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The latest news from Business Insider

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    Screen Shot 2018 12 19 at 11.49.34

    • A Russian water provider has imposed a sinister way of incentivizing customers to pay their bills on time, according to a BBC report.
    • The "Toilet of Shame" or "Debtors' Toilet" was recently installed outside a tower block in Irkutsk, a town in Siberia, where temperatures dip as low as -28 Celsius.
    • "This is a reminder to all of those who haven't paid their debts," the sign on it reads.
    • It was put in by local supplier The Northern Department of Housing and Communal Systems, spokesperson Alexei Mihailev told the BBC.

    A water company in the freezing Russian region of Siberia has imposed a public "toilet of shame" outside a tower block, to punish residents who don't pay their bills on time.

    The wooden single cubicle, also called the "Debtors' Toilet," in the town of Irkutsk has a sign on it which says: "This is a reminder to all of those who haven't paid their debts."

    The construction was highlighted by Sarah Rainsford, the BBC's Moscow correspondent, in a report for BBC Radio 4's "Today" programme.

    "There is one place in Siberia surely no one wants to be. Well here in the snow and the dirt, outside this tower-block there's a wooden cabin, there's a sign on the door which says "Debtors' toilet," on one side there's an explanation: if they don't pay up they'll be reduced to using outsides toilets like this one. The toilet of shame was installed by Alexei Mihailev, fed up with all the unpaid bils"

    It's there to show people what will happen if their water is shut off because they didn't pay their bills — and temperatures in Irkutsk can reach -28 Celsius in the winter months.

    Local water supplier The Northern Department of Housing and Communal Systems is responsible for the toilet, putting it in the car park outside the tower in November.

    You can see it in place in this video from Rainsford:

    Spokesperson Alexei Mihailev told Rainsford in a segment aired on the Today program on Wednesday that the "Toilet of Shame" is there to scare residents into to paying their bills.

    He also said he wants to remind them that blocking their toilets by using it after his company has cut their water off is annoying.

    Mihailev said: "They go on using the drain after we've shut it off until the pipe backs up and water starts coming out."

    Read more: A Russian Orthodox priest says he will 'pay penance' after flaunting Gucci shoes and Louis Vuitton handbags on InstagramWrangel Island, Siberia

    After they flood their bathrooms, Mihailev said: "They come to us with big round eyes and they have to sign a payment agreement."

    Photos of the toilet first appeared on Russian social media site Vkontakte on November 21.

    While it is legal to shut off people's water supply in Russia, in the UK it is against the law.

    If you are a domestic customer water companies can't, by law, disconnect or restrict your water supply if you owe them money, according to the Citizen's Advice NGO.

    In the US, the case is more complicated, as each state has its own law. In Illinois, for example, a company can shut off the water, but must give you a certain number of days warning to prepare. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Bernie Madoff was arrested 10 years ago today — here's what his life is like in prison


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    Theresa May and Sajid Javid

    LONDON — Theresa May's government has finally unveiled its plans for UK immigration policy after Brexit.

    The plans, published with just 100 days until the UK's departure from the European Union, seeks to overhaul the current system, with EU migrants set to be treated the same as those from elsewhere in the world.

    The proposed system, unveiled by Home Secretary Sajid Javid on Wednesday, will introduce a single immigration system for all citizens, and end the freedom of movement policy which for years has allowed UK and EU citizens to live and work freely in each other's territories without applying for a visa.

    Prime Minister May says the proposals respect the wish of the UK public to reduce levels of immigration. However, business groups say the plans will damage the economy and deprive key sectors of the workers they need.

    Here are five key things you need to know about the government's new plan.

    1. Free movement for EU and UK citizens will end

    European Union EU flag

    At present, the UK accepts workers of all skill levels from the EU but only highly skilled workers from the rest of the world. However, after Brexit, the UK's participation in EU freedom of movement will end.

    May's government wants to replace that system with a single system which applies to EU and non-EU citizens alike. It will only give access to highly skilled and skilled workers, with unskilled workers barred from applying. Those coming to the UK through this route will also have to be sponsored by an employer, marking a radical departure from the current system whereby EU citizens do not even have to apply for a visa.

    Those coming to the UK through this route will be able to bring family members and partners.

    2. Lower-skilled workers will be able to come for a year as 'temporary workers'

    People's Vote Brexit march

    There will also be a temporary worker scheme to allow any skilled citizen from a "low-risk country," likely to include all EU member states, to live and work in the UK for up to 12 months. However, unlike citizens arriving under freedom of movement, people coming under this route will have no rights to access public funds, settle in the UK permanently, or bring family members and loved ones.

    The government says it is also testing a scheme for seasonal agricultural workers in 2019, to test the feasibility of rolling out the scheme nationwide after Brexit. The special exemption for farm workers recognises the fact that the UK's agricultural sector is heavily dependent on seasonal EU labour for jobs such as picking fruit and vegetables.

    3. EU citizens won't have to apply for visas to holiday in the UK

    London Heathrow Airport

    The white paper says EU citizens who want to holiday in the UK will not be required to obtain a visa in advance of their visit. The government says it will make a binding commitment to that policy if the EU agrees. EU tourists will be able to spend up to six months in the UK without having to apply for a visa.

    4. The government is considering £30,000 minimum salary threshold for foreign workers.

    A report from the Migration Advisory Committee, on which much of the government's white paper is based, recommended a minimum salary threshold of £30,000 for workers applying for a visa from abroad. 

    The white paper says it will accept the recommendation for a minimum salary threshold, but it will consult business groups for a year before deciding the exact level. Currently, EU citizens do not have to meet any work requirements to work in the UK.

    5. Business groups say it would be a 'sucker punch' for British firms

    Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May replies to questions after speaking at the Confederation of British Industry's (CBI) annual conference in London, Britain, November 19, 2018.

    The CBI, Britain's largest business group, said the government's proposals would be a "sucker punch" for businesses across the country and said they would damage public confidence as well as the British economy.

    "All skill levels matter to the UK economy. A temporary 12-month route for overseas workers earning under £30,000 would encourage firms to hire a different person each year," the group's Deputy Direct-General Josh Hardie said.

    "That needlessly increases costs and discourages migrants from integrating into local communicates – a key social concern. It’s not good for the public or business."

    "A new immigration system must command public confidence and support the economy. These proposals would achieve neither.

    "The proposals outlined in the White Paper don’t meet the UK’s needs and would be a sucker punch for many firms right across the country.

    "The Government’s own analysis suggests people and regions will be poorer as a result of them."

    SEE ALSO: Conservative MPs threaten to quit the party if Theresa May pursues a no deal Brexit

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Anthony Scaramucci claims Trump isn't a nationalist: 'He likes saying that because it irks these intellectual elitists'


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    bacon cheeseburger

    • Eating red meat and processed meat has been linked to higher cancer rates.
    • But research is increasingly finding that processed meats are much worse for you than other kinds.
    • The average carnivore may be consuming more processed meat than is healthy.
    • Here's what to know when you're shopping.

    If you look closely, the potential for cancer lurks in almost everything we touch and eat, from the plastics we store food in to the receipt paper we touch in the checkout line. That can all make avoiding unhealthy foods feel like a hopeless endeavor.

    But increasingly, scientists are pointing out a few simple items you should avoid if you're worried about cancer risk. 

    A growing body of research shows that regular consumption of processed, cured, or smoked meats like ham, hot dogs, bacon, and sausage can up your odds of developing some deadly cancers. That's largely because processed meats are treated with nitrates — chemical additions that help keep the color of the meat pink and the flavor tasty and salty. 

    "If no one ate processed or red meat in Britain, there would be 8,800 fewer cases of cancer,"The Guardian reported earlier this year. 

    Nibbling a piece of bacon at brunch or chowing down on the occasional hot dog at a ballgame isn't going to kill you, of course. But here's why you shouldn't consume meat that's been salted, cured, or treated with preservatives on an everyday basis. 

    Processed food in general has been linked to some deadly cancers

    processed meats cancer sausage

    A recent French study of more than 100,000 people found that eating more processed food of any kind — including processed meat, sugary drinks, packaged snacks, and prepared frozen dinners — was more closely linked with cancer risk than family history, body-mass index, or even smoking and drinking habits. The researchers couldn't conclude for sure that processed food causes cancer, but it was the most likely culprit. 

    "A 10% increase in the proportion of ultra-processed foods in the diet was associated with significant increases of 12% in the risk of overall cancer, and 11% in the risk of breast cancer," the researchers said. 

    When it comes to red meat, unprocessed stuff like a fresh steak or slice off a pig's belly hasn't conclusively been linked to cancer. Processed meat, however, has.

    According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the average red meat-eater consumes about 500-100 grams of meat each day. If all that meat is processed, meat eaters see their cancer risk rise by 18%.

    This is not a new finding. Dr. Philip Hartman, a cancer expert and biology professor at Johns Hopkins University, told the New York Times back in 1981: "I personally feel cured meat is 9 or 10% of the problem of gastric cancer, and that is not insignificant."

    Processed meat is prepared so that when you're ready to eat it — whether that be a few minutes, hours, days, or weeks after you buy a product — the food will be unspoiled, salted, and ready for consumption. But that convenience can have consequences. 

    "Meat processing such as curing and smoking can result in formation of carcinogenic chemicals including N-nitroso compounds and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons," the IARC says. 

    These compounds include nitrates, which occur naturally in water and some foods but are used artificially as preservatives. Nitrates widen our arteries, and some (like those found naturally in beets) may even boost athletic performance. But too much nitrate in the body can lead to a condition called methemoglobinemia, in which a person's blood not as effective at moving needed oxygen into tissues. It can make one's skin turn bluish and lead to headaches, shortness of breath, and fatigue.

    "Studies have shown increased risks of colon, kidney, and stomach cancer among people with higher ingestion of water nitrate and higher meat intake" the National Institutes of Health says on its website. "Other studies have shown modest evidence that higher nitrate intake can increase the risk of thyroid cancer and ovarian cancer among women."

    A 2018 roundup of studies performed on more than 1.2 million women around the world found those who ate processed meat regularly had a 9% higher risk of developing breast cancer, a small but noticeable increase. 

    If you're trying to avoid nitrates when shopping, it's important to remember that even processed meats labeled as nitrate-free can still have natural nitrates in them from added cane sugar, celery juice, or beetroot juice, as the Times recently reported. 

    When processed meats are grilled, fried, or blackened, cancer risk goes up

    processed meats cancer hot dog

    Adding fire to the mix makes processed meats even more dangerous. For example, the nitrates that help preserve bacon easily turn to nitrosamine, a known cancer-causer, when it's fried. (Even if bacon isn't fried, nitrates can also turn to nitrosamine in our acidic stomach juices.)

    According to the National Cancer Institute, this isn't just a problem for processed meat. When beef, poultry, or fish is cooked over an open flame or pan-fried at high temperatures, the fat and juices those meats release can spark flames that contain dangerous chemicals, which then cook into the meat we eat. Pan-frying, grilling, and barbecuing are some of the most carcinogenic ways to prepare meat, according to the IARC

    Research into the risks of eating processed meat is part of a larger scientific effort to pinpoint our most harmful eating habits.

    Colon and rectal cancer rates are soaring in young people between the ages of 20 and 49. Researchers aren't sure why this group is developing bowel cancer at double the rate seen just three decades ago, but diet could be part of the problem. Packaging could also be an issue: plastic wrapping for food can include bisphenol S, or BPS, which can disrupt normal functioning of the endocrine system in animals

    The one piece of advice most nutritionists agree on is that increasing the amount of fresh produce you eat is a good choice. A 2012 analysis published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology estimated that about 20,000 cancer cases could be prevented every year if Americans just ate additional servings of fruits and vegetables each day. 

    SEE ALSO: 11 potentially cancer-causing things you might use every day

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This 13-year-old scientist invented a safer way to treat pancreatic cancer, and he hasn't even started high school yet


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    japan kfc christmas

    • KFC fried chicken has become a Christmas tradition in Japan. 
    • Takeshi Okawara, who helped launch KFC in Japan in the early 1970s, played a major role in creating the tradition, casting Colonel Sanders as a pseudo-Santa Claus figure. 
    • Okawara even says he lied to the media, claiming that fried chicken was a Western Christmas tradition — a claim he says he still regrets today. 
    • To hear the full story of how fried chicken became a Japanese Christmas tradition, subscribe to Business Insider's podcast "Household Name." 

    The Japanese tradition of eating fried chicken on Christmas may be built on a lie. 

    The first KFC opened in Japan in 1970. The store manager, Takeshi Okawara, struggled to drive sales. Customers didn't know what to make of the red-and-white striped roof and the English signs, unsure if the store was selling candy or cutting hair. Okawara told Business Insider's podcast "Household Name" that at times, he had so little money he slept on flour bags in the back of the store. 

    Christmas was not a major event in Japan at the time, where less than 2% of the population is Christian. However, a nun who worked at a nearby school asked if Okawara would get involved in a Christmas party if it served KFC's fried chicken. Okawara agreed, telling "Household Name" he even dressed up as Santa Claus himself, dancing around the classroom with a bucket of fried chicken. 

    KFC Japan Christmas

    The party was a success, and soon another kindergarten class asked for a KFC-themed Christmas party. Okawara decided to take the idea and run with it, putting Santa costumes on Colonel Sanders statues outside of KFC stores and marketing fried chicken as a replacement to the American turkey Christmas dinner.

    News of KFC's Christmas spirit spreed. Soon, national broadcaster NHK asked Okawara if fried chicken was actually a common Western Christmas tradition. 

    This is when, according to Okawara, he lied. 

    "I ... know that the people are not eating chicken, they are eating turkey," Okawara said. "But I said yes. It was [a] lie." 

    "I still regret that. But people ... like it." 

    KFC Japan says that Okawara's story isn't quite accurate. According to parent company Yum Brands, a visiting foreigner suggested that KFC start selling chicken on Christmas instead of the traditional turkey.

    Whatever the origin, Okawara's decision to link KFC and Christmas took the chain from near failure to massive success, as well as resulting in the creation of a new winter tradition. KFC's Christmas marketing went national in 1974, and Okawara went on to run KFC Japan. 

    KFC's sales continue to skyrocket around Christmas. Locations across the country dress Colonel Sanders statues up in Santa Claus gear for the holiday season. Even other chains that sell chicken now push Christmas deals in Japan, as shoppers hunt down holiday buckets of chicken.

    Today, Okawara's alleged lie has created such a phenomenon that people wait in line for hours and reserve buckets of chicken weeks in advance— all to carry on the tradition of a fried chicken-filled Christmas.  

    Listen to the full story on "Household Name." 

    SEE ALSO: KFC is now selling a log that smells like fried chicken

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 7 things you shouldn't buy on Black Friday


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    Waze CEO Noam Bardin

    • A passing mention from Apple CEO Tim Cook in a public apology letter sent droves of users to Waze when it was still a fledgling navigation app. 
    • CEO Noam Bardin says the company still celebrates "Tim Cook day"every year — and largely attributes the company's success to that mention.
    • Read Bardin's full interview with Business Insider here. 

    In 2012, one day after the launch of Apple Maps, CEO Tim Cook posted an open letter on the company's website.

    "We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused," Cook said of Apple's botched cartography app.

    But farther down in the letter was something that would change the fate of a small Israeli startup known as Waze forever: suggestions for better map apps.

    "While we’re improving Maps," said Cook, "you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze."

    That day is now celebrated every year at Waze, CEO Noam Bardin said in a recent interview with Business Insider.

    "That was our coming out moment," Bardin said. "From there, things started to pick up pace, eventually ending in the acquisition in 2013." That acquisition, of course, is referring to Google's purchase of Waze for a reported price tag of $1 billion, a huge amount of money, especially at that time.

    "It's a day that's still celebrated today at the company every year," Bardin said. "It's called Tim Cook day."

    Read Waze CEO Noam Bardin's full interview with Business Insider here.

    SEE ALSO: We talked to the CEO of Waze about selling to Google for $1 billion, his new Tesla, self-driving cars, and the future of your commute

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This two-faced truck is made from two Chevy Silverados — here's what it looks like on the road


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    • Nuclear fusion could be the future of energy, replacing fossil fuels with our own artificial stars. 
    • China built a fusion reactor that reaches temperatures of 100 million degrees Celsius — that's six times hotter than the sun.
    • The reactor is called Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) and sustained nuclear fusion for about 10 seconds before shutting down.
    • While it was a milestone for EAST, we're still a long way from generating sustainable energy on Earth.

    Imagine if we could replace fossil fuels with our very own stars. And no, we're not talking about solar power. We're talking nuclear fusion. And recent research is helping us get there. Meet the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak, EAST for short.

    EAST is a fusion reactor based in Hefei, China. And it can now reach temperatures over six times hotter than the sun. Let's take a look at what's happening inside. Fusion occurs when two lightweight atoms combine into a single, larger one, releasing energy in the process. It sounds simple enough, but it's not easy to pull off. Because those two atoms share a positive charge. And just like two opposing magnets, those positive atoms repel each other.

    Stars, like our sun, have a great way of overcoming this repulsion. Their massive size. Which creates a tremendous amount of pressure in their cores.So the atoms are forced closer together making them more likely to collide. There's just one problem: We don't have the technology to recreate that kind of pressure on Earth.

    But luckily, there's another way. You can also generate fusion with extreme temperatures. And that's exactly what devices like EAST do. The higher the temperature, the faster the atoms move around and the more likely they are to collide.

    But it quickly becomes a balancing act. If the temperature is too hot, the atoms move too fast and zip passed each other.  If it's too cold, the atoms won't move fast enough. So, the ideal temperature to generate fusion is around 100 million degrees Celsius. That's more than 6 times hotter than our sun's core.

    Only a few fusion experiments in the world have surpassed this milestone. And the latest one was EAST. It sustained nuclear fusion for  about 10 seconds before shutting down. And while it was a breakthrough for EAST, it's a long way from generating sustainable energy for the people of Earth.

    And that's actually on purpose. EAST is a tiny reactor. At only a few meters across, it's not meant to be a full-fledged power plant. It's an experiment. And right now, its job is to help us design more effective fusion technology that could, one day, power entire cities.

    Like ITER. Short for International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor. It's the world's biggest fusion project to date. 35 countries have poured billions of dollars into its construction. And is designed to be the first fusion reactor to ever produce more fusion power than the power used to heat it up.

    You see, you need to pour a lot of energy into these machines to get them to work. This recent EAST test, for example, guzzled over 10 Megawatts of power. Enough to power 1,640 American homes for a year. And it didn't yield even half that amount. Since the entire point of a power plant is to, well, produce power, it's a pretty important issue to work out.

    But it's worth the effort. Why? Well for one thing, fusion reactors would produce practically no radioactive waste compared to the kind of reaction we see in today's nuclear fission power plants. But even better. Fusion reactors can run on seawater— a renewable, sustainable resource.

    For perspective, the amount of water just on the top inch of Lake Erie is enough to produce more power than all of the fossil fuels left on the planet. And unlike other energy sources, it doesn't need the sun to shine or the wind to blow.

    In a time of dwindling resources and worsening climate change we could sure use it.  

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Drug price increase hike pills pharma

    • Attorneys general for most U.S. states are bringing a large federal antitrust lawsuit against nearly 20 generic drugmakers, alleging they illegally collaborated to jack up drug prices.
    • Business Insider is the first to report on the unredacted suit, which alleges frequent, close communications between employees of rival companies about how to increase prices.
    • Common drugs had their prices doubled, tripled, or even increased 1,000% or more, costing taxpayers and patients and violating federal and state competition and consumer protection laws, the federal antitrust suit alleges.
    • These drugs treat anxiety, insomnia, epilepsy, heart failure, diabetes and more.
    • The lawsuit has brought new scrutiny to generic drugs, which are often thought of as low-cost, and the business practices of generic drugmakers.

    When New Jersey drugmaker Heritage Pharmaceuticals was laying plans to start selling a new drug in early 2013, a high-ranking employee asked a colleague to get on a call with the vice president of a rival, according to newly revealed allegations in a massive federal lawsuit.

    The goal, according to an email referred to in the civil suit, was to “discuss strategy.” Heritage leader Jason Malek was focused on how the company should set the price for its new product, a bone disease treatment, based on insight gleaned from competitors, the allegations continued.

    “The information from customers and competitors will be key in our pricing and bidding decisions,” Malek said, according to the complaint.  

    Heritage employees were able to learn how the rival planned to set the price for its own version of the bone drug, and also discussed plans to divide up the market, the complaint alleges.

    The details of the alleged exchange are revealed in a federal antitrust case that's ensnared some of the biggest names in the drug industry.

    Attorneys general for 45 states, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, allege that nearly 20 companies that manufacture generic drugs illegally collaborated with competitors to jack up prices for pharmaceuticals and divvy up markets to limit competition.

    Common drugs had their prices increased 1,000% or more

    Business Insider is the first to report on the unredacted complaint, which was filed under seal in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, revealing for the first time the communications that allegedly took place between employees of rival companies, including massive firms like Teva, Novartis’ Sandoz and Mylan.

    The conversations paint an in-depth picture of close, frequent contact about pricing and market decisions by way of LinkedIn, phone calls, text messages and emails — all with the goal of hiking prices on a broad range of generic drugs, the lawsuit claims.

    Common drugs had their prices doubled, tripled, or even increased 1,000% or more, costing taxpayers and patients and violating federal and state competition and consumer protection laws, the suit alleges. There is also an ongoing U.S. Department of Justice criminal investigation. 

    The drugs treated conditions like epilepsy, heart failure, anxiety, insomnia, hypertension, diabetes, asthma, arthritis and more. 

    The investigation has targeted prominent companies like the largest generic drugmaker, Teva, and ensnared the CEO of Emcure Pharmaceuticals and the president of Mylan.

    Two high-ranking former Heritage Pharmaceuticals employees who also happen to be brothers-in-law, former president Malek and former CEO Jeffrey Glazer, have previously pled guilty to price-fixing and other charges in separate criminal actions and are cooperating with investigators.

    The investigations have brought new scrutiny to generic drugs

    The investigations have also brought new scrutiny to generic drugs, which are cheaper versions of brand-name medicines created once their patents have expired. Because of their reputation for low costs, generic drugs have largely escaped criticism about high prices directed at very expensive brand-name pharmaceuticals.

    Generic drugs are often touted as a key market-based way to use competition to bring down the high cost of pharmaceuticals in the US. But the lawsuit alleges that drugmakers colluded to undermine that competition, harming patients and taxpayers.

    In a statement to Business Insider, Heritage said that it fired Malek and Glazer in 2016 after an internal investigation revealed “serious misconduct” by both Malek and Glazer, and has been cooperating with an ongoing federal criminal investigation, which is looking into suspicions of price fixing, bid rigging and other anticompetitive conduct in the generic drug industry. The company is also suing Glazer and Malek in a separate, ongoing lawsuit, the statement noted.

    “We are deeply disappointed by the misconduct and are committed to ensuring it does not happen again,” the statement said.

    Lawyers for Malek and Glazer told Business Insider in a statement that the Heritage lawsuit “is malicious and without merit, and we look forward to demonstrating this in court.”

    The other companies named in this piece that returned a request for comment all denied the allegations.

    Sandoz said in a statement that “we believe these claims are without merit and will vigorously contest them.” Mylan referred Business Insider to a previous statement, which said that “we have been investigating these allegations thoroughly and have found no evidence of price fixing on the part of Mylan or its employees.” Teva said in a statement that it denied the allegations and “will continue to vigorously defend itself." 

    The companies came to agreements to divvy up market share, the AGs allege

    The generic drugmakers had a range of slang that they used to collude, according to the allegations by the AGs. The companies allegedly came to agreements to divvy up market share, in what the complaint says they called “fair share” and playing “fair.” Another term, “playing nice in the sandbox,” referred to compliance with these types of arrangements, according to the complaint.

    Teva, the world’s largest generic drugmaker and one of the defendants in the case, allegedly participated, according to the complaint. The company was allegedly approached by a customer on behalf of a competitor in late 2014, and was asked to give up a specific customer to that competitor, according to the complaint.

    After internal discussions, a Teva employee told the customer to pass along that “we are playing nice in the sandbox and we will let them have [the targeted customer],” the complaint further alleges.

    The AGs allege that earlier in 2014, Malek, Heritage’s former president, reached out to Teva about acetazolamide ER, which is used for a wide range of conditions including glaucoma, epilepsy and heart failure.

    Together, the complaint says, the two companies had nearly 80% of the market for the drug.

    The AGs who brought the suit claim that Malek and a Teva employee came to an agreement over the phone that if Heritage increased its prices, Teva would either follow or at least not seek to win customers by underbidding Heritage.

    The same Teva employee and Malek also began speaking about increasing the price of the anti-fungal medication nystatin in mid-2013, the AGs further alleged in the suit.

    When the increases were broached internally, the employee, who had been hired to head Teva’s pricing team, initially opposed them, according to the complaint. But, the complaint alleges, after conversations with Malek, the employee later added the drug to a list of “Price Increase Candidates.”

    The decision dragged into the next year, 2014, when the drug was again on a spreadsheet of price increase candidates, with the note that the decision had been shared with its two main nystatin rivals, according to the allegations. Teva then allegedly doubled the drug’s price to roughly $100.

    A Heritage employee allegedly sent a text message to a rival informing it of a price hike, according to the complaint

    The state AGs claim that collaboration to boost the price of nystatin involved other generics-makers. Specifically, they allege that while on a call about the drug, a Heritage employee sent the following text message to an employee of Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, an Indian generic drugmaker which also made the drug. 

    “Work news: we are raising price on Nystatin. Just letting you know. :),” the employee said.

    heritage quote 1 (1)

    Asked how much, she responded: “double the price.”

    The AGs allege that Sun then also started increasing the price of its nystatin.

    A Sun spokesperson told Business Insider in a statement that it believes the lawsuit's allegations are "without merit and will continue to vigorously defend against them.”

    AGs allege Heritage’s former president told a colleague to ‘jack it up’

    Generic drugmakers were also in touch with each other about other chances to raise prices, according to allegations in the complaint. The suit claims that in 2014, a Sun employee told Heritage about a temporary decision to stop manufacturing the antibiotic paromomycin.

    Heritage controlled a majority of the market share for the antibiotic, according to the complaint, and Sun was its only competitor back then.

    “Need price increase to go immediately. Jack it up,” Heritage’s Malek allegedly said to another Heritage employee.

    heritage quote 2 (1)

    The labyrinthine complaint alleges activity going back at least as far as 2012. Midway through that year, Teva had just stopped making the generic drug nimodipine, according to the complaint, leaving just two manufacturers: Heritage and Sun’s Caraco division.

    Nimodipine was a major product for Heritage, according to the complaint. When Heritage’s Malek asked an employee to reach out to Sun, the suit alleges, the employee learned that the drug wasn’t a big product for Sun, and Sun was satisfied with its position.

    Heritage allegedly pressed on. With a drug distributor proposal in play and an industry event coming up, “the timing is critical if we want to raise our pricing everywhere,” the complaint alleges a Heritage employee emailed to Malek.

    “So we will increase the price, you should tell them that so they can do the same without any [competition],” Malek allegedly emailed back later in the exchange.

    The complaint claims that the two companies eventually did come to an understanding on pricing, with both taking major increases.

    When, later in 2012, Heritage allegedly heard that Sun might have to recall the same product, nimodipine, the complaint claims that a Heritage employee was eventually able to confirm it with her Sun contacts in mid-April of 2013.

    “Great feedback, time for next increase!” Malek is quoted as saying in response. About a week later, the complaint claims he added instructions to keep coordinating with Sun, “to make sure if/when they are back they talk to us first so we can be smart about it.”

    Employees at rival companies allegedly spoke directly about how they were approaching customers, complaint says

    The group of attorneys general also claim that Heritage and the Indian drugmaker Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories collaborated to increase the price of the drug meprobamate in 2013, when they were the only two manufacturers of the generic treatment for anxiety, tension and insomnia.

    “We don’t want to make any waves and we are not looking for additional share, just want to maintain what we have at a minimum of a 4x price,” the complaint alleges Malek said, asking two employees if they wanted to get in touch with Dr. Reddy’s.

    heritage quote 3 (1)

    Dr. Reddy’s had been thinking about increasing its price too, the complaint alleges, but it didn’t have enough of the product, according to communications cited in the complaint.

    The complaint alleges that, to show its commitment to the agreement, Malek told a Heritage employee that he recommended “letting the market dry up a bit… We are taking the price up asap everywhere else.”

    Both companies then increased their prices around the same time, Heritage in April of 2013 and Dr. Reddy’s in May, the group of 45 states further claimed.

    (A Dr. Reddy's spokesperson told Business Insider that the company prefers not to comment on ongoing litigation.)

    Heritage tried similar tactics with Mylan for the drug Doxy DR, an antimicrobial for severe acne, for which Mylan was its sole competitor, the complaint alleged.

    The state AGs also claim the now-former Heritage CEO Jeffrey Glazer told Mylan President Rajiv Malik that the company’s reaction to Heritage’s bid for an unnamed “very important large retail pharmacy account” would “set the tone of whether this is a high priced item or more erosion.”

    Mylan ended up submitting a bid to the pharmacy that was only $10 lower, and Heritage ended up the pharmacy’s sole supplier of Doxy DR, according to further allegations.

    Heritage and Mylan kept working together to keep the price of a drug high, according to the complaint

    The two companies kept working together to keep the price of Doxy DR high, according to the complaint. The complaint alleges that this became tricky when competing for customer accounts. Specifically, it claims that, after competing for a large account in fall 2013, Heritage’s Malek emailed Glazer, referring to Mylan's president: “We should reach out to rajiv [sic], we need one more account and we are done.”

    But, the complaint further alleges, Glazer wrote back that the two of them had to be careful not to disrupt their agreement with Mylan— and in fact, Heritage allegedly ended up not pushing it with that large retailer.

    “We need to look at our market share, current biz and pricing with and without [the one large account at issue] and make a decision,” the complaint alleges Glazer emailed to Malek. “You don’t want them retaliating and lowering prices at other accounts.”

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    A chocolate and coffee sip and taste set

    Whether you're looking to rag on dad or show him all the love and kindness in the world (which are really one in the same, right?), we've got gift ideas for every sort of dad, from the hapless car-key-losing fool to the history buff and the masterful (and not-so-masterful) home chef.

    Whatever it is that dad's into, something below is bound to make him smile, laugh, cry, or, hopefully, all of the above. You've been a pain and a nuisance all along; why change now?

    Most of these items are available with two-day shipping, so don't stress too hard about your last-minute shopping — just remember that the sooner you order, the better your chances of a timely arrival.

    Still shopping for more gifts? Check out all of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides for 2018 here.


    A sleek, eco-friendly lunch box

    GreenLunch Bento 3-in-1 Bento Lunch Box, available at Amazon, $30.95

    Don't send dad off to work (or school, as the case may be) with a brown bag. If you think it's embarrassing for you, it's definitely embarrassing for him.



    A copper waiter's key

    Wine Waiters Corkscrew, available at Williams Sonoma, $34.95

    A nice piece for the bar to replace that ratty old plastic thing he stole from Holiday Inn before you were born and life was good.



    A 3-month Amazon Prime Subscription

    An Amazon Prime membership, available at Amazon, three months for $39

    He'll pick up on it. Just get him started.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Ketogenic Diet

    • Many popular New Year's resolutions, such as eating healthier or losing weight, are very vague.
    • Most Americans fail to follow through on their goals, and 80% of people drop their resolutions by the middle of February.
    • INSIDER recently surveyed more than 1,000 people about their upcoming New Year's resolutions, and some respondents said they are interested in trying a new diet
    • Take a look at the most popular diets that wealthy people are interested in trying next year. 

    Some of the most popular New Year's resolutions are vague goals, such as losing weight or eating healthier food. 

    It takes a lot more than good intentions to maintain these resolutions, though, and most people don't follow through in part because the goals are non-specific. Some statistics say as many as 80% of people fail to stick to their resolution for more than six weeks. 

    For those interested in trying a new diet next year, recent research suggests that you're better off cutting back on sugar instead of fat. According to a major analysis published in August 2017, sugar consumption is more strongly linked to heart disease and death than fat consumption.

    Many experts also say eating "real food," or nothing overly processed, is a simple but effective approach. 

    INSIDER, a sister publication of Business Insider, recently surveyed more than 1,000 people about their New Year's resolutions. Of the survey sample's wealthy respondents — defined in this case as people who make at least $100,000 per year — 87 people said their 2019 resolution is related to dieting or eating healthier.

    Take a look at the most popular diets among wealthy people making resolutions for next year. 

    About 26.4% of wealthy survey respondents are interested in trying calorie restriction in 2019.

    Studies are increasingly suggesting that people can have more energy and experience less illness if they reduce the amount of food they eat by as much as one-half.

    In a small study, 34 Americans ate 15% less food than usual for a period of two years. Researchers found that the participants' bodies aged more slowly compared to those of people who were not on a diet. 

    The science surrounding calorie restriction is still evolving, but scientists are studying whether reducing calorie intake even a few days a month could help people age more slowly.



    About 23.5% of wealthy people are choosing the low-carb diet.

    Low-carb diets are a popular way to lose weight, and they do help reduce sugar intake. However, researchers are increasingly suggesting that this method could lead to premature death if followed for a long period of time.

    A 2018 study, which examined more than 24,800 American adults, found that people who limited their carb intake had a 32% higher risk of dying than those who ate more carbs. 

    A low-carb diet can be followed in a variety of ways. The ketogenic diet, for example, encourages people to severely cut carbs and up their fat intake. Another variation, the Atkins diet, consists of initially limiting one's total carb intake — while eating a mix of healthy fats, protein, and high-fiber carbs — before slowly adding more net carbs to one's diet.



    WW, the health and wellness company formerly known as Weight Watchers, came in third place. About 14.9% of wealthy respondents are interested in this program.

    As part of the WW program, participants translate calories, sugar, proteins, and saturated fat into a points system that encourages them to eat more nutritious foods.

    WW emphasizes flexibility more than restriction. Participants meet regularly with their coaches, who are not medical professionals.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • Koi fish can be worth millions — the most expensive koi fish ever sold was worth $1.8 million.
    • Koi are a type of carp, a common fish that can be found all over the world, but what makes Koi so special is their coloring and lineage.
    • There are regular competitions to name the top koi and just like prized dog breeds, Japanese people take koi breeding very seriously.

    Anything strike you as special about this fish here? Well, it's worth 1.8 million dollars. It won grand champion at the All Japan Koi Show in 2017, and is the most expensive koi fish ever sold.

    Koi may just look like an oversized goldfish, but they're not even remotely related. Koi are actually a type of carp, and today they're some of the most expensive pet fish in the world. But why? Koi were originally raised in Japan in the 1700s when rice farmers first began breeding them for their distinct colors and patterns, similar to how we breed dogs for their specific traits. And just like prized dog breeds, Japanese people take koi breeding very seriously.

    There are regular competitions to name the top koi. Judges and buyers pay attention to how healthy its skin looks, its size and body shape, and how gracefully the fish moves in the water. But the most important trait of all is the koi's coloring. The best koi have a good balance of colors and patterns according to their variety. For example, there are koi with light blue spots, ones with large red patches on their backs, or all-metallic gold.

    But the most winning fish often just boil down to these three varieties. They're often the most valuable. They dominate the shows, winning nearly every major category each year. And the better-looking the fish, the more a buyer is willing to pay.

    Yvo: Yeah, it depends. You can buy some small and cheap koi fish for a couple of bucks, but also, yeah, it can get up really, really high to thousands, ten thousands of dollars.

    Narrator: That's Yvo de Wal. He's a koi hobbyist and seller in the Netherlands, and he heads up the YouTube channel Koi Partner. Each year he visits Japan to shop for koi.

    Yvo: The breeders are located there, and they have experience with their bloodlines for many, many generations.

    Narrator: You see, bloodlines are just as prized in koi as they are in dogs because some of these koi are the result of decades of selective breeding. I mean, just take a look at the koi's wild relative, the common carp. Its dark colors would be considered unattractive for a koi, but it's perfect protection against predators in the wild. So how do you get from this to this? Well, it's actually similar to how we got from this to this, except koi breeders mainly select for size and color and ignore... Fluffiness.

    Koi have six types of color cells in their skin. Their cells can be red, yellow, black, white, blue, or metallic. Now in order to get a beautiful, reddish-orange pattern like the one on this 1.8 million dollar fish, you need to select for fish that have a white body and lots of red cells that concentrate in large patches. Red and white are important colors in Japanese culture, representing joy and purity. But having the right colors is only part of it.

    A koi's color cells sit at different depths in the skin, some right near the surface and some deeper in, which ultimately determines how bright the fish appears. The brighter the fish, the bigger the price tag. Today there are about 120 varieties. To compare, there are about 200 breeds of dogs. But when it comes down to it, breeding koi is a lot harder. A single koi can give birth to hundreds of thousands of baby fish at a time.

    Yvo: I think we are talking about millions and millions of fish per breeder.

    Narrator: So breeders must choose wisely. One breeder, for example, reports that he starts with 3 million fish and selects 15,000 to raise over the first year. From that he chooses 1,000 to continue to raise the second year.

    Yvo: Yeah, it's a really hard job for the breeders.

    Narrator: But in the end, all that hard work is worth it. The breeder of this grand champion waited until she was nine years old to sell her at auction. And by bringing in a world record of 1.8 million, the breeder got not only a huge return on investment but a priceless reputation boost in the koi community.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Home Depot

    • Home Depot and Lowe's are the two biggest players in US home-improvement retail.
    • Seth Basham, the managing director of equity research at Wedbush Securities, spoke with Business Insider about what differentiates the two companies.
    • He said that in many ways, Home Depot has an edge over its competitor.
    • But he added that Lowe's CEO Marvin Ellison was on a mission to "Home Depot-ize" Lowe's.

    Home Depot and Lowe's dominate the home-renovation retail sector in the United States.

    But both retailers exhibit several subtle traits that set them apart from each other. What's more, their performance has diverged somewhat.

    Home Depot appears to be doing relatively well, easily besting its rival in terms of market share. Meanwhile, Lowe's has undergone a series of hiccups, closing stores in the US, Canada, and Mexico, receiving a downgrade from Moody's, and losing traffic during the first nine months of 2018.

    Business Insider recently spoke to Seth Basham, the managing director of equity research at Wedbush Securities, to get a better idea of the differences between Home Depot and Lowe's.

    He said that while Home Depot has the upper hand now, no one should give up on Lowe's — or its new CEO, Marvin Ellison.

    SEE ALSO: From entire lawn sets to used toilets, these are the most ridiculous returns employees from Costco, Walmart, and Target say they've ever gotten

    DON'T MISS: Americans are pumping the brakes on home remodeling, and that might spell bad news for Home Depot and Lowe's

    READ MORE: Home Depot is bucking a major retail trend and staying closed on Thanksgiving, but it'll get its sales going early on Black Friday

    Home Depot can point to higher average sales numbers in its stores.

    Basham said Home Depot rakes in more money than Lowe's through store sales on average. He added that the company also boasted better operational efficiency.



    Compared with its rival, Lowe's is a bit like the new kid on the block.

    Basham said Lowe's disadvantages in sales and operations were partly "a function of how the company grew up."

    Lowe's was founded in 1946, while Home Depot was established in 1978. But the newer store embarked on its expansion first.

    "Lowe's growth streak in terms of opening new stores happened after Home Depot's," Basham said.

    Basically, because Home Depot expanded its store presence before Lowe's, it got the first pick when it came to locations. Basham described Lowe's as occupying many "secondary real-estate locations" that aren't ideal in terms of population flow or traffic patterns.

    "There's a bit of a structural deficiency in terms of their store locations," he said.



    Home Depot gets a greater share of its sales from professionals.

    Another factor that accounts for Home Depot's sales advantage is its relative popularity with home-improvement professionals. In home construction and renovation, customers can generally be divided into two groups: professionals who work in the field, and do-it-yourself shoppers tackling projects on their own.

    Basham said professional contracts accounted for 20% to 25% of sales at Lowe's and 45% at Home Depot.

    So why do the pros tend to go to Home Depot? Basham said that part of the reason was that professionals are often more brand-conscious.

    "They want to use products they know they can trust, and Home Depot has better brands," he said.

    Other factors include Home Depot's superior stocking system and customer-service processes, including giving pros access to "knowledgeable employees," helping them find products, and staging items for pickup. According to Basham, Home Depot generally provides an "easy in, easy out" experience for pros.

    And while list pricing is the same across both companies, bulk pricing is slightly more competitive at Home Depot, according to Basham.

    But don't count Lowe's out — Basham said it was "very focused" on boosting its pro business. He gave the example of the company's 2017 acquisition of Maintenance Supply HQ, a move he likened to Home Depot's 2015 acquisition of Interline Brands, which helped it cross-sell to customers who previously flocked to Interline.

    "It's strategic," Basham said. "Home Depot's had success since it acquired Interline in getting that cross-sale to work. I think there's still room for that to work for Lowe's."



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Welcome to Finance Insider, Business Insider's summary of the top stories of the past 24 hours. Sign up here to get the best of Business Insider delivered direct to your inbox.

    It's foolish for investors to try to time the next recession — here's a surefire 3-part strategy UBS says can thrive in any environment

    When investors look back on 2018, they'll most likely think of it as the year when there was nowhere to hide.

    US equities are headed for their worst year in a decade, while international stocks and bonds are also on pace to finish negative for 2018. That widespread weakness has, in turn, dragged down the performance of balanced portfolios whose diversification is supposed to insulate them from difficult markets.

    And unfortunately for investors seeking returns anywhere they can find them, it's anyone's guess how 2019 will unfold.

    Michael Crook, the head of Americas investment strategy at UBS, could see stock performance going either way. On one hand, he notes that the combination of recent selling and strong expected earnings growth makes equity valuations attractive. But on the other, he recognizes that a bear market could strike "some time in the near future."

    What Crook does know for sure is that it's a fool's errand to try to perfectly time an economic recession and whatever market pullback accompanies it. And, by that same logic, he says it's inadvisable to ignore mounting external pressure in favor of seemingly strong fundamentals.

    So what's the solution? Crook says investors should consider UBS' so-called 3L strategy.

    Famous short seller Andrew Left says the marijuana producer that was recently hit by short sellers is primed to be taken over by Diageo

    Famous short seller Andrew Left is going long on a marijuana stock that was recently targeted by short sellers.

    Left's firm, Citron Research, on Tuesday afternoon released a bullish report on the Canadian marijuana producer Aphria.

    "Expect an $APHA major partnership or total buyout SOON," Citron tweeted on Tuesday, touting the report.

    Citron's report says Aphria's stock, now trading around $5.93, will go north of $8 by year-end. Perhaps more impactful, Citron says Aphria could be an acquisition target for a major consumer packaged goods company — or even another marijuana producer.

    Facebook slides after acknowledging it gave Netflix and Spotify access to user messages

    Facebook shares were lower Wednesday, down 2.05% at $140.73 a share, after the company said that other companies, namely Netflix and Spotify, were able to access user messages.

    "Did partners get access to messages? Yes," the company wrote in a blog post.

    "But people had to explicitly sign in to Facebook first to use a partner's messaging feature. Take Spotify for example. After signing in to your Facebook account in Spotify's desktop app, you could then send and receive messages without ever leaving the app. Our API provided partners with access to the person's messages in order to power this type of feature."

    Wednesday's selling comes after shares had a rally off their November lows, gaining as much as 16%. 

    In markets news

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The legendary economist who predicted the housing crisis says the US will win the trade war


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    jack whittaker lottery winner

    • Lottery players everywhere dream of hitting a multimillion-dollar jackpot with a winning ticket.
    • But there's a dark side to coming into a windfall of sudden wealth if you're not careful.
    • Here's what it's really like to win the lottery.

    Becoming substantially wealthier thanks to a tiny piece of paper would make your life so much better, right?

    In fact, recent research has suggested that lottery winners are more satisfied with life than those who lost the lottery and that this happiness is lasting, Business Insider previously reported.

    But winning a lottery jackpot can also have some unwanted side effects.

    Here's what it's really like to win the lottery.

    SEE ALSO: 20 lottery winners who lost every penny

    Lottery players everywhere dream of hitting the jackpot.



    The idea of striking it rich is enticing enough for the average American to spend $207 a year on lottery tickets.

    Source: CBS News



    In reality, though, your chance of winning is pretty slim — you have a better chance of getting struck by lightning than you do of winning a Mega Millions or Powerball contest.

    Source: CBS NewsNational Geographic



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    construction workers

    • Firms are having a more difficult time finding blue-collar workers than white-collar workers.
    • The shortage is expected to continue to put upward pressure on wages for blue-collared workers.
    • But economists say a tight labor market could incentivize companies to shift toward automation in attempt to reduce costs, lessening the demand for manual labor. 

    Reversing a longstanding trend in the American labor market, companies are having a harder time filling openings for manual-labor positions than those for white-collar jobs.

    As the unemployment rate remains at multidecade lows, labor shortages have emerged across the economy. That's been particularly the case for blue-collar industries that are also facing critical shifts in demographic and educational trends.

    Hiring in transportation, manufacturing, construction, and mining grew twice as fast as other private sector employment this year, Wells Fargo said in a research note titled "Riding the Blue-Collar Wave."The shortage is expected to continue to put upward pressure on wages in the sector, according to a recent report by the Conference Board, a business research group based in New York.

    Blue collar jobs

    "In certain instances, companies looking to attract enough blue-collar workers will have to continue increasing wages and, as a result, possibly experience diminished profits," said Gad Levanon, lead report author and the Conference Board’s chief economist. "But the picture looks very different for the workers themselves."

    One apparent reason for the shortage is shifting levels of education within the workforce. The group of working-age individuals with a bachelor's degree has grown, while the number of those without one has fallen.

    "While figures on wealth and saving mask some of the income disparity that has been a flash point this cycle, the jobs market suggests that the tide has shifted in favor of those at the lower end of the earnings ladder," Wells Fargo analysts wrote in a recent research note.

    In some ways, however, economists say a booming blue-collar job market could become self-defeating. With fewer workers available and increasing pressure on wages, firms may eventually turn to robotics and automation in order to save costs.

    "All these sorts of activities will combine to lessen the relative demand for traditional blue collar jobs, but increase the demand for those jobs that are more highly trained, with computing and other technical skills," said Michael Hicks, a labor economist at Ball State University in Indiana.

    It doesn't help that the economy is expected to lose steam over the next couple of years, a situation Hicks noted would likely bite workers in manufacturing and home construction first. 

    "Blue collar jobs aren't dead, but they are changing profoundly," he said. "The future for folks with a high school degree only is dismal."

    Now Read:

    It's foolish for investors to try to time the next recession — here's a surefire 3-part strategy UBS says can thrive in any environment

    Credit Suisse just named its new managing directors — here are the 173 people who made the list

     

    SEE ALSO: The Fed's next decision is its most important in recent memory — and the future of the stock market is at stake

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The equity chief at $6.3 trillion BlackRock weighs in on the trade war, a possible recession, and offers her best investing advice for a tricky 2019 landscape


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    • The transportation and logistics industry is in a time of rapid transition characterized by evolving shopping and transit trends.

     

    • E-commerce is becoming the shopping channel of choice for consumers, putting pressure on logistics companies to process higher volumes of goods and ship them faster.

     

    • New transportation models are reducing the need for consumers to buy cars, requiring automakers to find new ways to recoup revenue from lower sales.

    Every industry becomes a global industry with the integration of the Internet. First technology revolutionized the way send and receive information, and now it’s fundamentally transforming the way people and goods are physically moving around the world.

    The Transportation & Logistics Forecast Book 2018

    With innovations like self-driving vehicles, drone and robotics delivery, mobility apps, and artificial intelligence, the transportation and logistics industry has been rapidly developing to keep up with rising consumer demand — and the next five years will only accelerate this transformation.

    But to successfully navigate a changing landscape, individuals and organizations must understand the full extent to which digital transformation will affect the transportation industry, the key drivers of this growth, and how it all relates to the work they do every day.

    Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has forecasted the future of the changing transportation ecosystem in the Transportation & Logistics Forecast Book 2018. Here’s where to expect some of the biggest shifts:

    • E-Commerce: Online purchases - including a growing number of cross-border sales - have been steadily increasing every year for the last decade. The number of packages delivered daily has skyrocketed, and the proliferation of Amazon Prime’s “free shipping” perk has created high expectations among consumers — putting pressure on other retailers and their logistics partners to offer same-day shipping at competitive prices.
    • Autonomous vehicles: By 2023, 1 in new 7 vehicles will be semi- or fully autonomous, and nearly all will be connected with internet access for data transmission — presenting a huge opportunity for other digital providers to integrate with this new “platform” and offer consumers more services.
    • On-demand mobility: Ride-hailing and ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft comprise a growing percentage of total miles driven in the US — and will only continue increasing with the adoption of self-driving cars. The uptick in these services is stifling car sales, however, as consumers feel less of a need to own their own vehicles. Automakers will need to find ways to adapt and drive revenue.

    Want to Learn More?

    People, companies, and organizations all over the world are racing to adopt the latest payments solutions and prevent growing pains amidst a technological transformation. The Transportation & Logistics Forecast Book 2018 from Business Insider Intelligence is a detailed two-part slide deck outlining the most important trends impacting the transportation ecosystem around the world — and the key drivers propelling each segment forward.

    Representing thousands of hours of exhaustive research, our multipart forecast books are considered must-reads by thousands of highly successful business professionals. These informative slide decks are packed with charts and statistics outlining the most influential trends on the leading edge of your industry. Keep them for reference or drop the most valuable data into your own presentations to share with your teams.

    Whether you're newly interested in a topic or you already consider yourself a subject matter expert, The Transportation & Logistics Forecast Book 2018 can provide you with the actionable insights you need to make better decisions.

     

     

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    TheInsider Picksteam writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    Since you don't have all day to scour the web for noteworthy sales and discounts, we rounded up the best bargains for you to shop in one convenient place.

    J.Crew

    1. Save up to 40% on new arrivals at J.Crew

    J.Crew is helping you stock up on winter wardrobe essentials with a big sale — and the more you buy, the more you'll save. Now through December 21, you can save 20% when you buy two styles, 30% on three styles, and 40% on four or more styles by using the promo code "MOREISMORE" at checkout.

    Shop the J.Crew sale now.

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    2.Save up 50% on toys at Target

    Toys are on every kid's holiday wish list — and Target has a huge selection at great prices. Right now, you can save up to 50% on hundreds of the hottest toys of the season. Order by tomorrow, December 20, for guaranteed Christmas delivery.

    Shop the Target sale now.

    Bose QuietComfort 35 II

    3. Save $50 on Bose QuietComfort 35 Noise-Cancelling Headphones

    Named a travel essential by Insider Picks' senior reporter David Slotnick, the Bose Quiet Comfort 35 Series II headphones feature premium sound quality, active noise cancelling technology, superb comfort for extended us on long trips, and up to 20 hours of battery life. Right now, you can save $50 by purchasing them on Amazon. Order today for delivery by Friday.

    Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II Noise Cancelling Headphones, $299.99 (Originally $349.99) [You save $50]

    Echo Dot Kids Edition

    4. Save $20 on the Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition

    The Echo Dot Kids Edition uses the power of Alexa to act as a kid-friendly DJ, comedian, and storyteller. When you purchase this bundle, you'll also receive a year of FreeTime Unlimited, which gives your kids access to hundreds of hours of fun and educational content, audio books, ad-free radio stations, and more. The Kids Edition smart speaker comes with a protective case and a two-year worry-free guarantee, so if they manage to break it, you'll get a replacement. Order today for delivery by Friday.

    Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition, $49.99 (Originally $69.99)[You save $20]

    REI

    5. Save up to 50% on outdoor gear and apparel at REI

    With the holiday season just days away, REI is having a huge holiday clearance sale that's worth taking advantage of while completing your gift list. Right now, you can save up to 50% on outdoor gear and apparel. Order by December 20 at 9 a.m. PST for delivery before Christmas.

    Shop the REI sale now.

    Bonobos

    6. Save 30% sitewide at Bonobos

    Any guy looking to add new pieces to his winter wardrobe should head over to Bonobos. For a limited time, you can save 30% sitewide when you use the promo code "LOVEMYSELF" at checkout. With everything from sweaters, sweatshirts, and dress shirts to jeans and outerwear, there are plenty of great basics to choose from.

    Shop the Bonobos sale now.

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    7. Save up to 24% on FireTV Edition Smart TVs

    If you're shopping for a new TV, it only makes sense to buy a smart TV — and Amazon has a great selection of Fire TV Editions on sale. With Fire TV technology built in, you can enjoy thousands of channels, apps like Netflix, Prime Video, and Hulu, and utilize the power of Alexa. Right now, you can save up to 24% on models from brands like Toshiba and Insignia.

    Shop Fire TV Edition Smart TVs on Amazon now.

    DNA Testing 23andMe

    8. Save up to $50 on 23andMe DNA Test Kits

    23andMe won't be able to give you all of the answers, but the popular DNA test will be able to tell you more about your heritage than most of us know off the top of our heads. All you need to do is provide a saliva sample using the tools you'll find in this kit and send it back to 23andMe for testing. Within six to eight weeks you'll receive your results, and you'll be able to prove where you come from once and for all. Originally priced at $99 each, you can get one kit for $69 or two or more kits for $49 each. If you're running out of gift ideas, this is a solid choice for anyone on your list.

    Shop the 23andMe DNA Kit sale now.

    Leesa

    9. Save up to $225 on Leesa mattress and get a free pillow

    The Leesa Mattress is designed to use pocket springs and high-performance foams to help you sleep better. Leesa's mattresses are always a great value, but the startup is offering $150 off the Leesa mattress, $225 off the Sapira mattress, and a free pillow (a $75 value) for the holiday season. The offer ends soon, so you'll want to take advantage of it now. If buying a mattress online concerns you, know that you can try it out for 100 nights free of risk. If it's not the best sleep you've ever had, you can return it hassle-free.

    Shop the Leesa sale now.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    santa claus

    • Tipping is a tricky beast.
    • Figuring out how much to tip — and who to tip — during the holidays can get even more complicated.
    • DealNews broke down how much to tip during the holidays, and we compiled their recommendations here.

    Figuring out how much to tip for a typical service is often more complicated than it needs to be — but it can get even more tricky around the holidays, when tipping can depend on how often you received a certain service throughout the year.

    What's the rule of thumb for tipping the guy who walks your dogs every week or the gardener who stops by your house once a month? And did you know you should tip your garbage collector during the holidays?

    To help simplify the confusion, controversy, and complication that is tipping, DealNews previously broke down the most common situations in which tipping is expected and how much to tip for each one. We took all their holiday tipping recommendations and compiled them here. 

    From your dog groomer to your personal trainer, see just how much to tip everyone in your life for the holidays.

    SEE ALSO: How much to tip in every situation, from Uber drivers to your hairstylist

    SEE ALSO: How much to tip servers, taxi drivers, and hotel staff in 49 countries around the world

    Apartment/building supers

    Tip:$75 to $150 



    Babysitters

    Tip: One week's pay, to be gifted beforehand



    Dog groomers

    Tip:$10 to $100, depending on the frequency of your visits throughout the year



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Memory chip parts of U.S. memory chip maker MicronTechnology are pictured at their booth at an industrial fair in Frankfurt, Germany, in this July 14, 2015, file photo.

    • Micron Technology fell Wednesday after reporting its first-quarter results.
    • Shares came under pressure after the company issued weaker-than-expected guidance and pared back its capital expenditure forecast for 2019.
    • "We are just going through an air pocket here," Sanjay Mehrotra, Micron's chief executive officer, said on the company's earnings call in response to an analyst's question regarding inventory issues.

    Micron Technology fell 3% Wednesday after the company reported disappointing quarterly results, lowered its capital expenditure guidance, and said it was entering into a challenging market environment.

    The weakness comes amid oversupply in the memory-chip market, particularly as computer and mobile phone demand wanes. 

    "We are just going through an air pocket here related to primarily inventory adjustments as well as some seasonal weak mobile demand," impacting the company's near-term outlook, CEO Sanjay Mehrotra said on the company's earnings call, in response to a question asked by UBS analyst Timothy Arcuri about inventory levels.

    And in an interview with Business Insider on Tuesday, Mehrotra said US-China tariffs were "never that big of an issue," and that their impact to the company's gross margins was smaller than expected.

    "We moved very fast in terms of diverting some of the manufacturing of our products that were being imported into the US, and was being manufactured in China," Mehrotra said. "We diverted that part of the product manufacturing elsewhere" in its global manufacturing network, and were able to mitigate tariffs' impact." He added Micron would be able to mitigate around 90% impact from the tariffs with China in January.

    In its earnings report, Micron said it would scale back its capital expenditure in 2019 for both DRAM and NAND memory chips, taking its capital expenditure down by $1.25 billion to a range between $9 billion and $9.5 billion.

    At least eight Wall Street firms, including Goldman Sachs, have pared back their own estimates for Micron this year as demand across the chip market falls.

    And on Wednesday, BMO Capital Markets, for its part, reduced its price target on the stock for the second time since September, to $32 from $38. "The downturn appears broad, ranging from mobile to data center to enterprise," analyst Ambrish Srivastava wrote.

    But at least one analyst was optimistic on the chipmaker's results. Rosenblatt Securities analyst Hans Mosesmann cut his price target on the stock in a client note on Wednesday, but said he finds Micron's current risk-reward attractive.

    "Micron's throw-everything-and-the-kitchen-sink outlook, while sporting ~38% operating margins, is simply unheard of in a down cycle and demonstrates the resiliency of the new Micron business model to earn ~$7 in tough environments."

    Micron shares have fallen nearly 50% since the stock's 2018 high in May.

    Now read:

    Micron Technology

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    Woman dog

    • Dogs often exhibit strange behavior like sniffing other dogs' butts, eating poop, getting the zoomies, and more.
    • INSIDER spoke with Dr. Leanne Jakubowsky, DVM to find out the medical reasoning behind these strange behaviors.
    • Many strange behaviors are evolutionary or instinctual.
    • Most of the weird things dogs do are completely normal, but others can be signs of health conditions.

    Any dog owner can confirm that dogs do some very strange things. Amidst the everyday behaviors like cuddling, playing, and giving kisses, our furry friends sometimes do things that we just don't understand.

    INSIDER spoke with Leanne Jakubowsky, DVM, owner of All Creatures Mobile Clinic in Austin, Texas, to find out the medical reasoning behind some of our dogs' strangest behaviors.

     

    When your dog suddenly gets the "zoomies" it's because of the best possible reason.

    Every now and then dogs will get a random burst of energy that results in them doing laps around the house or yard. Commonly known as "the zoomies," pet parents often wonder what causes this hilarious activity.

    As it turns out, the reason is simple — happiness. Dr. Jakubowsky told INSIDER, "It's a way to release pent-up energy, but only happy, healthy dogs get the zoomies." So, if your pet is doing the zoomies then you are doing everything right.

    According to Dr. Jakubowsky, many dogs also get the zoomies after a bath because "it feels so good to move and shake off all that water and anxiety."

    Although the zoomies are a completely healthy behavior, Dr. Jakubowsky does warn that pet parents should always be on alert and cautious when their dog is running around. In order to avoid injury to the dog or people around it, she advises to "steer [pets] to safe areas… and take care to protect yourself and your knees as a dog with the zoomies could crash into you."

     



    If your dog is constantly spinning in circles or chasing their tail excessively, it may be time for a vet visit.

    Although it is normal for dogs to occasionally spin out of happiness and excitement, Dr. Jakubowsky warns that "excessive spinning and tail chasing often has a more sinister cause."

    She said that frequent or constant spinning can be signs of potential health problems such as "inner ear infections, brain lesions, and even seizures." She advises that if you feel your dog is circling or spinning too much to consult with your veterinarian.  A vet should be able to help you determine if the spinning is a genetic trait, a compulsion, or a sign of a more serious health problem.

     



    However, doing circles before lying down is completely normal.

    Prior to taking naps, dogs often walk in circles and scratch at their sleeping spot. Dr. Jakubowsky said this is perfectly fine behavior and that our pets are "just trying to make a comfy spot."

    In addition, they are likely showing signs of their species' lineage. According to Dr. Jakubowsky, "There is probably some instinctual basis for this behavior — wolves making a warm, safe spot to bed down for the evening."

     



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    donald trump

    • Nearly 60% of Americans approve of the criminal-justice reform bill that the Senate passed Tuesday evening, according to a new INSIDER poll.
    • The legislation is also backed by President Donald Trump, and would reform certain parts of the federal criminal-justice system, including harsh sentencing laws.
    • Respondents to INSIDER's poll were asked two nearly identical questions about the bill, but one version mentioned that the bill was supported by Democrats, Republicans, and President Donald Trump.
    • But the responses to the questions were similar — in each case, a majority of respondents approved of the reforms.

    The Senate on Tuesday overwhelmingly passed a piece of once-in-a-generation legislation to reform the federal criminal-justice system — and the majority of Americans back the bill, according to a new INSIDER poll that ran on SurveyMonkey Audience from Dec. 14 to Dec. 16, 2018.

    The First Step Act overhauls certain federal sentencing laws, including reducing mandatory minimum sentences for drug felonies and offering judges more room for discretion.

    It also targets recidivism by emphasizing more rehabilitative services and job training opportunities, and includes reforms to how prisoners are treated, such as banning the shackling of pregnant inmates, halting the use of solitary confinement for most juvenile inmates, and mandating that prisoners be placed in facilities within 500 miles from their families.

    The bill has been lauded as a rare bipartisan victory amid an otherwise rancorous Congress that has struggled to coalesce around most issues — and INSIDER's poll shows that nearly 60% of people are on board with the reforms.

    Read more: Senate passes criminal justice reform bill that helps some prisoners get early release

    first step act

    Respondents to INSIDER's poll were asked two nearly identical questions about the bill — but one version mentioned that the bill was supported by Democrats, Republicans, and President Donald Trump.

    For the question that mentioned the bipartisan support, nearly 32% of respondents said they "strongly approve" of the reforms, and nearly 29% said they "somewhat approve."

    Just 8% said they "strongly disapprove," nearly 7% said they "somewhat disapprove," and nearly 25% said they either didn't know, or neither approved nor disapproved.

    The responses were similar for the question that omitted the fact that the bill had received bipartisan support and Trump's backing: 28% said they "strongly approve," nearly 32% said they "somewhat approve," and 8% and 9% said they "somewhat disapprove" and "strongly disapproved," respectively.

    SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn't try to weight its sample based on race or income. Total 1,136 respondents, margin of error plus or minus 2.97 percentage points with 95% confidence level.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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