million into starting her company and grew American Girl to be worth $300 million before selling it to the toy manufacturer Mattel for $700 million in 1998.Ann Matica/InsiderSource: ForbesIt was also in 1998 that Rowland first had the idea to open a store called the American Girl Place in Chicago. The store — which combined shopping, dining, and entertainment — was by all measures ahead of its time.Ann Matica/InsiderSource: Chicago TribuneToday, there are a total of 18 stores located across the US and Canada. Every American Girl Place features curated displays, games, and even a doll hospital and salon. Larger locations, like the two flagship stores in Chicago and New York, also offer dining experiences.Ann Matica/InsiderSource: InsiderAs a former American Girl Doll owner, I decided to visit the American Girl Doll cafe at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City to live out my childhood dreams.Ann Matica/InsiderI went to the store's website to try to make a reservation and was surprised to find that the cafe was almost completely booked up until January. I managed to find a slot open on a Monday at 2:30 p.m. and snatched it up before it was too late.Ann Matica/InsiderWhen we arrived for my reservation, the American Girl Place store windows already had elaborate displays set up for the holidays.Ann Matica/InsiderI had never been inside an American Girl Place location, and peeking in through the window made me feel a childlike giddiness toward the dolls that I so tenderly loved as a girl.Ann Matica/InsiderAs my boyfriend and I entered through the front doors, I rambled on to him about my own 18-inch-tall custom American Girl Doll named Elizabeth that I had received for Christmas one year.Ann Matica/InsiderThe New York City flagship was launched in November 2017 and spans 40,000 square feet across two stories. I didn't see any signs pointing to the cafe, so I asked an employee, who directed me toward the lower level.Ann Matica/InsiderUnderneath a large American Girl sign were the escalators leading downstairs.Ann Matica/InsiderThe entrance to the cafe was at the back of the store, among displays of historic American Girl dolls.Ann Matica/InsiderThere were festive garlands and silver baubles lining the cafe entrance.Ann Matica/InsiderAfter I checked in for my reservation at the front desk, the hostess said I could choose an American Girl doll to join us for lunch. We opted for a blue-haired doll and a Bitty Baby doll, which was originally introduced in the 1990s as a toy for smaller children.Ann Matica/InsiderSource: Insider We were led by the hostess through the spacious dining area to our table. The interior of the cafe was painted a pastel purple and was brightly lit with ornamental chandeliers.Ann Matica/InsiderOnly a few tables were occupied, which seemed expected for a Monday afternoon. Most of the diners were parents with their children, and I felt a little out of place being there as a 22-year-old, even though the American Girl Cafes have reportedly started to become a popular spot for influencers to visit.Ann Matica/InsiderSource: The New York TimesA door led off to a private room for larger groups or birthday parties. The cafe offers birthday party packages for up to 10 guests that vary in price from $25 per child to $40 per child.Ann Matica/InsiderFor our dolls to sit in, the host provided us with doll-sized chairs that clipped onto the side of the table.Ann Matica/InsiderMiniature cups and saucers that customers can take home with them were also set up.Ann Matica/InsiderA minimum charge of $27 per person (tax and tip not included) is required to dine at the cafe. For that price, customers enjoy a three-course pre-fixe meal that includes a drink of choice, three appetizers, a selection of main dishes to choose from, and a chocolate mousse dessert.Ann Matica/InsiderThe menu offered just enough variety between kid-friendly and more adult dishes so that both children and their parents could be happy. There were also alcoholic beverages ranging from cocktails to sparkling wine that adults can order while their children enjoy milkshakes, juice, or soft drinks.Ann Matica/InsiderI decided to order a cocktail and went with the Aperol Spritz, which was $14, and was taken off guard by how strong it was.Ann Matica/InsiderMy boyfriend decided to go for the house-made margarita and the old-fashioned cherry soda named after the American Girl doll Kit Kittredge. The margarita was $12, while the soda was an additional $1 from the prefixed meal.Ann Matica/InsiderOur server also brought over cinnamon buns for us and our dolls to enjoy as part of the "warm welcome" portion of the dining experience.Ann Matica/InsiderWhile my boyfriend and I waited for our appetizers, we played the little game on the table. There were strips of paper with "would you rather" questions and American Girl fun facts for us to discuss.Ann Matica/InsiderA three-tiered tray with our pre-set first course was brought to our table. The setup made me feel like I was attending a fancy garden party with finger foods.Ann Matica/InsiderThe first layer was pita bread with artichoke dip.Ann Matica/InsiderThe second layer had soft pretzels and mustard.Ann Matica/InsiderLastly, there was strawberry yogurt with berries.Ann Matica/InsiderOur server also brought over fruit and vegetables as an alternative for me since I'm lactose intolerant. I appreciated the gesture as I watched while my boyfriend sampled all the dishes.Ann Matica/InsiderFor the main meal, diners can choose from nine different options, including chicken tenders, bow-tie pasta, and fish and tomato ragu.Ann Matica/InsiderI chose the classic club sandwich with avocado and a side of French fries. The sandwiches came with little American Girl-branded flags, plus an array of dips.Ann Matica/InsiderMy boyfriend ordered the macaroni and cheese, which came with a toasted heart and a serving of fruit and vegetables.Ann Matica/InsiderWhile the food was mediocre at best it's clear that the cafe is more about the dining experience than the food itself.Ann Matica/InsiderOn the menu for dessert was a chocolate mousse with cookie crumble on top.Ann Matica/InsiderThe server kindly brought me a lemon sorbet as a dairy-free alternative. It was delicious and my favorite thing I had eaten during the meal.Ann Matica/InsiderAfter the meal, our total came out to $87.10 before tip. It was more expensive than the $53 for two pre-fixed meals due to the added drinks.Ann Matica/InsiderI made sure to grab my doll's cups and saucers on the way out as a keepsake and returned my doll and her seat to their rightful place on the shelf.Ann Matica/InsiderBefore heading back upstairs, we browsed the bottom level of the American Girl Place, which had a Girl of the Year display.Ann Matica/InsiderThere was also a wall of historic dolls from different eras that I geeked out over. Currently, there are 13 historical American Girl dolls that retail for $115 each with their accompanying books included.Ann Matica/InsiderAfter reminiscing about my favorite American Girl dolls and accessories, we made our way to the exit.Ann Matica/InsiderWhile the dining experience felt overpriced for the quality of the food and available menu options, the added-on details such as being able to choose an American Girl doll to sit with, the table games, and the kind servers made the experience fun and unforgettable.Ann Matica/InsiderRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT17 hr. 39 min. ago Related News

10 years ago they were fast food workers making roughly $8 an hour. "Fight for 15" changed their lives.

Ten years ago, calls for a $15 minimum wage were met with skepticism. Today, 30 states have minimums above the federal wage. Terrence Wise at a Fight for 15 action.Fight for $15 and a Union Ten years ago, fast food workers took to the streets of New York to strike for a $15 minimum wage. Since then, 30 states have raised their wages above the federal rate. Workers involved in Fight for 15 for years have seen their wages grow, and organizing continue. A decade ago, Greg Reynoso had a revelation in midtown Manhattan.Reynoso, 36, was working as a delivery driver for Domino's in 2012. He was making $7.25, the minimum wage at the time. But on November 29, 2012, he became something else: A worker on strike. Months before, Reynoso and his coworkers had been approached by organizers with the nascent Fight for 15 movement. "I didn't know much about what they were talking about. I just knew that my job was horrible. We were getting paid really bad and we needed a change," he told Insider. That led to him joining the now-historic strike on November 29, alongside around 200 other fast food workers.Today, it's not unheard of to see workers walking out for better pay and working conditions. But in 2012, low-wage service workers going on strike was a new development in labor organizing. The movement was met with skepticism; many thought workers were being unrealistic or overly optimistic."Ten years ago, it was definitely impossible for some people. It was just like, oh no, raising the minimum wage, especially for fast workers, are you crazy? Get out of here," Reynoso said.Marching through Manhattan to the McDonald's on 42nd street was "amazing," Reynoso said."We're chanting, we're demanding more money. We are humans. We are men and women who just want better working conditions and a better living wage," Reynoso said.The first Fight for $15 strike in 2012 in Manhattan.Fight for $15 and a UnionToday, Reynoso is a full-time organizer for the New York State Nurses Association, working on political and community organizing. In New York City, where Reynoso first took to the streets, the minimum wage is $15 an hour.Since the launch of Fight for 15 ten years ago, the federal minimum wage hasn't budged. But states have taken matters into their own hands, with ballot initiatives propelled by worker groups. Thirty states have a minimum above the federal wage of $7.25, and those higher minimums have led to an estimated $87.6 billion in additional economic output since 2012 — and support 452,000 jobs annually. The economic and cultural tides have changed since workers first took to the streets in 2012. Over the last two years, wages have skyrocketed nationwide, especially for low wage workers. Unions are sweeping service jobs like Starbucks and Chipotle.Bart Perez has worked as a cook at McDonald's for 31 years in California. During the Great Recession, he noticed management was cutting his shifts. That's why he's been organizing with Fight for 15 since 2011."I wasn't able to take care of the necessities I had due to not having enough days and hours of work," he told Insider through a translator. At the time, workers' demands included getting back some of their hours, and a pay bump to $15 an hour from $8. The process of organizing hasn't always been easy for Perez, but he didn't want to "throw away" his longevity at the company. Most importantly, he didn't want anyone else to come into a similar job — including his children one day — and deal with the same issues."This was my opportunity to make a difference," he said. In California, where Perez works, the minimum wage is now $15 an hour for employers with 26 or more employees. Workers there also lobbied for a law passed in September that will give fast food workers a say in their pay, working conditions, and hours.But workers say the battle — while obviously focused on wages — is also about respect. That's something that's been thrown into relief when minimum wage jobs suddenly became "essential" during the pandemic. Part of the rethinking of work has been a concerted push to make sure blue-collar jobs receive traditionally white-collar benefits — and are treated with the same respect. "The movement has given so many people the ability to fight for something just. To fight for dignity," Perez said. "That has been one of the most important things — the respect that every person and that every worker deserves." Terrence Wise, a Taco Bell worker and a leader in the Missouri Workers Center, has worked with Fight for 15 for 10 years. He brought his then-seven-year-old daughter to his first strike in 2013, where he kept ducking behind his sign, which he described as "hiding." That prompted his daughter to ask: "Daddy, are you scared?""In that moment I looked at my daughter and I was like, am I more afraid of being homeless and not being able to take care of my daughter, or of my employer?" he said. "And at that moment it kind of clicked for me — I'm gonna fight for my child, I'm gonna do whatever it takes for my child."The next day, after years of asking, he finally got a raise at his job. When he first began organizing, he said, he made $7.47 an hour. Today, he earns $16. For all of the Fight for 15 movement's successes over the last decade, there's still a long way to go. Nearly a third of American workers still make below $15 an hour, and workers of color in the South particularly face low wages."Victory looks different in different parts of the country and organizing efforts will look different as well," Wise said. "There's a lot of work still left to do, and a lot that still hasn't changed, but we're hopeful because of what we've been able to achieve as well."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT17 hr. 39 min. ago Related News

The Supreme Court will hear Biden"s student-loan forgiveness case in February. Here"s what that means for millions of borrowers waiting for relief.

Student-debt cancellation remains blocked, but the Supreme Court agreed to take up the case early next year. Here's what that means for borrowers. The Supreme Court Building in Washington, DC.AP Photo/Patrick Semansky The Supreme Court agreed to hear oral arguments on Biden's student-debt relief in February. Still, student-loan forgiveness will stay blocked as the legal battles play out. Borrowers remain in limbo on relief, but did receive another extension of the payment pause. There's good news and bad news up ahead for student-loan borrowers.The good news is that President Joe Biden's debt relief isn't dead in the water — the Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments to the case early next year. In the meantime, payments won't resume on January 1 as previously planned.The bad news is that until then, loan forgiveness will remain blocked.In November, two conservative-backed lawsuits succeeded in halting the implementation of Biden's plan to forgive up to $20,000 in student debt for federal borrowers making under $125,000 a year. On November 14, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the temporary pause it placed on the debt relief would remain in place indefinitely, favoring the six Republican-led states who filed a lawsuit that argued relief would hurt their states' tax revenues.A separate decision from a federal court in Texas also blocked Biden's debt relief on November 10, and the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday rejected the Biden administration's request to pause that ruling and allow the relief to move forward.However, following the 8th Circuit's ruling, Biden's administration took matters to the Supreme Court and asked it to revive student-loan forgiveness as the legal proceedings play out. On Thursday, the nation's highest court responded: It will not allow the relief to progress right now, but it will hear oral arguments to the case in February."We welcome the Supreme Court's decision to hear the case on our student debt relief plan for middle and working class borrowers this February," White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a Thursday statement."This program is necessary to help over 40 million eligible Americans struggling under the burden of student loan debt recover from the pandemic and move forward with their lives," she continued. "The program is also legal, supported by careful analysis from administration lawyers.  President Biden will keep fighting against efforts to rob middle class families of the relief they need and deserve."What comes next for student-loan borrowersSince October, student-loan forgiveness has been on pause. While the Education Department has recently started notifying some of the 26 million borrowers who already applied for relief that they had been approved, student-loan servicers have been blocked from actually discharging any student loans. Borrowers who have not yet submitted applications currently do not have the option to apply.In response to the legal challenges, Biden extended the pause on student-loan payments until June 30, 2023, or until the lawsuits are resolved, whichever comes first. This means federal borrowers do not have to worry about restarting payments after December 31, when they were previously scheduled to resume.In the meantime, all eyes are on the Supreme Court. According to its decision, it will hear oral arguments in February and will address two questions to the case: Whether the Republican-led states that filed the lawsuit have standing, and whether Biden's plan to cancel student debt exceeds the Education Secretary's authority or is "arbitrary and capricious."While the Supreme Court has just responded to the 8th Circuit decision, Biden's administration also asked the Court to intervene in the 5th Circuit decision that blocked the relief on Friday evening, so it's possible both cases will be combined.The issue of standing has long been the focus of not only this specific lawsuit, but the other conservative lawsuits that have sought to block debt relief. But as Politico noted, this would be the first time a court is examining whether Biden's debt relief is arbitrary, in which the loan forgiveness would be found to not be in accordance with the law and demonstrates an "abuse of discretion," per the Administrative Procedures Act.Republican lawmakers have continued to argue that Biden is overstepping authority granted under the HEROES Act of 2003, which is the law the Education Secretary is using to cancel student debt. But some advocates and experts have recently expressed support of that authority through a series of amicus curiae briefs, and the administration has not publicly suggested concerns with the legal route it chose to take."Our student debt relief program is necessary to help 40M eligible Americans struggling under the burden of student loan debt recover from the pandemic," Education Secretary Miguel Cardona wrote on Twitter. "That's 40M borrowers who chased the American dream through higher education. I look forward to SCOTUS hearing our case."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT17 hr. 39 min. ago Related News

How to attend 7 weddings across the country in a year and not break your budget, from a 27-year-old who did it on a $50,000 salary

Deona Perlas, 27, has attended 15 weddings, showers, and bachelorette parties over the past year. Here's how she did it on a $50K salary. Deona Perlas has attended 15 weddings, bachelorette parties, and bridal showers over the past year.Deona Perlas Deona Perlas, 27, has attended 15 wedding events over the past year. She's learned how to afford this lifestyle on a salary of $50,000 per year. She says there are plenty of ways to save money on hotels, gifts, dresses, and makeup. Deona Perlas loves weddings. It's why she's attended 15 wedding events across the country over roughly the past year, including seven weddings, four bachelorette parties, and four bridal showers.She has even more on the books for 2023.But the 27-year-old is faced with a significant financial challenge: Affording all the associated travel, accommodations, clothes, and gifts on a salary of $50,000.Earlier this year, she says she realized she was "financially and physically burnt out.""I just kept spending money on the same things over and over again," she told Insider. Perlas is one of many Americans with refrigerators covered in wedding invitations. After the pandemic forced many couples to forego tying the knot, there's been a wedding boom in 2022 as pandemic restrictions have eased. A record-high 2.6 million weddings will take place in the US this year, wedding planning platform The Knot estimated back in January.While many attendants have been happy to celebrate, the deluge of weddings can take its toll on Americans' finances. A 2019 The Knot study found that guests spend an average of $776 per wedding on travel, accommodations, gifts, and attire, a number that has likely risen due to inflation. Members of the wedding party typically spend even more, however, and the figure doesn't include expenses for bachelor or bachelorette parties, as well as wedding showers. As the year comes to a close, Perlas says she's not only learned plenty about save money throughout the wedding process, but even how to say "no," on occasion. Deona Perlas after catching a bouquet toss at a wedding.Deona PerlasIt's possible to save on hotels, gifts, dresses, and makeupPerlas says roughly "90 percent" of her wedding events have required travel, but she has a "saving grace" that gives her a major leg up when budgeting. She lives in Phoenix but works as a flight attendant, which allows her to "fly for free" on standby. But this perk could actually be costing her more in the long run, she says. She sometimes feels she has "no excuse" not to attend every wedding, bachelorette party, and shower she's invited to. The more of these events she attends, the more the non-flight expenses add up, which has forced her to figure out ways to cut costs.Many couples provide a main hotel or two for guests, but Perlas says she doesn't hesitate to "get crafty" and look elsewhere for the cheapest option, whether it be an AirBnB, staying at a friends' place in the area, or worst case, paying for a hotel room with two or three other people.  She's also taken on a few side hustles — consulting and selling her crafts — which she says have brought in an extra $10,000 in income this year and been a big help as she navigates her expenses. She also uses two "COVID hobbies" she picked up — hand embroidery and photography — to save money on wedding gifts and add a personal touch at the same time. She's gifted sweaters she stitched with "fun designs," as well as books with photos from the wedding weekend.When she does buy a gift off the registry, she says she tries to do so early, when items within her budget are still available. If all the items are picked over, or nothing fits her budget, she says she's grown more comfortable just giving cash. And if money is especially tight, she'll send a gift weeks to months after the wedding, or whenever she's "saved up again."  Perlas says she often re-wears dresses to weddings, but she's typically been "at the mercy of what the bride chooses" when she's in the wedding party. Recently, she was about to purchase a $200 bridesmaid's dress when a friend told her to look for it on Poshmark, where some bridesmaids resell their dresses. Perlas says she found the same dress for only $70. Perlas says bridesmaids are often presented the option to pay roughly "$80 to $90" to have their hair and makeup done the day of the wedding, but she says she "never signs up for it.""I had to learn how to do my own makeup on YouTube and just do it myself," she said. When she's involved in planning bachelorette parties, she said she plans months ahead of time to get the best deals on the tinsel backdrop, the matching cowboy hats, the disco ball cups and all the other details that "really add up." Deona Perlas's refrigerator, which is covered with wedding invitations.Deona Perlas"I don't need to go to the shower, bachelorette, and your wedding"For the first half of 2022, Perlas says her mindset was, "I'm going to go to every single one of these." But halfway through this year, she says she realized she was beginning to feel burnt out. She was set to attend weddings in New York and Oregon over back-to-back weekends when she decided she needed a break and decided to skip both of them — the only two weddings she's missed this year. She says both couples were understanding, but that declining invitations can still be very uncomfortable for her. On the one hand, she says, the 2022 wedding boom has created packed calendars and financial hurdles for people like herself. On the other hand, however, she says couples seem to be aware that "everyone has a lot of commitments," making them perhaps more understanding than they otherwise would be. When she does decline an invitation, Perlas says she makes a point of attending at least one wedding event."I don't need to go to the shower, bachelorette, and your wedding," she said. "I just don't, especially if we don't live in the same state."When declining a wedding invitation, she recommends reaching out directly to the couple and letting them know well in advance if possible. Looking ahead, Perlas says she will probably look back at 2022 as her most jam-packed wedding year, but 2023 is looking to be quite busy as well. But she says she's learned how to budget, save money, and when it gets to be overwhelming, prioritize which weddings she will attend over others.   "I love weddings, and I've wanted to go to every single one," she said. "But it's a commitment, and I know I have to plan accordingly if I'm going to go to all of them."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT17 hr. 39 min. ago Related News