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The latest news from Business Insider

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    AstraZeneca president Ruud Dobber

    • Drug pricing remains an issue facing the healthcare industry, though little has been done to curb it. 
    • Pharma executives, including AstraZeneca US president Ruud Dobber and Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier are starting to get fed up, particularly with the role so-called middlemen play. 
    • For now, it's unclear where the rebates pharmaceutical companies pay out end up. "That model is not sustainable," Dobber said. 

    Rising drug prices have been at the center of American conversation for the past three years. 

    But amid all the finger-pointing, presidential call-outs on Twitter, and pledges to keep drug prices at bay, not much progress has been made to dissuade future price hikes or get prices in check for Americans. 

    Something still has to give, according to pharmaceutical executives who have a hand in the pricing discussion. 

    Ruud Dobber, US president of AstraZeneca, who oversees the pharma giant's US business in lung, heart and kidney-related conditions, told Business Insider that price increases have to be within a range that makes him feel comfortable. 

    "If I don't feel comfortable, that is simply not good," Dobber said. "I think it's reasonable to increase a little bit your price because you have something unique. We've only one objective, that we're making our drugs affordable for patients. If the drug is not affordable, the patients cannot benefit, and we will not be making profit. It's as simple as this."

    AstraZeneca joined in with other pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer and Merck in freezing price increases for the remainder of 2018. 

    Dobber pointed to other members of the pharmaceutical industry — so-called middlemen — and the rebates that get passed around as an unsustainable aspect of the market. Pharmacy benefit managers negotiate these rebates as a way to negotiate a lower price off the list price drugmakers ultimately set. Drugmakers provide more than $100 billion a year in rebates and discounts, which are a big business for companies like Express Scripts, CVS Caremark and UnitedHealth Group's OptumRx.

    "As a company, we are very clear that we would like to get rid of rebates and would like to move to what is called competition on the base of a net price," Dobber said. PBMs, for their part, argue that pharmaceutical companies set their own list prices, putting them in control of rising drug prices. 

    Merck CEO Ken Frazier in October had a similar perspective on the amount of money that goes to the middlemen in the pharmaceutical industry. The way he sees it, Merck publishes the list prices the company sets for a particular drug.

    But after that's set, there are often discounts the drugmaker pays out to middlemen, which may or may not make their way to patients. Those discounts vary and are kept secret. And if you have a high deductible plan, you might still be on the hook for paying the full list price.

    "I don't understand why we live in a world where 50% of the value goes to the supply chain," Frazier said.

    Frazier said he expects to see disintermediation — or reducing the number of companies between a product and a consumer — start to happen in the pharmaceutical industry, in the way it's happened with cable. Before Disney owned its own media networks, it had to pay to get its content in front of viewers. Now, it owns media networks like ABC and ESPN, which it can use to show its content, making it one less step to get to viewers.

    The same could happen in the pharmaceutical industry. Already, mergers are taking place that combine insurers with pharmacy benefit managers, the middlemen responsible for negotiating discounts to the list price of medications on behalf of health plans and insurers. And the Trump administration has been putting pressure on the PBMs and the rebates they receive from drugmakers. Whether those changes lead to less drug pricing pressure remains to be seen.

    Dobber had a similar perspective on the amount of money getting redirected in the system. 

    "At the end of the day, it's a bit of black hole and you don't know where the money is ending up," Dobber said. "I think that model needs to change. I completely agree with Frazier that that model is not sustainable." 

    Over the next few years, Dobber said he anticipates a number of experiments playing out — including from players outside the healthcare industry like Amazon as well as mergers between healthcare giants like CVS Health and Aetna— that could have a big impact on the industry.

    "The US system deserves a bit of a shakeup of the health system. It's too complex, it's too fragmented, it's too expensive."

    See also: 

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: NASA footage shows the 'nightmare' Hurricane Florence

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    stargate largest metal sintering printer relativity space 3d printed rockets 00017

    There is no wiggle room once you land on Mars. You either have what you need to survive, or you die.

    That risk is dramatically portrayed in the sci-fi book and movie "The Martian," in which a stranded astronaut survives on leftover potatoes, freeze-dried feces, and a lot of gumption.

    But the harsh realities of Mars loom in a fast-approaching future.

    Elon Musk's aerospace company, SpaceX, aims to ship people to the red planet and colonize that world on an eyebrow-raising timeline— perhaps as soon as 2024. Meanwhile, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is pressing to colonize space with his spaceflight company, Blue Origin. Even NASA is working hard (though with some stumbles) to build a towering interplanetary rocket called Space Launch System.

    That's where the upstart rocket company Relativity Space, which has backing from Mark Cuban, sees a vital opening for business.

    "We feel like it's inevitable that if humanity is going out to colonize other planets, 3D-printing is really the only way to manufacture things like tools and replacement parts," Tim Ellis, a co-founder of Relativity Space, told Business Insider. Ellis is a rocket-propulsion engineer who formerly worked at Blue Origin.

    "So that's what we're working on: How to 3D-print an entire rocket," he said.

    Space colonization is a distant business venture for Relativity Space, though, since Mars-bound spaceships won't get off the ground until the 2020s at the very soonest.

    Here's a look at what the company is doing right now and how it plans to achieve its long-term vision.

    SEE ALSO: This speculative SpaceX timeline reveals roughly when, where, and how Elon Musk plans to colonize Mars

    DON'T MISS: The American flags on the moon are disintegrating

    Ellis helped bring 3D-printing to Blue Origin to quickly and cheaply build custom parts for the company. "That inspired me to see 3D-printing is the future of rockets," he said. "We saw the time savings in this totally new process to build rockets."

    The kind of 3D-printing Ellis is referring to is called laser sintering. The system uses laser beams to bond powdered metal, layer by layer, into precise and complex structures that have minimal parts.

    Ellis said that, so far, spaceflight companies are only dipping their toes into the technology. "They're only printing parts here and there and cannibalizing launch systems from the bottom-up," he said. "The problem with that approach is that there are close to 100,000 parts in a rocket."

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    rich kids family

    • The needs of wealthy families have evolved drastically since the 1960s because "there's never been wealth like there is now," according to Seth Norman Greenberg, vice president of domestic staffing firm Pavillion Agency.
    • In the 1960s, wealthy families had one or maybe two homes, and now they tend to have four or five, Greenberg told Business Insider.
    • Certain domestic positions including chambermaids, lady's maids, and butlers have become obsolete, while others such as personal assistants and estate managers have grown in popularity, he said.
    • More and more people are looking to hire stewards for their yachts and private planes.


    Wealthy families have always hired staff to run their households, but the types of staff they require have shifted and evolved over the years. 

    Business Insider spoke to Seth Norman Greenberg, vice president of domestic staffing firm Pavillion Agency, which matches wealthy families to household staff including nannies, housekeepers, private chefs, personal assistants, baby nurses, and more.

    His uncle started the company in 1962, and since then, the needs of wealthy families when it comes to household staff have changed dramatically, Greenberg says. 

    "There's never been wealth like there is now," he told Business Insider. "Leading up to the 60s, maybe even the 70s, most wealthy families had a primary property. They possibly had a second home. But now, I'm seeing families that have four, five homes, a yacht, a plane. I mean, the wealth is growing and people are living a life not tied to one property as in years past."


    To keep all these properties running smoothly, these families need an estate manager at each one.

    Estate managers do "whatever needs to get done, hiring staff, firing staff, scheduling staff, ensuring staff gets paid, any vendors, any service providers... [they] ensure that everyone is doing their jobs," Greenberg said. 

    Another position that's emerged since the 60s is the personal assistant, who helps run the home and staff, Greenberg said. Some of the personal assistant's responsibilities could overlap with those of an estate manager.

    And these days, families are looking for college-educated nannies — and not necessarily just one of them.

    "Most of the nannies that we're meeting here have some form of education post-high school," Greenberg said. "Some of them have master's degrees. And what I'm seeing is, if families have children, they're hiring three separate nannies for each child." 

    On top of that, more and more people are requesting stewards and stewardesses for their yachts and private planes, he said. 

    Other positions, some of which might call to mind the British period TV drama "Downton Abbey," set in the early 20th century, have fallen out of fashion over the years.

    "A chambermaid, parlor maid, lady's maid — those have gone away, in a sense, from their literal definitions," Greenberg said.

    downton abbey mary anna

    A lady's maid had many different duties in the past, Greenberg explained.

    "A lady's maid was in charge of being the gatekeeper with the lady of the house, always ensuring that the lady of the house is looking her best, is feeling her best, and is representing her best," he said. "That involves her ensuring that the silver in the family is taken care of well, the china is taken care of well, that the Mrs.' clothes are taken care of well."

    The lady's maid may have also paid some of the tradesmen and kept track of items they'd sent out to the laundry.

    "A lot of those things evolved into a laundress now, or a personal assistant who would handle a lot of those things," Greenberg said.

    Other positions that have fallen out of fashion include the valet, the gentlemen's equivalent of a lady's maid, Greenberg said. A kitchen helper, typically a position where someone plucked the chickens, peeled the potatoes, and generally assisted the chef, has turned into a sous-chef.

    baby and mother

    And wet nurses, who traditionally breastfed someone else's child, are "pretty much obsolete," Greenberg said. But more and more families are hiring baby nurses and paying them up to $800 a day to care for their newborns and teach them to sleep through the night. 

    SEE ALSO: The 25 richest American families, ranked

    DON'T MISS: Rich families are paying baby nurses up to $800 a day to work 22-hour shifts and teach their babies to sleep through the night

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: What happens when you sleep in your contacts

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    candles louis vuitton

    • Louis Vuitton has announced that it will be releasing a new line of candles designed by perfumer Jacques Cavallier Belletrud on November 5.
    • Each candle comes in a white ceramic container, designed by Marc Newson, and features a camel-colored strap, just like the ones used for classic Louis Vuitton handbags.
    • The candle comes in four different scents, each inspired by various aspects of nature, like falling snowflakes and "warm island sun," according to a press release provided to INSIDER. 
    • The candle set will retail for €175 ($203 US) and will be sold online and in select Louis Vuitton stores.

    Louis Vuitton has just made it a lot easier to carry candles from room to room.

    The luxury brand has announced that it will release a €175 ($203 US) set of four candles scented by perfumer Jacques Cavallier Belletrud on November 5. Each scent was inspired by nature and comes in a white ceramic pot, designed by Marc Newson.

    Each candle also features a camel-colored strap, which is made from the same natural leather used for classic Louis Vuitton handbags.

    louis vuitton candles

    According to a press release Louis Vuitton provided to INSIDER, these straps, as well as the ceramic pots, were designed by Newson to look like "outfits" for each candle.

    While the packaging looks chic, it's also functional. The gold lid that comes with each pot can be used as a coaster, and the leather straps move so that the candles can be carried more easily, almost like a purse. 

    And because each candle features identical packaging, different color wicks are used to differentiate each scent.

    louis vuitton candles

    Each scent created by Belletrud, a perfumer who first worked with the brand in 2012 to create its signature perfumes, was inspired by nature scenes found throughout the four seasons.

    The L’Air du Jardin candle, for example, was inspired by the spring scent of "the first rosebuds from the garden," according to the press release. The Feuilles d’Or candle, however, is meant to smell like "scorched underbrush that permeates clothes during a walk in the woods," which seems appropriate for the fall.

    For the winter, the Dehors Il Neige candle is scented like "the magic of snowflakes as they fall," and those who are missing summer weather can light the Île Blanche scent, which was inspired by "the warm island sun steeped in a veil of white cotton."

    louis vuitton candles

    The candles will be available from November 5 on the Louis Vuitton website here, and at select Louis Vuitton boutiques.

    Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 'Game of Thrones' star Maisie Williams has left Arya Stark behind to help fight nepotism in the arts industries

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    greg stephen

    • Iowa City, Iowa, basketball coach Greg Stephen pleaded guilty to charges involving the sexual exploitation of at least 400 boys.
    • Over several years, Stephen took videos of himself fondling players as they slept, made videos of them while they were nude, and even posed as girls on social media to exploit them.
    • He had a hard drive with folders for at least 400 boys with explicit photos and videos of them.
    • Stephen also disguised cameras in smoke detectors and bath towels to spy on children.

    A popular youth basketball coach admitted to sexually exploiting at least 400 children over several years.

    Greg Stephen, coach and co-founder of the Iowa Barnstormers of the Amateur Athletic Union, pleaded guilty to seven charges, pleaded guilty to seven charges, including sexually exploiting minors and possessing and transporting child pornography. Stephen revealed that he'd taken videos of himself fondling young players as they slept, made videos of them showering, and posed as girls on social media to trick them into masturbating on camera.

    Stephen, 42, led a prestigious Adidas-sponsored program for the top players in the state between the ages of nine and 17, viewed as a feeder for top college basketball teams in the country. He was arrested in March, shocking the state's basketball community.

    greg stephen mugshot

    In a plea agreement filed Thursday in a federal court in Cedar Rapids and viewed by the Associated Press, Stephen revealed new details about his abuse of hundreds of children. He pleaded guilty to sexually exploiting minors and possessing and transporting child pornography, in addition to five other crimes.

    As a condition of his plea deal, Stephen will be allowed to appeal the decision of the courts to admit evidence discovered by  his brother-in-law, Vaughn Ellison. In February, Ellison — working on a remodeling job at Stephen's home — discovered a secret recording device hidden within the walls

    Stephen said he maintained a hard drive that had folders for at least 400 different boys, each with explicit photos and videos of the children in his program. He also disguised smoke detectors, and bath towel hooks in his homes as cameras, and on at least one occasion drugged a boy in his care, according to the plea agreement.

    If convicted on the charges, Stephen will face a minimum of 15 years to up to 120 years. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation has said that it's still willing to talk to new victims who may have yet come forward.

    The Stephen case follows the conviction of Larry Nassar, the former University of Michigan sports doctor, who is serving decades in prison after hundreds of women accused him of sexual assault. The case that raised awareness about sexual abuse in youth sports programs and sent a shockwave through the entire USA Gymnastics organization.

    For more, head to INSIDER's homepage.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Never eat the 'clean' part of moldy bread

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    mbs khashoggi erdogan

    • Turkish officials have continuously leaked intelligence reports about journalist Jamal Khashoggi's killing to US and Turkish media as Saudi Arabia tries to absolve its leadership from it.
    • Many senior officials, including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, are also issuing increasingly bold accusations directly implicating the Saudi leadership in Khashoggi's death.
    • Experts say this shows that Turkey is trying to extract some kind of concession from Saudi Arabia, which could come in the form of new contracts or an informal payment.
    • Turkey and Saudi Arabia have a fraught relationship, and are both vying to be leaders in the region.

    As Saudi Arabia attempts to distance itself from the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, Turkey has challenged Riyadh's version of events at every turn.

    Intelligence reports, such as surveillance footage showing a Saudi body double wearing Khashoggi's clothes around Istanbul, are being leaked to US and Turkish media outlets at an increasing pace. Turkish officials are also issuing increasingly bold accusations directly implicating Saudi leadership in the killing.

    President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to reveal the "naked truth" behind Khashoggi's killing, suggesting that the Saudi claims last Friday that Khashoggi died of a physical altercation gone wrong was inconsistent.

    Omer Celik, the spokesman of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), also claimed on Monday that the killing "was planned in an extremely savage manner," and suggested that "there has been a lot of effort to whitewash this,"Agence-France Presse reported.

    Turkey's continuous leaks and assertions against Saudi Arabia could be a sign that Ankara is trying to use its intelligence to extract some kind of concession from Riyadh.

    Experts suspect Turkey's trying to get a deal out of Saudi Arabia

    Mohammed bin Salman

    Lisel Hintz, an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies, told Business Insider that Turkey's latest actions were "indicative of the Turkish government trying to see what price it can extract from the intelligence it has."

    "Turkey is trying to, through informal channels [like leaks to the media and public statements], let Saudi Arabia know what they have on them or at least claim that they know so that they can extract some kind of price," she said.

    "I don't know what they'd be — defense contracts, construction contracts, and informal payoff — I don't know," Hintz continued. "But given the behavior and leaking of information through these informal channels, it seems as though they [Turkish officials] are trying to let Saudi Arabia know they have something on them, and that might be up for sale."

    jamal khashoggi enter saudi embassy

    Ceylan Yeginsu, The New York Times' former Turkey correspondent, also suggested that Turkey was trying to secure some kind of deal with Saudi Arabia through its leaks.

    Yeginsu tweeted on Monday: "The fact that the Turks are contining [sic] to leak details about [Khashoggi's] killing suggests that they haven't reached a deal with Riyadh.

    "They have until tomorrow when Erdogan is expected to reveal all the details of the investigation 'in full nakedness.'"

    Since Khashoggi's disappearance, Ankara has flip-flopped from accusing Riyadh of murder, to refusing to blame the Saudi leadership, to now suggesting that the kingdom planned the murder and attempted to "whitewash" the entire case.

    Neil Quilliam, a senior research fellow with Chatham House's Middle East and North Africa program, told Business Insider last week that Turkish officials "were prepared to offer the Saudis a way out of the crisis — at least provide them with an off-ramp — but given the Saudi response or lack of it, the authorities continue to share more and more details."

    Both Turkey and Saudi Arabia are vying to be leaders in the region

    Mecca Islam worship

    Turkey and Saudi Arabia's relationship is a tenuous one. Both countries are vying to be the leader of the Sunni Muslim world, but have different models of what it should look like: Turkey's model fuses Islam with liberal democratic elements, while Saudi's version is more conservative and fundamentalist.

    Turkey under Erdogan has teamed up with the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, two organizations that Saudi Arabia considers to be terrorists.

    Ankara also publicly backed Qatar, Saudi's enemy in the region, when Riyadh and its allies severed diplomatic relations with it in June 2017.

    That's not to say the two countries are arch enemies, however. Turkey, whose currency dramatically collapsed this summer, sees Saudi as a potential investor in its economy.

    Be wary of Turkish leaks

    Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks during the sixth Congress of the ruling AK Party (AKP) in Ankara, Turkey, August 18, 2018.

    Turkish intelligence, leaked anonymously in US and Turkish media, can't be blindly trusted.

    State-run Turkish media organizations, such as Daily Sabah and Yeni Safak, have published explosive but unverified claims — including those that Khashoggi recorded the moment of his killing on his Apple Watch. (Tech experts have since questioned that claim.)

    Both Sabah and Yeni Safak have published fake news in the past, the BBC reported.

    Unnamed Turkish officials have also repeatedly claimed to have an audio recording of Khashoggi's last moments, but multiple US and European intelligence officers said they never received it.

    US President Donald Trump has questioned the existence of these recordings. "So far, we've heard about it, but nobody has seen it," he said Saturday, adding that included the FBI and CIA to his knowledge.

    Hintz said: "I think that US commentators, media, and government have maybe been relying too much what they [Turkish state media] are sharing is fact and not critically questioning the fact that the Turkish government has immense incentive to claim they have this information."

    She added that pro-government newspapers that have been covering the crisis tend to print whatever the government wants them to print.

    "It's worth being circumspect about the veracity of these claims," Hintz said. "Ties between the AKP and those newspapers are very close. There's nothing in those papers being printed that's not at least being approved by the government, if not being handed to them" before publication.

    SEE ALSO: Here's everything we know about the troubling disappearance and death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Inside the Trump 'MAGA' hat factory

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    david's bridal

    • On October 15, David's Bridal missed a $270 million loan payment.
    • Now, it seems that there's a "very high likelihood" that the wedding retailer will file for bankruptcy, or restructure its debts.
    • Online, people are having mixed reactions to the news.
    • Some are surprised.
    • While some brides are clamoring to get their wedding dresses before it's too late.

    On October 15, David's Bridal missed a $270 million loan payment. Now, it seems that there's a "very high likelihood" that the wedding retailer will file for bankruptcy or restructure its debts, Mathew Christy, an S&P Global Rating analyst told USA Today.

    The company has a 30-day grace period to make the missed payment, but it seems unlikely that it will do so, per Christy. Failing to make a loan payment often predicates filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

    Online, people are having mixed reactions to the news.

    Some people were caught off guard.

    Others think it's a sign of the "retail apocalypse."

    And quite a few think this means now is the time to buy a wedding dress.

    But David's Bridal doesn't want customers to worry. "Our financial outlook is strong and we have ample liquidity to meet our key business objectives today and in the future," a spokesperson for the company told INSIDER.

    It doesn't expect that the experience will change much for shoppers at the national bridal boutique.

    "We do not expect this process to materially impact our business or interfere with day-to-day operations or our relationships with vendors and customers," they said.

    Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Why a homeowner designed his house for his 24 rescue cats

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    Marlon Mack

    We're in the thick of the NFL season, with bye weeks now a critical part of the week-to-week calculations of any fantasy player.

    For the next four weeks of the NFL season, at least four teams will be on bye. You will likely have to make some tough choices over which boom-or-bust receiver to slot in or which backup quarterback you trust to get the job done.

    Below, we've collected 12 potential waiver-wire targets for fantasy players looking to improve their rosters before bye weeks begin to interrupt their lineups.

    All ownership percentages come from ESPN, and scoring is based on a standard ESPN points-per-reception format.

    Mitch Trubisky, QB, Chicago Bears

    ESPN fantasy ownership: 51.1%

    Week 7 stats: 333 passing yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions, 81 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown — 31.4 fantasy points

    One thing to know: Mitch Trubisky's six touchdown performance in Week 4 is looking less and less like a fluke with each passing week. Trubisky has been a top-five fantasy quarterback in each of his past three weeks playing, finishing in the top two twice. If you've been disappointed in your quarterback play, or are looking for a solid second starter, you should pick him up before someone else does.

    Marlon Mack, RB, Indianapolis Colts

    ESPN fantasy ownership: 53.9%

    Week 7 stats: 126 rushing yards, two catches, 33 receiving yards, two total touchdowns — 31.9 fantasy points

    One thing to know: Marlon Mack torched the Buffalo Bills defense in a dominant performance, and should be set for another big day next week as he faces off against the lowly Oakland Raiders.

    Latavius Murray, RB, Minnesota Vikings

    ESPN fantasy ownership: 70.6%

    Week 7 stats: 69 rushing yards, two touchdowns — 22.3 fantasy points

    One thing to know: The Vikings rushing attack has been getting along just fine despite the injury to Dalvin Cook, with Latavius Murray managing the workload well, going off for 22 fantasy points in back-to-back weeks. Even if Cook does return from injury soon, expect Murray to have significant value moving forward.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    hong kong bridg 16.JPG

    After nine years of construction and controversy, China will officially unveil the world's longest sea bridge at a Tuesday ceremony in Hong Kong. At more than 34 miles long, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge is part of a master plan to create a global science and technology hub by connecting two Chinese territories, Hong Kong and Macau (the world's largest gambling center), to nine nearby cities.

    With an economic output of $1.5 trillion, the new mega-region— known as the Greater Bay Area — is positioned to rival the Silicon Valley. The plan also includes the construction of an $11 billion bullet train, which opened in September. 

    The bridge is expected to open to traffic on Wednesday, though only certain vehicles — shuttles, freight cars, and privates cars with permits — are allowed to cross. Pedestrians and bicyclists are prohibited. 

    While some have criticized the structure as a waste of taxpayer dollars, others tout its ability to connect up to 70 million people in the region.

    Take a look at its remarkable design below. 

    The $20 billion structure is 20 times longer than the Golden Gate Bridge.

    The title of world's largest sea bridge previously belonged to the Qingdao Jiaozhou Bay Bridge, which stretches 26.3 miles.

    The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge is designed to last for more than a century, and has the capacity to withstand major storms and earthquakes.

    The structure can hold up in the face of 211 mile-an-hour winds. These claims were put to the test in September, when Typhoon Mangkhut swept through Hong Kong, destroying roofs, shattering windows, and toppling trees.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    GettyImages WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 04: Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) (C) leaves a secure meeting space inside the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center after reviewing the FBI report about alleged sexual assaults by Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh October 04, 2018 in Washington, DC. Kavanaugh's confirmation process was halted for less than a week so that FBI investigators could look into allegations by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a California professor who has accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her during a party in 1982 when they were high school students in suburban Maryland. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

    • South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham is campaigning for Republicans on a 12-state tour at the request of President Donald Trump.
    • Graham's status has been elevated since he vigorously defended Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh his the tumultuous confirmation hearings.
    • Campaigning against Democratic colleagues is a first for Graham, who has typically stayed on the sidelines during election cycles.

    "He knows Lindsey Graham," quipped a woman to her friend after meeting Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul during a campaign event last week for Senate candidate Patrick Morrisey in St. Mary's, West Virginia.

    Katie Arrington, a GOP candidate for a US House seat in South Carolina, called the South Carolina senator "the voice of the Republican Party" upon introducing him at her own rally on Sunday.

    During the first two years of the Trump administration and increasingly over the past few months, Graham has become one of the most popular Republicans among the GOP base in the current political climate, shedding his reputation as a "RINO," a term used by far-right conservatives to denote that a party member is a "Republican In Name Only."

    Graham has stayed close with President Donald Trump, despite the two having regular public fights in the early days of the 2016 presidential campaign season, which culminated in Trump reading Graham's personal cell phone number on live television.

    Graham and Trump now play golf together on a regular basis. The president has in the past called Graham right after he appeared on television to tell him he "did great." Now, Graham is embarking on a 12-state tour to boost Republican campaigns on behalf of the Republican National Committee and at Trump's request.

    RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel called Graham "a key ally in confirming Justice Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court" in announcing the multi-state swing to stump for Republicans.

    Graham's stature rose after the Brett Kavanaugh hearings

    To call Graham a key ally would be an understatement. Graham dramatically altered the narrative and tone of the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings by becoming the first Republican senator to drop the outside counsel brought in to probe Kavanaugh, then an embattled nominee whose confirmation hanged by a thread.

    When Republicans convened for their conference meeting after the Kavanaugh hearing concluded, Graham received a standing ovation from his GOP colleagues. Multiple senators told Business Insider that Graham's performance had fired the up and changed the overall tone.

    And the praise echoed from the smallest circles in Graham's home state all the way to other foes, like conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh.

    "Lindsey was the hero of the Republican Party yesterday and of conservatives everywhere," Rick Tate, a South Carolina GOP chairman in Pickens County, told the Charleston Post and Courier.

    "Conservatives will not forget Lindsey standing up for Kavanaugh yesterday," Tate added. "It will be in the minds of conservatives as long as Lindsey is in public office. It will be one of the hallmarks of his career."

    Limbaugh suggested that Graham has changed his personality since the death of John McCain, his friend and fellow Republican senator.

    "I will say that since McCain has passed away, Lindsey Graham seems more like the guy I knew back in the nineties," Limbaugh said on October 9. "That's all I'll say."

    'I've never campaigned against a colleague in my life. That's about to change'

    And Graham's tour, during which he will serve as the GOP's campaign pit bull, is a major break in tradition for him after 15 years in the Senate. 

    "I've never campaigned against a colleague in my life. That's about to change," Graham said on Fox News Sunday earlier this month. "I'm going to go throughout this country and let people in these purple states, red states, where Trump won know what I thought, know what I think about this process."

    Several of the states on Graham's 12-state tour include red states where his Democratic colleagues in the Senate are facing tough re-election battles, such as Florida, Missouri, Indiana, Montana, and Ohio. Notably not on the list is West Virginia, home to Joe Manchin, the only Democratic senator to vote for Kavanaugh.

    Manchin is dealing with his own race where other lawmakers, officials, and conservative personalities are swinging through to assist in unseating him, though limited polling in the state suggests he is maintaining a healthy lead. Still, Manchin said he does not like the idea of colleagues gunning for one another during campaign season.

    "I've never campaigned against a Republican in the center, I've never given money to a Democrat that's running against a Republican in the Senate for incumbents," he told Business Insider. "I don't think it should be done. I used to hear that's the way it was done before. It's an unwritten rule — you don't do that."

    SEE ALSO: Republican Patrick Morrisey is betting that bipartisanship is dead in his Senate race against Democrat Joe Manchin in deep-red West Virginia

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    new girl outfits

    On the hit show "New Girl," Zooey Deschanel's character, Jessica Day, is known for two things: her relatably awkward personality, and her adorably quirky wardrobe. Her outfits are basically an extension of her personality, meaning she's always wearing something unapologetically feminine and sweet, with something unique thrown into the mix.

    Fans of the show tuned in each week, looking forward to seeing what Jess was wearing just as much as they were looking forward to seeing what kind of new mess she was going to get herself into that episode. Jessica Day ended up becoming a slightly unexpected fashion icon of sorts.

    Below are a few of the best looks she donned throughout the entirety of the show:

    When she wore this perfect version of her classic combo.

    This is a great example of a classic Jess Day outfit: a cute patterned skirt and a top with feminine details. The ruffled top with the polka dots is fun and quirky.

    When she stepped out of her comfort zone and got really dressed up.

    Jess was known for wearing girly dresses and lots of color, but not for wearing anything tight or "sexy." This black lace dress was one of the few times she really went all out, and she looked fantastic — the pops of color in the shoes and necklace kept her true to her character.

    When she looked nautical (and comfortable) in this striped romper.

    Jess wasn't exactly known for being laid-back, but this white and black striped romper made her appear that way… at least for a few scenes. It's simple but still adorable.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • A “headless chicken monster” was spotted floating in Southern Ocean waters off East Antarctica.
    • The official name for this “monster” is Enypniastes eximia.
    • It has been caught on film only once before, last year in the Gulf of Mexico.
    • Researchers hope the rare footage will help the push for the creation of a new Antarctic conservation zone.


    A "headless chicken monster" was spotted floating in Southern Ocean waters off East Antarctica.

    Australian researchers were able to film the monster — actually a deep-sea cucumber — for the first time in the region thanks to a new technology attached to toothfish longlines.

    "Some of the footage we are getting back from the cameras is breathtaking, including species we have never seen in this part of the world," Australia’s CCAMLR Commissioner Gillian Slocum said in a statement.

    The official name for this "monster" is Enypniastes eximia. It has only been caught on film once before, last year in the Gulf of Mexico.

    "It looks a bit like a chicken just before you put it in oven," Dirk Welsford, the program leader for the Australian Antarctic Division, told The New York Times. "From a research point of view, it’s very interesting, because no one has seen that species that far south before."

    Some people have welcomed their new "headless chicken monster" master.

    But others haven't quite embraced the discovery yet. 


    Sea cucumbers are an important part of the marine ecosystem, but some are on the brink of extinction due to overfishing. Researchers hope the rare footage will help the push for the creation of a new Antarctic conservation zone.

    The data collected will be presented at the annual Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) meeting this week. It will also include proposals to improve the way CCAMLR responds to the impacts of climate change.

    "The Southern Ocean is home to an incredible abundance and variety of marine life, including commercially sought-after species, the harvesting of which must be carefully managed for future generations," Australian Antarctic Division Program Leader Dr. Dirk Welsford said.

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    Walmart employees

    • Walmart isn't hiring a ton of seasonal employees for the holiday rush this year.
    • This holiday strategy stands in contrast with that of other retailers, like Target.
    • A Walmart representative told Business Insider that the chain's practice reflects the investment it's put into training its associates.

    The holidays are fast approaching, but Walmart isn't following the trend of bulking up its workforce with a slew of seasonal hires.

    For the third year in a row, the retail giant plans to handle the holiday rush by offering its 1.5 million US-based employees extra hours in order to handle the holiday rush. This strategy sets Walmart apart from retailers, like Amazon and Kohl's, that bring in temporary workers during the busier times of the year.

    "Many associates are interested in working extra hours during the holidays," a Walmart representative told Time.

    A Walmart representative told Business Insider that the strategy reflects the chain's investment in training its associates.

    "We've got a really strong, trained workforce that's able to take on those hours," the representative said.

    The representative said that extra hours are there for associates who want them throughout the year, but added that associates aren't forced to take on more hours.

    Back in 2016, the organization OUR Walmart successfully petitioned for a new scheduling system that enabled associates to ask for more hours.

    Nowadays, Walmart's policy of relying on associates might spare the employer somewhat amidst a tight job market that favors "employees over employers,"Business Insider's Rachel Premack reported.

    The job market is causing problems for retailers that rely on the labor of seasonal workers. Business Insider's Mary Hanbury reported that Target, JCPenney, Kohl's, and Macy's will likely feel the pinch during the annual hunt for seasonal workers.

    SEE ALSO: Walmart says it will save more than $200 million by making 2 minor changes

    DON'T MISS: Walmart employees dish on what it's actually like to work at the retail giant

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    NOW WATCH: We tested Walmart's ice-cream sandwiches, which supposedly don't melt, and were mystified by the results

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    • Visa policies vary from country to country.
    • Some countries require Americans to secure a visa in advance of their arrival, while others allow Americans to get a visa on arrival or don't require visas at all.
    • In the graphic below, see every country Americans need a visa to visit, and how difficult it is to obtain.

    Before you go on any international trip, you'll need to do some research about the visa requirements of your destination country.

    There are a few different ways visas are offered. Some countries offer Americans a visa on arrival, meaning you won't have to apply for a visa in advance; you'll simply get yours at customs after you land.

    Other countries require Americans to get a visa — in their passports or electronically — before arrival. And there are several countries that are visa-free for Americans, meaning your passport is enough to get you through the airport.

    Consult the graphic below to see what the visa policy is for each country. Countries that are colored gray don't require Americans to have a visa, while the dark blue countries offer visas on arrival and the light blue countries require visas in advance.

    If your destination requires a visa in advance, make sure you visit the US State Department website to find the specific requirements and start the application process, which varies by country.

    5b84258b8ea82f1d008b58bf 960 1483

    SEE ALSO: The ultimate guide to traveling around the world, from how to pack your suitcase to how much you'll be paying for a beer

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    Susan Wojcicki Sun Valley

    Google's business prospects in Europe seem to grow bleaker all the time.

    The company faces multiple probes, fines, and new rules that could raise costs and slice into revenue.
    On Monday, Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, appealed for help from the people who post clips to the web's top video-sharing site.

    In a blog post to YouTube's creators, Wojcicki wrote that a new piece of legislation in Europe threatens to "shut down the ability of millions of people ... to upload content to platforms like YouTube," and is "a threat to both your livelihood and your ability to share your voice with the world ... tell the world through social media and your channel why the creator economy is important and how this legislation will impact you."

    Click hereto read more about Wojcicki's letter to YouTube creators.

    In other news:

    A second Oculus cofounder is leaving Facebook after reportedly clashing with management. Oculus cofounder and former CEO Brendan Iribe announced on Monday that he would be leaving Facebook.

    Netflix and YouTube combine for over 70% of the time teens spend watching video, as cable TV slumps. According to a survey by Piper Jaffray, cable TV has seen a stark decline since 2015, almost being cut in half in terms of time spent by teens.

    'If you're open on Thanksgiving, it's hard not to pitch yourself as a greedy bastard': REI's CEO reveals why closing on Black Friday is a smart business move. CEO Jerry Stritzke told Business Insider that closing on Black Friday is the right ethical decision and a smart business move, even as competitors open earlier.

    Toys R Us' demise is having a devastating effect on America's largest toy companies.Hasbro and Mattel are finding it hard to cope in a world without Toys R Us.

    New York City's first Amazon Go cashierless store will open near the World Trade Center, reports Recode. Amazon's version of a futuristic 7-Eleven store is coming to New York City.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales: There's going to be an 'enormous backlash' against Donald Trump's lies

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    Blake Lively

    • Blake Lively has her own unique style. 
    • But people can't help but notice that she and one of her most famous characters Serena van der Woodsen's, who she played on "Gossip Girl" have had some similar style moments. 
    • From her Met Gala gowns to her street style, we rounded up some of the most "Serena" outfits she's worn.

    Blake Lively's real-life style has a bit in common with Serena van der Woodsen's, who she played on "Gossip Girl."

    It's not surprising considering Lively collaborated with costume designers to find Serena's signature style, according to Vogue. 

    Here are 16 times Blake Lively's outfits looked like something Serena van der Woodson would wear on "Gossip Girl." 

    When she dressed the part on Valentine's Day

    It’s show time...

    A post shared by Blake Lively (@blakelively) on Feb 14, 2018 at 11:25am PST on

    This was Lively's 2018 Valentine's Day look, and it would fit right in on a Valentine's Day episode of "Gossip Girl."

    Serena loved themed outfits (remember when she looked like a Grecian goddess during the White party episode?), and Lively nailed this festive red look. 

    When she went all in on business casual

    Boss. Baby.

    A post shared by Blake Lively (@blakelively) on Sep 3, 2018 at 6:35pm PDT on

    While promoting her flick "A Simple Favor," Lively wore pantsuits everywhere. Some of the most memorable Serena looks were when she wore dramatic, heavily-accessorized interpretations of "business casual" attire, and Lively's similar take on menswear is equally killer.

    When she rocked a necklace as a shirt

    A necklace counts as a shirt, right??

    A post shared by Blake Lively (@blakelively) on Aug 23, 2018 at 6:04am PDT on

    Lively often takes fashion risks, like wearing a necklace as a shirt. A lot of Serena's style was about taking risks, which is why this velvet pantsuit has a "Gossip Girl" feel. 

    When she brought back the bodycon dress

    blake lively a quiet place premiereSerena loved a bodycon silhouette, especially if it was a Herve Leger wrap dress, and Lively is also known to rock a bodycon dress.

    Seen here at the premiere of "A Quiet Place," Lively channeled one of Serena's more glamorous night-out looks, which — let's be real — was nearly every look.

    When she mixed prints like a champ

    Good thing I’m not asked to design school uniforms... they would be very EXTRA.

    A post shared by Blake Lively (@blakelively) on Aug 22, 2018 at 5:21pm PDT on

    Mixing prints was Serena's specialty and it seems to be Lively's, too.

    Plus, her Instagram caption gave a nod to school uniforms, which is one of Serena's signature looks in early seasons of the show. 

    When she looked like actual royalty at the 2018 Met Gala

    Warrior Queen— @reedmorano I will follow you into any battle. Except, maybe if we could change out of our corsets first?...

    A post shared by Blake Lively (@blakelively) on May 8, 2018 at 9:11pm PDT on

    Serena attended many formal events in show-stopping gowns, and that's something that Lively often channels in her own life. She looked like a queen of New York in her Met Gala gown. Serena would be proud.  

    Read More: 26 of Serena van der Woodsen's most iconic outfits on 'Gossip Girl'

    When she made blazers look elegant

    A post shared by Blake Lively (@blakelively) on

    Styling a blazer isn't always easy, but Lively has made the look effortless and elegant. It's reminiscent of one of Serena's biggest fashion moves, which was throwing a blazer over a fitted dress or pairing it with a skirt ensemble

    When she basically looked like she was a student at Constance Billard School for Girls

    A post shared by Blake Lively (@blakelively) on

    Lively wore this outfit to Versace's 2018 Met Gala after-party, which was held at the Mark Hotel. The hotel, which is located in NYC's Upper East Side, is exactly where a lot of "Gossip Girl" took place.

    Lively's plaid skirt seems loosely inspired by the uniforms from Constance Billard School for Girls.

    When Lively served up vacation style

    A post shared by Blake Lively (@blakelively) on

    We could totally see Serena wearing this on a jet-set vacation because Serena was always dressed to the nines when she traveled

    When she honestly looked like a princess

    ...One of these shoes is not mine.

    A post shared by Blake Lively (@blakelively) on Apr 28, 2018 at 5:17pm PDT on

    Like Serena, Lively is no stranger to an elegant gown complete with whimsical accessories. 

    When the actress pulled off a pop of green

    A post shared by Blake Lively (@blakelively) on

    Serena was always able to pull off a statement piece, and she did so often. There was almost always at least one colorful or printed piece in every outfit.

    Lively's green, cheetah-print pants look like something Serena would definitely wear to complete a look. 

    When she rocked this all-yellow ensemble

    A post shared by Blake Lively (@blakelively) on

    Blake Lively can rock a colorful look, and it's not the first time she's done so. When she was playing Serena, she rocked a solid, bright blue dress

    When she dressed in full-body jewels

    A post shared by Blake Lively (@blakelively) on

    Like this look, the fashion on "Gossip Girl" was never subtle. Serena wasn't afraid of some sparkle, and Lively's pink-hued bejeweled dress is certainly a statement piece. 

    When she looked like springtime on the Upper East Side

    A post shared by Blake Lively (@blakelively) on

    Serena really flexed her fashion know-how on "Gossip Girl" during the winter months when she rocked the most effortless coat and scarf combinations.

    However, Serena's springtime NYC looks also looked great. Here, Lively seemed to channel her best "Serena in May" look with this bohemian midi-length dress.

    When she rocked lots of layers

    blake lively dior two jackets coatsLike her "Gossip Girl" character, Lively knows how to layer. At a Dior show during 2018 Paris Fashion week, Lively pulled off not one, but two, winter coats in a single look.

    This look certainly reminded us of Serena's multi-layer winter look. 

    When she threw it back to Serena's loose tie era 

    blake lively tieSerena commonly wore a loose necktie to school, and at the at the Paris premiere of "A Simple Favor," Lively seemingly took a cue from her former onscreen character's playbook

    Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.

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    nasdaq times square dotcom bubble 2000

    • A troubling pattern has emerged as the third-quarter earnings season enters its peak.
    • Investors are not rewarding companies that beat earnings and sales expectations, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
    • This is happening for the first time since the tech bubble burst in 2000, and it can be interpreted as a late-cycle signal.

    Earnings season is still in its early days, but a troubling pattern has emerged.

    It was exemplified Tuesday by Caterpillar. The global maker of heavy equipment reported third-quarter profits that topped Wall Street's expectations. And yet, its shares slumped by as much as 7% in trading after the company warned that its material costs were rising.

    Several other companies that have beaten Wall Street profit expectations in the third quarter have not been rewarded by investors after the fact. And according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, it's a clear signal that the record-setting bull market in stocks is approaching its end.

    "One of the signposts that was triggered since 2Q17 continues to worsen," Savita Subramanian, BAML's head of US equity and quant strategy, said in a note to clients on Sunday.

    "A lack of reward for EPS & sales beats is typically a later-stage bull market signal, suggesting that the good news is priced in."

    There have been four quarters since the second quarter of 2017 in which companies that beat Wall Street's expectations were rewarded the next day with a share-price rally of less than 1 percentage point, Subramanian added.

    But this is the first quarter since 2000 in which companies that beat on earnings are seeing a negative reaction in the stock market.

    Screen Shot 2018 10 23 at 8.46.25 AM

    Every company's case is different, but some common themes are emerging that are likely to dominate investors' minds as earnings season enters its peak period.

    One of these themes is forward guidance on the impact of US tariffs on Chinese goods, which now apply to $250 billion worth of imports — about half of all that is brought in from the country. Caterpillar said it expected cost cuts to offset the higher prices caused by tariffs, but investors are skeptical.

    Another overarching theme on investors' minds is that earnings growth may peak this quarter.

    Subramanian cautioned clients not to confuse that with peaking profits. She noted that returns in the three and six months after a peak in earnings growth were still positive and close to average.

    And so, perhaps the emergence of this trend should not be taken as a sell-all trigger. Still, it may be another reason to start positioning for the next bear market in earnest.

    SEE ALSO: Global investors haven't been this bearish on the economy since the financial crisis — and Bank of America says there's only one way to play it

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    afm case

    • Acute Flaccid Myelitis, a polio-like illness affecting mostly young children, is spreading across the US.
    • Officials at the Centers for Disease Control said on Monday the number of confirmed and suspected cases has spiked in the last month, with now up to 155 cases in 22 states.
    • AFM affects the nervous system, causing paralysis that can lead to potentially deadly respiratory failure.

    The outbreak of a polio-like disease called Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) keeps growing, with nearly 30 new suspected cases across the United States in the last week.

    Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed on Monday that the number of suspected AFM cases has grown to 155, though medical experts are still baffled as to what is causing the spike in the rare illness.

    The number of confirmed cases has remained the same since last Tuesday, with 62 cases across 22 states. Still, that's a stark increase from September 20, when there were just 28 confirmed cases in 16 states.

    AFM is a condition that mostly affects young children, with 90% of the cases in this recent outbreak affecting those under the age of 18. The average patient age is four years old.

    The disease can often start with what appears to be a common cold, but patients will then begin to lose control of their arms and legs. Especially bad cases can deteriorate to potentially deadly respiratory failure. Last year, one person died from AFM in the US.

    acute flaccid myelitis

    Medical experts still don't know much about the rare disease, which strikes just one in 1 million Americans. It's believed that viruses like polio, West Nile, and various enteroviruses (which cause the common cold) may be linked to AFM.

    The children involved in this outbreak have tested negative for polio and West Nile, and there are no other common viruses that seem to link them together, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said on the CDC conference call last Tuesday.

    "We have not been able to find a cause for the majority of these AFM cases," she said. "The reason why we don’t know about AFM — and I am frustrated that despite all of our efforts we haven’t been able to identify the cause of this mystery illness — we continue to investigate."

    The CDC wouldn't specify which states have seen cases, but news coverage shows the impacted states include Washington, Minnesota, Maryland, Virginia, Illinois, Colorado, New York, Georgia, and Massachusetts.

    One thing researchers have noticed is that since 2014, the number of cases seems to spike every two years in August or September, the Washington Post pointed out.

    afm cases reported

    The CDC officials said they decided to speak out about the outbreak so that parents can be on the look out for the symptoms. There is no known cure for the disease, but children who are caught with the condition earlier on have been able to gain at least some movement with intense physical therapy.

    The officials said that parents can try to prevent the disease by making their kids regularly wash their hands, keep them up to date on their vaccinations, and spray them with insect repellent when they go outdoors to prevent mosquito bites.

    "As a parent myself, I understand what it is like to be scared for your child," Messonnier said. "Parents need to know that AFM is very rare, even with the increase in cases that we are seeing now. We recommend seeking medical care right away if you or your child develop sudden weakness of the arms or legs."

    SEE ALSO: People in at least 22 states have come down with a rare polio-like illness this year — here's what to know about it

    DON'T MISS: Minnesota is grappling with an outbreak of AFM

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    fish microplastics

    • Austrian researchers have found evidence that tiny plastic particles – or microplastics — can be found in human feces.
    • Though the study analyzed the stool samples of only eight people, all of them tested positive for plastic.
    • Microplastics are harmful to marine life, but their effect on humans is still unknown.
    • The World Health Organization launched an investigation earlier this year after a separate study found plastic in 90% of water bottles tested.

    A group of Austrian researchers have found evidence that microplastics — extremely small particles of plastic beads, fibers, or fragments — accumulate in human feces.

    Scientists from the Environment Agency Austria and the Medical University of Vienna analyzed the stool samples of eight participants from all over the world, including Italy, Japan, Poland, the Netherlands, Russian, the United Kingdom, Finland, and Austria.

    Throughout the study, the participants recorded what they ate in the week prior to their stool sampling. They all drank from plastic bottles or consumed plastic-wrapped foods in that time, according to the study. All eight stool samples tested positive for microplastics.

    According to the study, published Monday in the United European Gastroenterology Journal, up to nine types of plastic were found in the stool samples. 

    Researchers noted that the microplastics, which can form when larger pieces of plastic break down, could help transmit toxic chemicals and pathogens into the human body. They also noted that the particles could weaken the immune response of the gut.

    Plastic manufacturing has skyrocketed around the world in the last two decades; almost half of all the plastic ever made has been manufactured in the 21st century. But only 20% of plastic is recycled, National Geographic reported, and people continue to buy a global average of nearly 1 million plastic bottles per minute.

    About 18 billion pounds of plastic flow into oceans each year. After sea animals consume some of this plastic, humans are likely to ingest it through tuna, shrimp, or lobster, the study said. In addition, humans likely consume plastic that enters products from food processing systems.

    Monday's study may be the first to show the presence of plastics in the human gut, and it comes a few months after the World Health Organization announced it would investigate the potential effects of plastic on human health. The WHO launched the review in March after a separate study found microplastics in 90% of 259 bottles.

    Previous studies have shown that plastic is present in the food and drinks we consume, including fish and water, though it remains unclear how microplastics affect our bodies.

    SEE ALSO: Bottled water from major brands like Aquafina, Nestle, and Dasani contains tiny plastic particles — here's what that does to your body

    SEE ALSO: SodaStream built a 1000-foot-long contraption called the 'Holy Turtle' to collect plastic from the ocean

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    Sad trader

    Wall Street shuddered Tuesday, mirroring a risk-off sentiment around the world, as geopolitical tensions and the prospect of slowing economic growth continued to rattle investors. 

    The Dow dropped 1.6%, or more than 400 points. The Nasdaq composite fell 1.9%, and the S&P 500 was down 1.6%.  

    "There weren't any major new developments overnight," David Lefkowitz, senior Americas equity strategist at UBS, said in an email. "Instead, the market continues to be focused on some of the macro issues that have been weighing on the market for the past few weeks including higher interest rates, trade frictions, and pockets of softness in the global economy."

    Industrial companies sank after corporate earnings in the sector disappointed. 3M (-8%) missed on both the top and bottom line and slashed its profit forecast for the year. Caterpillar (-7.8%) beat profit expectations but lowered its guidance, warning tariffs would push up its costs. 

    "Earnings results have been good, but not quite as strong as recent quarters," Lefkowitz added. "In the US, results this morning from industrial bellwethers have been mixed, with the outlook highly dependent on specific consumer markets and exposure to cost inflation."

    Across the Atlantic, European stocks dropped to their lowest level in two years as Italy's plans to sharply increase public spending continued to rattle the region. Officials in Brussels have been pushing back against the populist government in Rome, calling the budget an unprecedented breach of European Union fiscal rules. The pan-European Stoxx 600 fell more than 1% to levels not seen since December 2016. 

    That came after a two-day recovery in Shanghai lost steam, giving way to fears about a slowing economy. After decade-low gross domestic product figures battered Chinese stocks, the government jumped in with promises to prop up equities on Friday. But that failed to settle nerves for long, with the Shanghai composite closing down 2.2% on Tuesday. 

    Investors flocked to the relative safety of US government bonds, with the 10-year yield falling nearly seven basis points to 3.126%. Gold, another safehaven, rose more than 1% to a three-month peak at $1,237.71 an ounce.

    Elsewhere, oil sank to its lowest level since September. The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, is expected to report US crude inventories later Tuesday. Last week, Saudi Arabia said it would not resort to an oil embargo in a rift with Washington.

    SEE ALSO: Caterpillar beats, says it sees higher costs ahead (CAT)

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    NOW WATCH: Ray Dalio says the economy looks like 1937 and a downturn is coming in about two years

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