|'I am truly sorry': 'Big Bang Theory' star Mayim Bialik apologizes after critics slammed her Harvey Weinstein essay|
"The Big Bang Theory" actress Mayim Bialik has apologized after receiving scathing criticism for writing an op-ed for The New York Times about the allegations of sexual assault and harassment brought against film producer Harvey Weinstein.
In her essay published on Friday, Bialik wrote that she was "shocked and disgusted" by the allegations against Weinstein, but not surprised to learn about them. She also referred to the way that she chooses to present herself and behave toward men "self-protecting and wise," adding that she dresses "modestly" and doesn't "act flirtatiously with men as a policy."
On Wednesday, Bialik apologized for her op-ed — which was widely interpreted as victim blaming — via a note on Twitter.
Addressing the reaction to her story, she offered a direct apology in her note.
"Let me say clearly and explicitly that I am very sorry," she wrote. "What you wear and how you behave does not provide any protection from assault, or does the way you dress or act in any way make you responsible for being assaulted; you are never responsible for being assaulted."
She went on to "applaud the bravery of the women who have come forward" with their alleged experiences of sexual assault and harassment against Weinstein, and pledged her "support" in seeking "accountability from the only ones responsible for assault and rape: the people who perpetuate these heinous crimes."
It's not the first time the actress has addressed the backlash to her essay. On Monday, Bialik responded to the criticism on her official Facebook page — although, contrary to her latest public statement, she didn't offer an explicit apology in her note.
"I also see a bunch of people have taken my words out of the context of the Hollywood machine and twisted them to imply that God forbid I would blame a woman for her assault based on her clothing or behavior," she wrote. "Anyone who knows me and my feminism knows that's absurd and not at all what this piece was about. It's so sad how vicious people are being when I basically live to make things better for women."
Bialik also did a Facebook Live with The New York Times to discuss her piece on Monday.
Following her recent statement, it seems that people on Twitter are accepting her apology.
Here's the full note Bialik posted on Twitter:
"I want to address my op-ed in the NY Times, and the reaction to it. Let me say clearly and explicitly that I am very sorry. What you wear and how you behave does not provide any protection from assault, or does the way you dress or act in any way make you responsible for being assaulted; you are never responsible for being assaulted. I applaud the bravery of the women who have come forward. I support these women as we seek out and demand accountability from the only ones responsible for assault and rape: the people who perpetuate these heinous crimes. I am motivated and driven to work hard to empower women.
I am truly sorry for causing so much pain, and I hope you can all forgive me."
If you are a victim of sexual assault, you can visit RAINN or call its hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to receive confidential support from a trained staff member.
|Blac Chyna says the entire Kardashian family is trying to ruin her – and she's suing them for 'millions of dollars'|
Blac Chyna has filed a far-reaching lawsuit against the entire Kardashian family.
In the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court Tuesday, Angela White aka Chyna's suit names Rob, her former boyfriend and father to their 11-month-old daughter; his sisters Kim Kardashian West, Khloe Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, and Kylie Jenner; and his mother Kris Jenner as defendants.
"Rob Kardashian is an abuser intent on destroying Angela White, the mother of his baby, who left him in 2016," the lawsuit states. "In revenge, the Kardashian-Jenner family became media predators, slut-shaming her on social media and killing her hit television show, which had already begun filming a second season."
The suit accuses the family of a wide range of offenses, including harassment, intrusion into private affairs, defamation, and interfering with Chyna's contracts and economic matters.
"The unwritten rule no one told Ms. White when she embarked on a relationship with Mr. Kardashian is: the entire family takes it personally if you leave and will come after you, using their fame, wealth and power to take you down," the complaint further states. "They will get your television show canceled. They will go after your endorsement deals. They will condone slut-shaming of you. They will spread lies about you. They will claim you are a bad mother, without evidence."
The lawsuit also includes assault and battery claims, which stem from Chyna's allegation that Rob had physically abused her on multiple occasions during their relationship. After a very messy social media attack by Rob on Chyna in July, a judge granted her a temporary restraining order.
Chyna, who began dating Rob in January 2016 and reportedly ended their relationship in March, doesn't indicate how much she's suing the family for in the complaint, but Bloom told Us Magazine it could be “millions of dollars."
A representative for E! told INSIDER the network had no comment. Representatives for the Kardashian family didn't immediately respond to our request for comment.
|THE PAYMENTS DISRUPTION REPORT: How digital is upending payments worldwide and what it says about the future|
This is a preview of a research report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about BI Intelligence, click here.
European and North American countries with advanced economies often serve as bellwethers for the payments industry when it comes to introducing new and disruptive technologies.
However, some of the greatest examples of digital payments disruption can be found in developing nations. In some cases, these countries not only adopt certain aspects of a digital payments ecosystem faster, but they also do so with more efficiency than their Western counterparts.
The fact that digital disruption in these regions can be complex and varied, makes it difficult for the industry to devise effective strategies for international expansion — but understanding the drivers of this disruption can significantly aid payments companies.
Despite each region’s unique attributes, there are shared key conditions that make a market ripe for digital disruption. These include new payments infrastructure, increased access to financial services, and government intervention to drive digital payment capabilities.
In this report, BI Intelligence examines several case studies of digital payments disruption to draw valuable insights for players in developed markets like the US to consider. These include India — which has made itself a laboratory of payments disruption — as well as other developing regions, including Latin America and East Africa. It also analyzes disruption in Australia to show how major digital disruption can be facilitated in a well-developed market.
Here are some key takeaways from the report:
In full, the report:
You can also purchase and download the report from our research store.
|An Uber executive was dropped from a lawsuit involving a woman who was raped by a driver|
Emil Michael, Uber's former senior vice president of business who resigned in June, asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit against him on Monday.
And on Wednesday, the judge granted him the request.
The documents asking for dismissal were filed in the US District Court of Northern California in San Francisco.
The lawsuit concerns the medical files of a woman who was raped in India by her Uber driver in December, 2014. During the trial, the driver was alleged to have had a history of sexual assault. After she was raped, she sued Uber and that case was settled. The rapist was convicted of the crime and sent to prison for life.
Eric Alexander, the former president of Uber Asia, reportedly helped with that conviction, even testifying at his trial.
This lawsuit is the second one the woman filed against Uber. It came after a story that circulated earlier this year, first reported by Recode's Kara Swisher, that alleged that Uber executives had obtained and mishandled the woman's medical records when dealing with that first lawsuit. The suit alleges that various Uber executives violated her medical privacy by looking at her health records.
Michael is one of three Uber executives who were personally named in the suit. The company is also being sued. The other executives named are former CEO Travis Kalanick, and Alexander.
In the motion to dismiss, Michael's lawyers argue that the whole case against their client is nonsense. The lawyers don't go so far as to deny that someone at Uber (perhaps even Michael) may have seen the woman's medical records, obtained by another employee from the police in Dehli, India, when she sued Uber and was working to put the rapist behind bars. Rather, Michael denies that he had anything to do with obtaining them.
The woman — who is not named — also alleges that Uber executives defamed her by suggesting to others that she was working with a rival company to harm Uber's business. On that allegation, the lawyers use an interesting tactic: they invoke the name of LeBron James and the crazy 2010 lawsuit from a man named Leicester Bryce Stovell
Stovell is an attorney who claimed that he was the biological father of James by way of that lawsuit. He was demanding $4 million dollars from his allegedly long-lost-son and his son's mother.
Among the things Stovell claimed was defamation. This was, apparently, based on a remark from James who at one point said, "I want to be a better father than mine was." The lawsuit was dismissed in 2011 with the judge basically decreeing that the people hearing a negative remark have to know exactly who is being dissed, and no one would have thought of Stovell. Michael's attorneys invoke LeBron James to argue that since the woman's identity was never revealed publicly by Michael, he couldn't have defamed her. This second lawsuit is filed under "Jane Doe."
Although the judge agreed and dropped Michael from the suit, that doesn't mean that the whole suit will be kicked out and the other executives won't be on the hook for allegations involving her medical records. But it is one step in that direction. And that's a step toward ending one of the nastiest lawsuits hanging over several Uber executives' heads.
|Vanuatu denies it will accept Bitcoin for its $200,000 citizenship program|
LONDON – The South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu denied it is accepting payments in Bitcoin for its $200,000 citizenship program.
“The Citizenship Office, representing the Citizenship Commission, is presenting to the media and other agencies in Vanuatu, that the Citizenship Office has not got any legal confirmation on any so called Bitcoin payments as stated in the media outlets,” Acting General Secretary Samuel Garae said, according to the Vila Times.
“The Office of the Citizenship is giving an assurance to all the Citizenship Designated Agents, that all the payments concerning the DSP program will still be in US dollars as prescribed by the Citizenship Regulations,” he said.
“Any other arrangement made by any sub-agent will not be considered by the Citizenship Office.”
Vanuatu is a member of the Commonwealth and citizenship provides visa-free travel to 113 countries including the UK, Russia and European Union states.
Vanuatu also advertises its low taxes for citizenship buyers, offering a second passport in a country that levies no capital gains or income taxes. Potential citizens don't need to live in Vanuatu, or even visit the country once.
Earlier a group known as the Vanuatu Information Centre Network said that the country had started to accept the cryptocurrency.
The multi-billion dollar investment migration industry, which sees governments offering visas and citizenship to people in return for investments in local businesses and property, has boomed amid increased global uncertainty over borders and immigration.
Earlier this year, the Thai government started offering "elite" residency visas for wealthy foreign citizens, allowing them to live in the country for around $3,000 (£2,403) a year.
There are seven different packages, with the most expensive being the "Elite Ultimate Privilege" scheme. It costs $60,000 for 20 years residency, along with a $600 a year membership fee.
Included in the price is a state-sponsored concierge programme, entitling members to VIP access to government agencies dealing with immigration, driving licences, and work permits.
|Jake Tapper fires back at Bill O'Reilly in brutal tweet: 'Low would be sexually harassing staffers and then getting fired'|
CNN's Jake Tapper did not take kindly to needling by former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly on Wednesday.
In a tweet, O'Reilly praised Fox News anchor Sean Hannity's ratings, while comparing them to ratings on CNN anchor Jake Tapper's midday show. The two programs do not compete directly against each other.
Tapper shot back, alluding to O'Reilly's departure from Fox News earlier this year amid an advertising boycott over revelations of settlements he made with various women and other allegations of sexual harassment.
Tapper's 4 p.m. show "The Lead," has maintained strong ratings throughout the year.
In the third quarter of 2017, Tapper trailed Fox News' "Your World With Neil Cavuto" and MSNBC's "Deadline: White House" in total viewers. He placed second among advertisers' key demographic of 25-54 year-olds, and won the month among the cohort outright in August.
O'Reilly did not take much time off following his ouster earlier this year.
He has appeared repeatedly on Hannity's radio program, despite the differences between the two hosts over the years, and joined Hannity on his television show last month to promote his new book "Killing England."
The former host has also begun hosting a news and commentary show on his own website, and used his social media accounts to espouse opinions on various topics. This week, for instance, he politicized his pet corgi, which O'Reilly has repeatedly featured on Instagram in the months since leaving Fox News.
|The backstory behind Larry Nassar, the doctor who has been accused of abusing McKayla Maroney and dozens of others|
Former USA Gymnastics chief medical director and Michigan State University sports doctor Larry Nassar has been accused of sexual abuse by dozens of athletes over the past few years. But a personal account from his most well-known accuser yet, Olympian McKayla Maroney, has renewed scrutiny on his history.
Nassar started volunteering with USA Gymnastics in 1986 and got his MD from Michigan State seven years later. By the mid-1990s, he was USA Gymnastics' top doctor, known for his medical expertise.
While some of Nassar's victims began to voice their discomfort with his methods as early as the late '90s, it wasn't until September of 2016 that his alleged abuse became public knowledge. A report from the Indianapolis Star cited two of his former victims, and other firsthand accounts began to emerge.
Nassar eventually faced multiple criminal charges for his actions. While he maintained that he did not commit sexual abuse, he did plead guilty to three counts of child pornography in July. He has been in custody since December 2016, and his sentencing is set for November.
While many of Nassar's alleged victims did not publicly attach their names to their accusations, several have done so. Here's an overview of some of their stories, which portray a troubling pattern.
Denhollander, a former USA gymnast, accused Nassar of massaging her breast and digitally penetrating her on multiple occasions when she was 15 years old.
Denhollander began to develop chronic pain in her back and wrists while training at the Kalamazoo Gymnastics Club. She was referred to Nassar, and she claimed he inserted his fingers into her vagina around 30 minutes into their first meeting, according to the Title IX report from her criminal case.
The abuse continued in subsequent appointments, Denhollander alleged. During one, she said, Nassar had a "very clear erection" and that his "eyes were closed, his face was flushed, and he was breathing very heavily."
The alleged abuse occurred over the course of five visits in 2000.
Maroney, a member of the USA's famed "Fierce Five" team that won a gold medal at the 2012 Olympics, said she incurred abuse from Nassar over the course of multiple years, according to an emotional account posted to Twitter.
Maroney wrote that the abuse began when she was 13 years old. While she didn't go into detail about the abuses themselves, she claimed that Nassar misled her into believing she was receiving medically necessary treatment.
Nassar's actions continued over the next few years, Maroney said. Maroney described a harrowing experience from the 2011 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Tokyo, when she was just 15.
"I had flown all day and night with the team to get to Tokyo," she wrote. "He'd given me a sleeping pill for the flight, and the next thing I know, I was all alone with him in his hotel room getting a 'treatment.' I thought I was going to die that night."
Maroney eventually realized her Olympic dreams, but "not without a price," she said.
The California native said she was inspired by the recent wave of "#MeToo" posts on social media, in which thousands of women have opened up about their experiences with sexual assault and harassment. She ended her account with a statement of hope for the future.
"Our silence has given the wrong people power for too long, and it's time to take our power back," she wrote. "And remember, it's never too late to speak up."
Tiffany Thomas Lopez
Lopez, a former college softball player, alleged that Nassar abused her on multiple occasions during her time at Michigan State.
Lopez, a high-school All-American who played two seasons for the Spartans, began experiencing chronic lower back pain in the fall of 1998 and was referred to Nassar for treatment. During their sessions, Nassar inserted "his bare, ungloved and unlubricated hand into her vagina," according to a criminal complaint filed in the state of California.
Lopez refused to continue seeing Nassar in 2001 after what she said was continued abuse. She alleged she was subsequently "pressured and coerced" by the university into declaring herself medically inactive.
Lopez said she expressed her discomfort with Nassar's actions to multiple other athletic trainers at Michigan State, at least one of whom encouraged her to report him to a supervisor. But when Lopez went to talk about her alleged abuser with supervisor trainer Destiny Teachnor-Hauk, she got a different reception, according to the Orange County Register.
"And I remember sitting on the bleachers in Jenison Fieldhouse with [Teachnor-Hauk] and she gave me the ‘What do you want now£’ and rolled her eyes like she had no time for me," Lopez said. "And I told her my story, she says, 'You understand he’s a world-renowned doctor. He treats elite athletes like yourself. You’re getting the best treatment possible. He does this to all the other athletes. You either suck it up or you don’t play.' And I unfortunately let it die."
Olympic medalist Jamie Dantzscher alleged that Nassar penetrated her "dozens, if not hundreds of times, for severe hip and back pain" starting in the mid-1990s, according to the Daily Mail.
Dantzscher said the abuse began experiencing severe hip and back pain at age 13. According to court documents, Nassar would place "his ungloved hand into my vagina to get my hips to 'pop' and 'adjust' my back. He would keep his hand inside me for what seemed like an eternity."
Dantzscher won an Olympic bronze with Team USA at the Sydney Games in 2000. She initially told her story as a Jane Doe, but came forward publicly some time later.
Michigan State gymnast Lindsey Lemke alleged that Nassar "sexually assaulted, battered, abused and molested me on approximately 600 different occasions," according to the Daily Mail.
Lemke hails from Nassar's adopted hometown of Holt, Michigan and is first listed on the Spartans' roster for the 2014-15 season. She said she was abused over a number of years, as both a child and an adult.
Like in the other cases, Nassar would begin by massaging Lemke's back under the guise of medical treatment before working his way down to below her waist, she said. She alleged he would rub the skin around her vagina before penetrating her, according to court documents.
"Nassar did these acts without wearing gloves, without using lubricant, without my parents' consent, and without my consent," she said.
Lemke, now a senior, continues to compete for the Spartans. She was named a team captain in August.
|ISIS' loss of its caliphate signals the end of one type of ISIS — and the beginning of a new one|
US-backed forces on Tuesday cleared the remaining Islamic State, or ISIS, forces from Raqqa, Syria, the group's de facto capital since it was first captured four years ago.
Losing Raqqa, and the majority of its territory in Syria, is a major victory for the anti-IS coalition, but it's not the end of the terrorist group. It rather marks a transformation from a "quasi-state," to an insurgency, Hassan Hassan, a journalist who has covered ISIS since the group's inception, wrote in The National on Wednesday.
At the height of its power — when it controlled both Mosul, Iraq, and Raqqa, Syria — ISIS posed a much stronger, and more credible threat to the US and Western countries, Hassan wrote. Now, backed into a corner, ISIS is operating like an insurgency, relying on guerrilla tactics like sniper fire, highly-mobile ambush units, and suicide attacks.
"Adoption of insurgency tactics increased as its territory shrank," Hassan wrote. "With the loss of Raqqa and much of Deir Ezzor, the group is now primarily an insurgent organization based in rural and desert areas."
ISIS has been pushed out of Syria and Iraq's major cities, and now only controls a patchwork of villages and remote desert areas on the border between the two countries.
Following its territory loss, ISIS' ability to recruit people to its cause has suffered.
"ISIL does not present the same threat it presented three years ago," Hassan wrote. "It cannot threaten places like Baghdad, Erbil and neighboring countries as it once did."
But the fight is far from over. Raqqa has been largely destroyed by sustained fighting, and ISIS will continue to inspire lone-wolf style attacks in areas well outside of its territorial control, based on propaganda materials it distributes online.
ISIS' reversion to a guerilla force is part of a long-simmering plan from its leaders, who prepared to lose territory to US-backed Syrian and Kurdish Forces as early as last year.
"Islamic State is not finished," Aaron Y. Zelin, of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told The New York Times. "IS has a plan, and that is to wait out their enemies locally in order to gain time to rebuild their networks while at the same time provide inspiration to followers outside to keep fighting their enemies farther away."
Hassan, writing in The National, said US-backed forces could engender further conflict by ignoring the "local context" — including allying with groups of whom the local population is suspicious — of the regions where they're fighting.
"The point is that victory against extremists cannot be accomplished by dropping bombs," Hassan wrote. "When the US entered Syria in 2014, it ignored the broader context and environment from which ISIL emerged."
It's "the kind of short-sightedness," that usually brings US forces back to the region to "fight a threat they previously did not finish properly," Hassan added.
He has a point. Abu Muhammed al-Adnani, an ISIS spokesman who was killed by a drone strike in 2016, encouraged ISIS fighters to keep fighting in a speech last year.
"True defeat is the loss of willpower and desire to fight," he said, per The Times. "We would be defeated and you victorious only if you were able to remove the Quran from the Muslims’ hearts."
|Traders are betting big against gun stocks (RGR, AOBC)|
A strange and unexpected thing happens to gun stocks after a mass shooting: they go up.
It adds a perverse twist to an already terrible situation, as firearm enthusiasts race to stockpile weapons out of fear that gun control legislation will hamper future purchases.
It also exposes the dirty truth of gun stocks: rather than moving on more traditional fundamental factors, their direction is often largely dictated by developments in the ongoing gun control debate.
That dynamic is playing out right now across the space. After spiking following the recent Las Vegas massacre — which left 58 people dead — stocks of gun producers like Sturm Ruger and American Outdoor Brands (which owns Smith & Wesson) have erased those gains amid speculation that no legislative efforts are imminent.
In fact, the possibility of heightened gun control is viewed as so unlikely in the immediate term that traders are piling into bets that these stocks will continue to fall.
Average shorting activity in the space has jumped by 10% since early July, according to data provider IHS Markit. On a single-stock basis, the firm finds that Sturm Ruger has over 25% of its shares shorted at present time, while Outdoor brands has also seen a "sharp rise" in shorting activity.
"This slump hasn’t gone unnoticed by short sellers, and they have been busy adding to their positions since last November," said Simon Colvin, an equity and credit markets analyst at IHS Markit. "Last week’s tragic events did little to dent resolve in the trade, and these two stocks saw the demand to borrow their shares climb to the highest level in over three months."
The chart below shows just how much short interest — or bets a stock will fall — in American Outdoor Brands has surged in recent days. The uptick is particularly interesting when you consider that the stock is already sitting close to a 2 1/2-year low.
|Here are all the most outrageous things Mike Pence's brother said about him|
Mike Pence's older brother, Gregory Pence, filed a tax document indicating he is planning to run for the Vice President's old congressional seat in eastern Indiana.
In a recent New Yorker profile of the VP by Jane Mayer, Gregory gave a series of colorful and sometimes eyebrow-raising quotes about his little brother.
Speaking about Mike Pence's second attempt to unseat Phil Sharp in Congress in 1990, Gregory said, "Mike burned a lot of bridges" with his excessively negative campaign.
"He upset a lot of his backers," he added. "It was partly because of immaturity, but he really was kind of full of s---."
And when they were little, Gregory said sometimes the Pence family — all six kids — would get in the car with their parents on Friday nights and follow the fire truck around town.
Gregory added that his childhood nickname was "General Harassment," while his little brother — now the Vice President of the United States — was "Bubbles," because he was "chubby and funny."
Gregory also compared his overbearing father with Mike. "He was black and white," he said of the Pence's father, who belted his children when they misbehaved.
"You were never confused where you stood," Gregory added. "My brother’s a lot like him."
While the Pences' mother, Nancy Pence Fritsch, told The New Yorker that Mike was a "good student," Gregory disagreed.
"Not a fabulous one," he said. "I don’t think he stood out. He was class president, but that wasn’t cool."
Gregory discussed what he thinks really drove his brother — who as a college student, as The New Yorker reported, was deciding between law school and priesthood — to seek public office.
"He’s completely unmotivated by money," he said. "I don’t think he would think for one second about it, if it weren’t for Karen," he added, referring to Karen Pence, Mike Pence's wife.
When Fritsch said that Mike was motivated by "service," Gregory chimed in.
"And, of course, popularity," he said. "He had ambitions."
The elder Pence, who most recently ran the family's now-bankrupt chain of convenience stores and gas stations, has little political experience.
His most recent foray into state politics, besides a brief tenure as Rep. Luke Messer's finance chairman for his Senate campaign, was as the top deputy at the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, reports The Indianapolis Star. Pence lasted just over two months in the post.
|A California city is launching the first US experiment in basic income — and residents will get $6,000 a year|
Stockton, California is expected to become the first US city to launch an experiment in universal basic income, a system of wealth distribution in which people receive a set amount of money just for being alive.
Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs said that by August 2018 he hopes to enroll an undisclosed number of Stockton's 315,000 residents in the program. Tubbs said the experiment — which is set to hand out $500 a month, or $6,000 a year — would ideally last for a period of three years.
A radical system gets government approval
Tubbs is 27 years old. When he was elected last year at 26, he became the youngest US mayor in a city of more than 100,000 people. The city he oversees — technically an exurb, about 50 miles east of Berkeley — became the first in the country to file bankruptcy, in 2012. It is still very much in recovery.
Tubbs credits his rough-and-tumble upbringing as part of the inspiration for pursuing a creative, if radical, solution to poverty. "When things came up unexpectedly it would cause a lot of hardships," Tubbs told Vox.
That background was mixed with Tubbs' admiration for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who himself had proposed a guaranteed minimum income for all citizens in 1967. King advocated for basic income "so we can bring to the attention of our nation this need ... which I believe will go a long, long way toward dealing with the Negroes' economic problem and the economic problem many other poor people confront in our nation."
Many of Stockton's residents face similar economic hardship today. The median household income of $44,797 falls well below California's state median of $61,818, and the unemployment rate of 7.3% is nearly double the national rate of 4.3%.
Planting a SEED
Tubb's plan is known as the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration, or SEED. It'll be financed primarily through the basic income advocacy group Economic Security Project (ESP), which is pledging $1 million to launch and help finance the experiment.
ESP was founded in December 2016, in part by Facebook cofounder Chris Hughes. The $10 million project is backed by more than 100 of Silicon Valley's biggest names, including eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.
In Kenya, the charity GiveDirectly has issued cash transfers for the past several years; its basic income trial began in October 2016. In Oakland, the startup accelerator Y Combinator just wrapped a pilot study in which several people received $1,000 to $2,000 a month. YC is preparing to launch a larger trial across two states sometime in 2018.
Basic income is so new that researchers have yet to collect good data about the system in the developed world. Stockton's experiment could provide unprecedented insights about basic income and how it causes people's behaviors to change.
Skeptics often claim a basic income could sap people of their drive to work, or cause them to spend more on vices, while advocates say the extra cash will help people go back to school, start businesses, and otherwise become more productive members of society.
|Drone footage shows total devastation in Raqqa after its liberation from ISIS|
The footage exposes a city, the sixth largest in Syria prior to the civil war, devastated by years of heavy fighting, which intensified in recent months as the US-led coalition attempted to take control.
The video shows overheard views of Paradise Square, once used by ISIS as a public space for beheadings and crucifixions, Raqqa's National Hospital, which is believed to have been used by ISIS to hold civilians, who were used as human shields, and a stadium where foreign militants are believed to have been based.
While the fall of Raqqa is seen by many experts as a turning point in the fight against ISIS, Western and Middle Eastern military and intelligence officials are preparing themselves for a new incarnation of the terrorist group.
Experts say on-the-ground efforts to eradicate ISIS will not necessarily reduce the occurrence of ISIS-inspired lone wolf attacks, both in the Middle East and in the West.
Watch the drone footage below:
|BANK OF AMERICA: 'This is not your parents' tech bubble'|
For stock enthusiasts, drawing parallels between the current market and the dot-com bubble is a pretty common activity.
But Bank of America Merrill Lynch doesn't buy into those comparisons at all.
It thinks the tech-driven stock rally is far more stable this time around — and that the reason stretches far beyond valuation.
"This is not your parents' tech bubble," Savita Subramanian, BAML's chief US equity and quantitative strategist, wrote in a client note.
The firm cites the robust levels of cash held by tech companies, which should only grow if President Donald Trump's proposed repatriation tax holiday goes into effect. In fact, tech is the only sector in the S&P 500 index that carries more cash than debt on corporate balance sheets.
In another contrast to the '90s bubble, the proportion of investment funds with a tech focus is half of what it was around 2000. Further, tech initial public offerings now make up a far smaller portion of the market, according to BAML.
A side-by-side analysis in BAML's table provides more data showing that the S&P 500 is less reliant on tech than it was in 2000 and that the sector is more profitable and less debt-laden nowadays:
That's not to say everything is perfect for tech stocks. BAML recognizes there are still some major risks to the sector's red-hot rally and holds just an "equal weight" — or neutral — rating.
First and foremost, tech is an extremely crowded sector. It has almost been a victim of its own success in that sense, as investors have piled into proven winners. BAML found that long-only relative tech exposure was at its highest since 2008.
Because of this, "institutional investors may be more likely to sell than to buy," Subramanian said.
And while tech's weighting is smaller than it was in 2000, it recently crossed a key threshold. It sits at roughly 24% of the S&P 500, above the 20% level that has historically preceded underperformance over the following 12 months, BAML's data shows.
Another element to consider is that hedge funds have started to turn their backs on tech — to a degree. While the industry remains crowded, they're the most bearish in more than 16 months on the sector. It's worth noting that they're still net positive and that this decline in sentiment is just relative to recent history.
Overall, it's clear that the debate over whether to keep buying tech stocks will rage on — but that conditions now are far from as scary as they were in the tech bubble.
|THE VIRTUAL REALITY REPORT: How the early days of VR are unfolding and the challenges it must overcome to reach mass adoption|
This is a preview of a research report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about BI Intelligence, click here.
The virtual reality (VR) market has made significant strides throughout 2016.
New VR headsets like the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive debuted amid great consumer anticipation, while VR content launches kept pace, with Batman: Arkham VR and Chair In A Room garnering encouraging download totals.
At the same time, industry groups and conferences brought developers, investors, and content producers together, helping to further ramp up buzz in this nascent space.
BI Intelligence forecasts shipments of VR headsets to spike by 1047% year-over-year (YoY) to 8.2 million in 2016. This growth will help propel the virtual reality space to exceed $1 billion in revenue for the first time, according to research by Deloitte. Powering that growth is an estimated 271% increase in investment in AR (augmented reality) and VR companies from 2015, according to estimates from CB Insights.
But while 2016 has indeed been an important year for the VR market, it hasn’t necessarily been a big one — at least not compared to its future growth potential.
VR headset shipments will continue to grow in the years ahead, driven by the introduction of new content that will appeal to a broad swath of users.
In a new report, BI Intelligence explores the highly fragmented and volatile VR market that emerged in 2016. It lays out the future growth potential in numerous key VR hardware categories, as driven by major VR platforms. And it examines consumer sentiment and developer excitement for VR, presenting which headset categories and platforms are most poised for success in the near- to mid-term.
Here are some key takeaways from the report:
In full, the report:
Interested in getting the full report£ Here are two ways to access it:
|Manhunt underway for gunman who killed 3 in Maryland and shot 1 in Delaware|
Police are searching for a man suspected of killing three people in a workplace shooting in Maryland and then shooting another person in Delaware two hours later on Wednesday.
Authorities said they believe 37-year-old Radee Labeeb Prince was behind a shooting at an office park in Edgewood, Maryland, shortly before 9 a.m. on Wednesday. The gunman, wielding a handgun, shot five employees of Advanced Granite Solutions, a kitchen countertop company, killing three people and critically wounding two.
Prince fled the scene in a black SUV, initiating a multi-state manhunt by state police, the FBI, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler called Prince "armed and dangerous."
Hours later, authorities revealed that Prince was also believed to be responsible for a shooting 55 miles away at a used-car dealership in Wilmington, Delaware. Details of that shooting are unclear, although no injuries have been reported. The shooting occurred around 10:45 a.m., police said.
The identities of the victims in either shooting have not been released.
Advanced Granite Solutions owner Barak Caba told the Associated Press that Prince worked at the company as a machine operator.
"Words cannot express our feelings. We mourn the loss of our friends," the company said in a statement. "May God give our friends eternal rest and the families the strength to bear the great pain."
Prince had been arrested 42 times in Delaware, Wilmington Police Chief Robert Tracy said, including 15 felony convictions and four misdemeanor convictions.
Local businesses and schools in Edgewood were put on lockdown following the incident, according to a local Fox affiliate.
|Here's everything you need to know about the F-22 Raptor|
The F-22A Raptor is a fifth-generation fighter incorporating fourth-generation stealth technology, radical maneuvering capabilities, the ability to fly at supersonic speed without afterburners and unprecedented pilot situational awareness, making it the most dominant and advanced air superiority fighter in the world.
The Raptor’s sophisticated aerodynamic design, advanced flight controls and thrust vectoring allow it to outmaneuver any known aircraft.
A combination of sensor capability, integrated avionics, situational awareness and weapons provides F-22 pilots with a first-look, first-shot, first-kill advantage over adversaries.
The F-22 possesses a sophisticated sensor suite allowing the pilot to track, identify, shoot and kill air-to-air threats before being detected. Significant advances in cockpit design and sensor fusion improve the pilot’s situational awareness.
The F-22A Raptor was introduced Dec. 15, 2005, and a total of 187 operational aircraft were built. The last airframe was delivered to the Air Force in 2012.
Development and Design.
The Raptor was developed through the Advanced Tactical Fighter program, which was initially requested by the Air Force in the 1970s to produce conceptual designs of an air-to-ground fighter to complement the air-to-air F-15 Eagle.
The Air Force needed the F-22 as a solution to emerging threats of the Soviet Su-27 Flanker, MiG 29 Fulcrum and the Chinese Shenyang J-11 multi-role fighter aircraft, to maintain air superiority after the Cold War and into the future.
Thus, the request was amended with the advancements in stealth technology and the ATF program was then charged with creating a fighter with the capabilities of speed, agility, electronic warfare and signal intelligence into a stealth airframe which could also provide precision long-rage air-to-air and air-to-ground weaponry.
The Air Force selected the two proposals of contract teams Lockheed/Boeing/General Dynamics and Northrop/McDonnell Douglas, to produce prototypes for flight testing, the YF-22 and the YF-23. The Lockheed YF-22 was ultimately selected in 1991 with the first F-22A being delivered for flight testing in 1997.
The Raptor is equipped with two Pratt & Whitney F119-PW-100 afterburning turbofan engines producing 35,000 pounds of thrust each, more than any current fighter. The jet is capable of Mach 1.82 during supercruise, or sustained supersonic flight without afterburners, and able to reach speeds over Mach 2 with afterburners.
In the air-to-air configuration the Raptor carries six AIM-120 AMRAAMs and two AIM-9 Sidewinders. The Raptor also has an internally mounted M61A Vulcan 20 mm-rotary canon embedded inside the right wing.
The Raptor’s ability to collect and share tactical information with legacy aircraft enables U.S. and allied forces to engage targets with unmatched battlespace awareness. With the data processed with the Raptor’s advanced avionics sensors and radars, the aircraft can even designate targets for allies.
The radar emissions of the F-22 can also be focused to overload enemy sensors as an electronic-attack capability.
During the F-22’s first Operational Readiness Inspection the aircraft was rated excellent in all categories with a 221-0 kill ratio against opposing aircraft.
The F-22 has a significant capability to attack surface targets from high cruise speeds and altitudes. In the air-to-ground configuration the aircraft can carry two 1,000-pound GBU-32 Joint Direct Attack Munitions internally.
The Raptor has the ability to deploy 1,000-pound bombs from 50,000 feet while cruising at Mach 1.5, and can strike a moving target 24 miles away.
Operation and Deployment.
Air Force units that operate the F-22 Raptor include:
The first overseas deployment of F-22s was to Kadena Air Base, Japan in February 2007.
F-22s participated in combat sorties for the first time during Operation Inherent Resolve, dropping 1,000-pound GPS-guided bombs on Islamic State of Iraq and Syria targets during the American-led intervention in Syria.
From September 2014 to July 2015, F-22s flew 204 sorties, dropping 270 bombs on 60 different locations.
On June 23, 2015, two F-22s performed the aircraft’s first close air support mission conducting airstrikes protecting friendly forces in Syria.
Did you know£
– The F-22 Raptor has a radar cross-section smaller than a bumblebee, making it nearly undetectable.
– An F-22B two-seat variant was planned in 1996, but cancelled to save development costs.
– The radar on the F-22 changes frequencies over 1,000 times per second to deter detection by enemy forces.
F-22A Raptor Fact Sheet.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
|REVIEW: Sonos' Alexa-powered smart speaker makes me want to ditch all my 'dumb' speakers|
Sonos has made a name for itself among audiophiles with its line of connected speakers.
Now it has a new model that does more than just allow you to play your favorite tunes in every room of your house.
The $200 Sonos One isn't just a connected speaker. It's a smart one.
Just like you could do with Amazon's Echo or Google Home, you can command the One to play music, control your smart home, give you a weather report, or tell you about your upcoming appointments, all by just speaking to it.
Right now, the One uses Amazon's Alexa as its built-in voice assistant to handle such commands. But Sonos plans to allow users to interact with the device using Google Assistant.
There are a growing number of smart speakers on the market. How does the One compare£
The Sonos One produces great sound.
If you've listened to Sonos' Play:1 speaker, the One will sound awfully familiar. It offers the same excellent sound quality. That's impressive, especially since it comes from such a small device.
It's also a good-looking gadget.
The One's small form and conservative design help it blend in. You won't necessarily notice it when you walk into a room unless you're actually looking for it. Sonos designed the speaker to be that way, and it's done a great job.
That's not to say the One is just a wallflower. It comes in a smart modern form that's nice to look at. It fit in well with the relatively old decor in my home.
It comes with a feature that supposedly allows it to be tuned to produce the best sound for specific rooms.
Sonos speakers including the One come with a feature the company calls TruePlay. The feature is designed to adapt the speakers' sound to better fit the shape and size of the rooms they are placed in.
I was skeptical that TruePlay would do much of anything, but I was surprised to find that it wasn't a gimmick. In each room, the One sounded better after I used TruePlay.
I initially used the feature to tune the One for my living room. When I moved the speaker to my kitchen, it still sounded fine. But when I used TruePlay again to adjust the speaker to the new room, it sounded even better.
Using TruePlay to configure the speaker for a particular room is a bit awkward. You have to wave your mobile device while walking around the room. While you're doing that, the One plays a strange loud pulsating noise. The Sonos app on your mobile device uses that noise to understand how sound fills and echoes around the room.
If someone walked in on you while you were using TruePlay, it would probably look pretty strange to them. But the process only takes a couple minutes, and it's worth the effort.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
|In English, the Swedish names of Ikea products mean everything from 'squirrel' to 'chubby' to 'giggle' — here are 11 of the quirkiest|
If you're not a native speaker of Swedish — and even if you are — you might be confused as you walk around an IKEA store.
Business Insider has previously reported that IKEA relies on a special system to label its products, designed by its founder Ingvar Kamprad, who was dyslexic and didn't want to use numbers. For example, furniture items are named after Swedish places. Chairs and desks have men's names. Children's items are named after mammals and birds.
That doesn't really make things any less confusing for English-speaking customers, though. So it helps to take a look at this unofficial IKEA dictionary, created by Rubiks cube expert Lars Petrus. He cautions that in his dictionary, the definitions can be incomplete or wrong "since the words are deliberately ambigious, and several places have the same name," so we've cross-referenced them all with other sources.
Below, we've highlighted some of the quirkiest product names in the IKEA lexicon, along with their English translation and their corresponding product.
Bigaraå means 'white heart cherry'
At IKEA, Bigaraå is also a style of plant pot.
Dvala means 'hibernation.'
Dvala is also a type of sheet set at IKEA.
Ekorre means 'squirrel.'
One of the items in IKEA's Ekorre series is a set of suspension hooks.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
|Former GE CEO Jeff Immelt used to have an empty private jet fly next to his — just in case there were delays (GE)|
When Jeff Immelt traveled, he wanted to take no chances of running late.
The former GE CEO used to have an empty private plane follow his own on trips, the Wall Street Journal's Thomas Gryta and Joann S. Lublin report in a story about the new CEO's cost cutting efforts. The extra jet was meant as a spare in case the primary plane suffered mechanical problems.
It's not exactly the most frugal or environmentally-friendly solution, which may be why crew members were told not to openly discuss the two planes, according to the report. They sometimes parked far away from each other to avoid raising eyebrows.
A GE representative confirmed to the WSJ that the jets were used on "limited occasions for business-critical or security purposes."
The news comes as current GE CEO John Flannery prepares to cut costs, including laying off thousands of employees.
|A 19-year-old actress has a strong message for people who constantly shame her over what she wears|
Ariel Winter couldn't care less about what body-shamers have to say about her. The 19-year-old "Modern Family" star recently told LaPalme Magazine that she isn't bothered by online bullies who criticize her outfits.
"The thing we all have to remember is the only person you have to please is yourself. If you feel good in an outfit, and you feel good with the way you look, then that is all that matters and you should rock it and feel happy about it," she told LaPalme in an interview for the magazine's Fall 2017 issue.
Winter also said that she's tired of the near-constant media scrutiny that she faces.
"I get criticized in the press every day for the things I do. Other girls will wear the exact same things I wear, and they’ll get 'so-and-so looks cute in a crop top on her day out' and I’ll get 'Ariel bares all in a skimpy outfit, yet again,' and it will be me wearing the same thing as another person who just got praised, and I got cut down," she explained.
The actress said that the incessant body-shaming stresses her out, so she tries her best to ignore it.
"I hate reading stories about myself, and that's why I don’t. Every time it pops up on my phone or someone sends me something I’m like, 'ugh that sucks,'" she said.
However, Winter doesn't simply ignore the stories and online hate. She often stands up to it.
Because of her active social media presence, the actress has become a body-positivity champion on Instagram. In the past few months, she has used the platform to shut down tabloid magazines that have criticized her outfit, trolls who judged her for wearing shorts, and body-shamers who accused her of dressing in "minimal clothes" during the summer.
But after years of struggling with the public's perception of her, Winter has finally made peace with herself.
"For so many years I tried to change my appearance, and I tried to do different things to make myself so everyone is going to accept me, and they didn't," she said. "The only person's opinion that matters, the only person that gets to have a say in you, is you. We need to spend more time pleasing ourselves and caring less about what other people say."
She concluded her interview with her signature body-positivity catchphrase: "At the end of the day you have to remember, 'You know what, I feel good and that's all that matters, and other people can go buzz off.'"
You can read the full story in the fall issue of LaPalme Magazine, out on October 23.