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- 12/20/18--03:48: _10 things you need ...
- 12/20/18--04:00: _A startup that's br...
- 12/20/18--04:00: _Bank of England war...
- 12/20/18--04:02: _Healthcare payments...
- 12/20/18--04:10: _The murder of 2 Sca...
- 12/20/18--04:11: _Travelers had to sl...
- 12/20/18--04:15: _Amazon warehouse wo...
- 12/20/18--06:51: _27 thoughtful gifts...
- 12/20/18--06:56: _ICE wrongly flagged...
- 12/20/18--06:59: _The stock market re...
- 12/20/18--07:00: _A founder who raise...
- 12/20/18--07:00: _The best toaster ov...
- 12/20/18--07:00: _Patriots receiver J...
- 12/20/18--07:05: _Emily Blunt dispell...
- 12/20/18--07:06: _How consumers rank ...
- 12/20/18--07:09: _'Men in Black' is g...
- 12/20/18--07:11: _10 everyday items t...
- 12/20/18--07:12: _Morgan Stanley has ...
- 12/20/18--07:14: _Top bankers, invest...
- 12/20/18--07:18: _People are saying t...
- The Fed raises rates, signals fewer hikes in 2019. The Federal Reserve on Wednesday raised its benchmark interest rate 25 basis points to a range between 2.25% and 2.50%, and said it sees two rate hikes next year as opposed to its September estimate of three.
- Global markets are rebounding. Japan's Nikkei (-2.8%) was hit hard in Asia and Britain's FTSE (-0.36%) was well off its worst levels after seeing an early loss of 1.8%. The S&P 500 is set to open little changed near 2,507.
- The yield curve is the flattest its been since 2007. The spread between the 2-year and 10-year note yields is down to 11 basis points, the flattest its been since the second quarter of 2007.
- China says more trade talks are coming. "The two sides will arrange consultations including meetings and calls at any time as needed to promote the implementation of the consensus of the heads of state," Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng told reporters in Beijing, according to Reuters.
- New Zealand grows at its slowest pace in almost five years. New Zealand's economy grew 0.3% in seasonally adjusted chain volume terms, missing the 0.6% growth that was expected and making for the slowest growth since late 2013.
- A stock picker in Wall Street's top 1% this year reveals his strategy for 2019. Kyle Weaver, who oversees $5 billion as lead manager of the Fidelity Advisor Growth Opportunities Fund, told Business Insider about the four main themes he is looking to invest in for 2019.
- Facebook plunges as the bad news piles up. Shares fell more than 7% Wednesday, wiping out $30 billion of market value, after the social-media giant was sued by Washington, DC, over its relationship with Cambridge Analytica and after admitting in a blog post that Netflix and Spotify had access to user messages.
- AB InBev is teaming up with Tilray to explore marijuana-infused drinks. The world's largest brewer and the Canadian cannabis producer Tilray have agreed to form a partnership, investing up to $50 million each, to research non-alcoholic beverages containing THC and CBD.
- Earnings reporting picks up a bit. BlackBerry and Walgreens Boot Alliance report ahead of the opening bell while Nike releases its quarterly results after markets close.
- US economic data keeps coming. The Philly Fed and initial claims will both be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
- Relay Therapeutics just raised $400 million in a round led by SoftBank's Vision Fund.
- The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based startup is using computation tools to get a better sense of how proteins look while they're moving.
- The plan is to use the funding to move research along in development toward human trials, as well as expand the approach to other diseases.
- Bank of England ends the year by leaving leaving interest rates unchanged, as had been widely expected.
- The central bank's nine-member Monetary Policy Committee voted unanimously to leave rates on hold at 0.75%.
- Rates are widely expected to increase further in the coming years, but the timing of any rate hikes remains unclear, with Brexit muddying the waters.
- Bank of England says Brexit uncertainties have "intensified considerably" in minutes of MPC meeting.
- The consumerization of healthcare. Consumers are increasingly being urged to play a more prominent role in managing and paying for their own health. In effect, they've become better informed and more critical of the quality of health services. Considering that the billing process is typically the first and last interaction a patient has with a provider, a negative experience could directly impact a healthcare firm's bottom line — only 15% of patients who reported a less than satisfactory billing experience would recommend the hospital to others, according to Becker's Hospital Review.
- The digitization of healthcare. Healthcare legislation, rising costs, and a shift from fee-for-service care to value-based care are incentivizing payers and providers to seek out digital solutions that drive down costs and improve services.
- Healthcare in the US is a key industry for payments firms — spending increased 3.3% to reach $3.3 trillion in 2016, according to the Office of the Actuary in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
- Despite the size of the market, very few new opportunities have opened up for payments companies because of the healthcare industry's slow innovation and the complex regulations around entering the space.
- However, two key trends — the consumerization of healthcare and the digitization of healthcare — will put some payments companies in a strong position to capture a larger share of the market.
- The payments firms that rise to the top of the market will have to offer digital solutions that accommodate the shifting landscape, such as mobile wallet acceptance — 61% of consumers reported having interest in using mobile wallets, such as Apple Pay or Samsung Pay, to make healthcare payments, according to InstaMed.
- Payments companies will also have to introduce value-added services that appeal to healthcare providers while differentiating their offerings from competitors, such as easy-to-understand billing, integrated check-ins, and AI-based engagement tools.
- Tracks the growth of US healthcare spending.
- Identifies subsets of healthcare payments — specifically, where payments are coming from and where they're going.
- Explains the intricacies of a healthcare transaction and pinpoints where there are potential bottlenecks.
- Details what some of the leading players in the healthcare payments space are doing to differentiate themselves.
- Lists some specific solutions that payments companies could turn to in order to attract healthcare partners.
- Denmark's Prime Minister says the murder of two Scandinavian backpackers in Morocco was "politically motivated and thus an act of terror."
- His comments come after Louisa Jespersen from Denmark, and Maren Ueland from Norway, were found dead in Morocco's Atlas Mountains.
- Moroccan authorities are investigating an ISIS-style beheading video shared online, which appears to show Jespersen.
- Three men have been arrested. Authorities say "radical Islam is not ruled out due to the profile of the suspect."
- People slept on grounded planes and on airport floors after London’s Gatwick Airport was forced closed by rogue drones on the runway.
- The runway has been closed for more than 14 hours, affecting at least 10,000 people last night alone.
- One passenger shared a photo of people sleeping on his grounded plane, where he said there were “bodies sleeping on every seat and across the floors."
- Another woman said she and her children had to sleep on the floor of the terminal overnight.
- An anonymous Amazon employee wrote in The Guardian that seasonal warehouse workers were fired over text the day after Christmas last year.
- Amazon brings in lots of seasonal workers for "peak," the six week period which runs from a week before Black Friday up until Christmas.
- According to the anonymous worker, texts were then sent out asking employees to volunteer for overtime.
- An American man was wrongly flagged for deportation by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency — and a local sheriff's department held him for weeks because of it.
- Peter Brown is suing the Monroe County Sheriff's Office in Florida over the detention, accusing the department of violating his constitutional rights.
- His lawsuit alleges that his repeated attempts while jailed to prove he was a citizen fell on deaf ears.
- 12/20/18--06:59: The stock market really hates Fed Chairman Jerome Powell
- The stock market's reactions to the Federal Reserve's decisions under Chairman Jerome Powell have been negative across the board, according to an analysis from Bespoke Investment Group.
- "The S&P 500 has now fallen for a record 7th straight Fed Day, which is a streak that began when Powell became Chair," the firm wrote in a note to clients on Wednesday afternoon.
- The stock market turned sharply lower Wednesday after Powell spoke at his press conference that followed the Fed's latest interest-rate hike.
- Global markets are plunging as the Fed's 'hawkish tone' steals Christmas
- A stock picker in Wall Street's top 1% this year unveils the 4 investment themes he thinks will crush the market in 2019
- Falon Fatemi has secured more than $20 million for her tech startup Node, and even convinced Mark Cuban to invest.
- She said whenever she was caught off-guard by a question during a business pitch, she would write down the question afterward and incorporate her answer into her next pitch.
- She also asked investors for feedback on her pitch, and found most were willing to help her out.
- 12/20/18--07:00: The best toaster ovens you can buy
- Toaster ovens serve as a miniature version of the traditional oven and they offer an array of functions, including broiling, roasting, toasting, and convection cooking.
- The Cuisinart Chef’s Convection Toaster Oven is the best toaster oven you can buy because it's easy to use, heats quickly, bakes evenly, and comes with all the accessories you need, including a pizza stone.
- Best toaster oven overall: Cuisinart Chef’s Convection Toaster Oven
- Best small toaster oven: Breville Mini Smart Oven
- Best convection toaster oven: Calphalon Quartz Heat Countertop Oven
- Best budget toaster oven: Oster Digital Convection Toaster Oven
- Best infrared toaster oven: Panasonic Flash Xpress Toaster Oven
- Best toaster oven for broiling: Breville Compact Smart Oven
- New England Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon announced on Thursday that he is stepping away from football to focus on his mental health.
- Gordon said he feels he could "have a better grasp on things mentally" and thanked the Patriots for supporting him.
- According to a report, Gordon is potentially facing an indefinite suspension for violating terms of his reinstatement under the substance abuse policy.
- Gordon has played 22 games since 2014 while serving suspensions for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
- Emily Blunt said in an interview on NPR's "Fresh Air" that while everyone thinks Meryl Streep based her iconic performance in "The Devil Wears Prada" on Vogue's Anna Wintour, they're wrong.
- Blunt said Streep based the performance on two men in Hollywood, who she didn't name.
- Streep was nominated for an Oscar for her performance.
- Uses proprietary consumer survey data to evaluate how the largest delivery companies in the US stack up on customer service, package tracking, package protection, and timeliness of delivery.
- Assesses how at risk these providers are to new challengers entering the space.
- Shares strategies on how delivery companies can achieve feature parity and, ideally, differentiation, in customer experience.
- The official trailer for "Men in Black: International" was released, and shows Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson suiting up to fight aliens across the globe.
- The "Thor: Ragnarok" co-stars are joined by Liam Neeson (who plays the head of London MIB) and Emma Thompson (who reprises her role as the chief of the organization).
- The trailer also features a reference to Hemsworth's Marvel character, as the actor is seen throwing a hammer at an alien.
- There's a nod to the franchise's original stars, Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, too
- The spin-off will be released on Friday, June 14, 2019, 22 years after the first film hit theaters.
- Watch the video below.
- 12/20/18--07:11: 10 everyday items that are crawling in bacteria
- Bacteria is impossible to get away from but we shouldn't live in fear of it either.
- According to professor Dr. Jennifer Gardy most bacteria is harmless and being exposed to it can actually help us build immunity and stay healthier.
- The best defense against harmful bacteria is common sense and washing your hands with soap and water.
- Following GM's decision to close a number of its production centers in North America, Morgan Stanley says Tesla could takeover some of the closing factories as it increases its staff count.
- Tesla could serve as a "white knight" for threatened manufacturing jobs in the US, particularly in Ohio.
- Morgan Stanley sees a huge PR benefit for Tesla from any move that saves under pressure jobs.
- Tucker Carlson has lost at least 18 advertisers after he said on his Fox News show that immigrants are making the US "poorer and dirtier."
- Activist groups organized boycotts against the show's advertisers after the controversial segment — a practice some people on the right and left fear will suppress free political speech.
- Advertiser boycotts do not suppress free speech. They give average Americans the chance to force cable news hosts making millions of dollars to face repercussions for their actions.
Here is what you need to know.
A startup that's trying to come up with a better way to view the motion of proteins to develop better drugs just raised a massive round to close out 2018.
On Thursday, Relay Therapeutics said it had raised $400 million in a series C round led by SoftBank's Vision Fund, with Foresite Capital, Perceptive Advisors, and Tavistock Group joining in for the first time. Existing investors including GV, BVF Partners, and Casdin Capital also put up money. Relay has now raised a total of $520 million.
Relay, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based startup is using computation tools to get a better sense of how proteins look while they're moving. Proteins, especially those that are mutated, play a critical role in conditions like cancer.
The hope is that by evaluating how the proteins move in their "natural state"— as opposed to the way the protein is structured in a static moment — the company will be able to find cancer treatments that have otherwise been elusive.
"This company sounded like it was sitting on two disparate but unstoppable trends," Relay CEO Sanjiv Patel told Business Insider in August about his decision to join the company in 2017.
Founded in 2016, Relay's still in the early stages of drug development, but plans to spend 2019 determining which programs to move into human trials, as well as expand its approach into other disease areas.
Having investors like Japanese tech giant SoftBank's $92 billion Vision Fund, which has made investments in quickly-scaling companies like Uber and WeWork, made sense at this point.
"They can bring experience building companies at the scale and level of disruption," Patel told Business Insider in December.
It's not the first time Softbank has made a big bet on biotech. On December 13, SoftBank's Vision Fund led a $400 million round for Silicon Valley-based synthetic biology startup Zymergen. In August 2017, Vision Fund also led a $1.1 billion round for Roivant, a company working to give old drugs new lives.
"Not every biotech company does it make sense to finance in this manner," Third Rock Ventures partner and Relay chairman Alexis Borisy told Business Insider in December. "You really need to have something with the scale of applicability."
The Bank of England on Thursday left interest rates unchanged, as had been widely expected, but warned that uncertainties around Brexit have "intensified considerably" since its last meeting.
Meeting less than 24 hours after the US Federal Reserve raised rates for the fourth time in 2018, the central bank's nine-member Monetary Policy Committee voted unanimously to leave rates on hold at 0.75%.
Any outcome other than no change from the meeting would have been a significant surprise to markets.
"Brexit uncertainties have intensified considerably since the committee’s last meeting," minutes from the MPC's meeting said.
"The further intensification of Brexit uncertainties, coupled with the slowing global economy, has also weighed on the near-term outlook for UK growth."
Rates are widely expected to increase further in the coming years, but the timing of any rate hikes remains unclear particularly with the looming spectre of a possible no deal Brexit hanging over the UK.
"The broader economic outlook will continue to depend significantly on the nature of EU withdrawal, in particular: the form of new trading arrangements between the European Union and the United Kingdom; whether the transition to them is abrupt or smooth; and how households, businesses and financial markets respond," the Bank of England added, emphasising its willingness to move interest rates either higher or lower in response to any economic shock from Brexit.
The bank previously warned in November that the worst case no deal Brexit could plunge the UK into its worst recession since the Second World War, and knock 8% off GDP in a single year.
Relative to many other sectors around the globe, the US healthcare industry has been notoriously slow to embrace new payment systems and processes.
For example, approximately 77% of healthcare providers still use paper-based patient billing methods, according to an MGMA and Navicure survey. The lack of urgency to innovate has resulted in confusion, inefficiencies, and security issues among stakeholders.
However, this stagnation is enabling payments firms to capitalize on two key trends to disrupt — and capture a piece of — the $3 trillion healthcare industry:
Now is the time for payments hardware, software, and processing firms to introduce specific solutions that accommodate the shifting landscape. These could include digital payment options, such as online checkouts or point-of-service mobile wallet acceptance, or value-added services that enhance the overall payments and billing experience. However, before payments companies introduce new solutions, they must navigate the highly regulated and complex industry.
In this report, Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, explains how a typical healthcare transaction is structured, identifies the major players in the industry, and pinpoints the most pressing pain points for stakeholders. We then look at the opportunities available to payments companies, and explore specific solutions that could help them attract partners in the space.
Here are some of the key takeaways:
In full, the report:
The murder of two Scandinavian backpackers on a Moroccan hiking trail is "an act of terror," Denmark's Prime Minister has said, as officials investigate a video of an ISIS-style beheading posted online.
Lars Løkke Rasmussen tweeted a statement on Thursday which said the brutal killing of a Danish and Norwegian woman in Morocco on December 18 was "politically motivated and thus an act of terror."
Danish intelligence officials confirmed Thursday that the video is authentic, according to Al Jazeera. Moroccan prosecutors also said that they are reviewing the footage.
INSIDER has also seen the footage, which we have chosen not to reproduce.
It shows the death of a blindfolded woman in a white t-shirt, who appears to be Jespersen. A man severs her head with a knife, in a fashion similar to the videos showing the murder of western prisoners captured by ISIS.
Moroccan state television 2M said on its website that investigators believe the attack was terrorism, according to the Associated Press. It did not link the act to any named group.
As of Thursday, Moroccan authorities have arrested three men from Marrakech in connection to the women's murders, Norway Today said. Their names have not yet been released.
The murdered women, both of whom studied outdoor activities and cultural guidance at the University of South-Eastern Norway, were on a month-long trip across Morocco.
They were found about 6 miles from the small village of Imlil which is a common starting point for people heading up Mount Toubkal, North Africa’s highest peak.
Violence against tourists in Morocco is extremely rare.
People slept on a grounded planes terminal floors after a major British airport was forced closed because of someone flying drones over the runway.
More than 10,000 people were affected by the closure of one of Gatwick Airport, a major airport serving London, on Wednesday night, with 2,000 people unable to depart and 2,000 people on flights in other airports bound for Gatwick that did not take off.
An additional 6,000 people were on flights that had to divert to other airports. The airport has not given figures for how many people will be affected as the airport remains closed on Thursday morning.
Christopher Lister, who was flying to Gatwick Airport from Kiev, said on Twitter that his flight was diverted to another UK airport where passengers were then left on the plane and unable to get off.
He said that people resorted to sleeping on the plane: "Bodies sleeping on every seat and across the floors."
Flight from Kiev to #Gatwick was due to land last night at 21.45. We landed in Birmingham airport. Now almost 4am, still on the plane, no food or updates from our crew. Not allowed to disembark. Bodies sleeping on every seat and across the floors. 🇬🇧🙏❤️✈️ #GatwickAirportpic.twitter.com/nBrPquEGFM— Christopher Lister (@Listy_cl) December 20, 2018
Lister told Business Insider that his flight waited at Birmingham airport for around four hours with the intention of flying back to Gatwick, but further drone sightings meant that this wasn't possible. He said that they were able to leave the airport at around 5.30 a.m., around six hours after they first landed.
He said that there were children and women feeding their babies on the flight.
The Guardian newspaper also spoke to passengers who slept on a plane that waited for four hours before eventually not taking off.
"At 9 p.m. yesterday we were on the plane for four hours — they turned the lights off and everything like it was going to take off," the passenger told The Guardian. "But we were still sitting there."
Passengers were offered hotels overnight, Chris Woodroffe, the airport's chief operating officer, said on the BBC's "Today" program. But many passengers slept on the terminal floor and in chairs on Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
Under EU law, it is the airline's responsibility to offer passengers accommodation if flights are delayed overnight. But passengers are unlikely to get compensation if the flight is canceled for reasons that are outside the airline's control.
The airline should give refunds and find you an alternative flight, but there may be few timely flights avaliable during the busy festive period.
Yulia Hristova, who was supposed to fly to Istanbul via Kiev, spent the night in the airport with her two children and told the Press Association she slept on the floor. "We were sleeping on the floor, me and my children. I lost my son during the night, and a policeman brought him back," she said.
"It’s been an emotional disaster. I’m so exhausted, I don’t want to stress out but it’s very worrying. What’s going to happen to us in Ukraine? What if we run out of money? Are the airline going to put us in a hotel?"
Andri Kyprianou, from Cyprus, who was on a visit to London, said that a pregnant woman was sleeping on the floor, the BBC reported.
"There were pregnant women, one of them was sleeping on the floor," she said.
"There were people with small babies in here overnight, we saw disabled people on chairs. There were young children sleeping on the floor."
Woodroffe apologized to passengers and said that the airport was working with airlines to build a schedule for redirected flights and to inform passengers.
Gatwick said in a statement:"We apologize to any affected passengers for this inconvenience but the safety of our passengers and all staff is our number one priority."
Chris Woodroffe, the airport's chief operating officer, told the BBC's "Today" program that the knock-on effects would continue for days even after the airport reopens.
The airport is warning passengers not to travel to the airport before checking the status of their flight with their airline, while police are hunting the drone operator, who could face a five-year jail sentence.
Police say it is a "deliberate act" but that there are no indications that the action is terror-related.
Gatwick is the second-largest airport in the UK, with 56 airlines operating regularly and around 45 million passengers a year. The airport said that it is expecting 2.9 million passengers over the festive period.
An anonymous Amazon worker has written a column in The Guardian describing what it's like to work at an Amazon warehouse, or "fulfilment center," at Christmas.
The period from the week before Black Friday running through to Christmas is called "peak," and is when warehouse workers are expected to put in more hours in shift patterns that can add up to about 60 hours a week, according to the anonymous employee.
Typically, Amazon brings in seasonal workers to help cope with the increased workload, and the anonymous writer claims that they double the workforce with these employees who are "paid less, not given benefits, and put on a restrictive time-off allowance, ensuring they'll be working through the holiday season."
The staffer, who works in a warehouse in the US, said that last year seasonal employees were laid off the day after Christmas Day via text.
"Last year, that was when the culling of seasonal associates began, people [were] fired mid-shift by text message," the worker said. "Not an hour later, texts went out seeking volunteers for overtime for the next two weeks."
Reportedly these texts were accidentally sent to some of the employees who had just been fired, prompting a friend of the writer to kick a pallet over, say "f--k this" and march out of the building.
Business Insider has contacted Amazon for comment.
Do you work at Amazon? Got a tip? Contact this reporter via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.
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Shopping for grandparents can be daunting. They probably have most of the basics down pat, and if you ask for ideas you'll likely get a genuine "nothing, sweetheart."
But these are the people who sat through your band recitals even though they were unbearably boring. They weathered your tantrums and sticky fingers on their furniture, and they probably slipped you candy even when someone else said no. So, what can you do for them?
Below are 27 gifts that you can feel good about gifting. They’re thoughtful, useful, sweet, and bound to be extremely appreciated by grandmas and grandpas.
Most of these items are available with expedited shipping, and some should arrive within a few days' time, 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.
Looking for more gift ideas? Check out all of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides for 2018 here.
Fresh coffee beans from all over the world delivered to their door
Atlas Coffee sends them fresh beans from across the globe to their door. They’ll learn about its flavor profile, tasting notes, suggested brewing methods, a little history lesson in its origins — and each comes in a bag with festive packaging. If they've been coffee buffs for a while — or just love having a morning cup — they'll appreciate both the thought and opportunity to learn something new.
A Jo Malone diffuser that smells amazing and looks good in a home
A diffuser is like the modern take on potpourri, and Jo Malone makes some incredibly good scents. They’ll recognize the brand, like the smell, and the clean, minimalist glass container means they won’t only bring this out when they know you’re coming over.
A DNA test that lets them delve into family history
Your grandparents are the origins and default architects of much of your life, and AncestryDNA gives them — and you — the chance to explore and appreciate that history. They’ll be able to see their heritage and genetic breakdown (aka 50% Irish, 30% Italian, and so on) and can build family trees complete with historical documents and censuses already on the site. If they’re interested in history, they’ll love this.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
An American man spent weeks in a local jail after he was wrongly flagged for deportation by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and detained by the local sheriff's department, according to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.
Peter Brown, who was born in Philadelphia and lives in Florida, was jailed in April 2018 over a probation violation after he tested positive for marijuana. But in a bizarre twist, the Monroe County Sheriff's Office refused to let Brown go even after a judge ordered his release.
The officers told him he was instead being held on an ICE detainer request, and that he would soon be transferred to a prison in Jamaica, a country he has only seen once while on a cruise, according to the ACLU.
"I thought it was a joke honestly at first, or just some odd fluke because it made no sense,"Brown told NPR.
According to Brown's lawsuit, which names Sheriff Richard Ramsay as the sole defendant, the sheriff's department had fingerprinted him and sent it to ICE, which incorrectly identified him as an unauthorized Jamaican immigrant, then flagged him for deportation.
The sheriff's department has a Basic Ordering Agreement with ICE, which pays the department $50 for each detainee it holds at ICE's request — and Brown said his repeated attempts to explain to officers that he was an American citizen fell on deaf ears.
"Throughout his detention, Mr. Brown repeatedly told the Sheriff's officers that he was a US citizen and could not be deported or held for ICE," the lawsuit said.
It continued: "He offered to produce his birth certificate. His friend and co-worker called the jail on his behalf to explain his citizenship. He filed multiple written grievances explaining that he was born in the United States. The Sheriff's own jail file showed that he was a US citizen born in Philadelphia and had a valid Florida driver's license.
'Between you, your attorney, and ICE'
In a written response to one of Brown's complaints, the sheriff's department said, "It is not up to us to determine the validity of the ICE hold. That is between you, your attorney and ICE."
Sheriff Ramsay told NPR in a statement that his hands had been tied in Brown's case.
"When an inmate is held under an ICE matter, I, as Sheriff do not have legal authority to release that person," he said.
The ACLU, however, disagreed.
"The $50 payment the Sheriff's Office receives under the BOA does not excuse the sheriff from complying with the Constitution," the lawsuit said.
Once Brown was physically transferred from the sheriff's custody into ICE custody, the agency examined his documentation and released him immediately.
Brown's case is far from the first time that a US citizen has been wrongfully detained or flagged for deportation by ICE — the Deportation Research Clinic at Northwestern University found that more than 250 individuals were wrongfully held over six years, its director told NPR.
One American was even detained for 1,273 days, amounting to nearly four years, the Los Angeles Times reported.
"It's shocking and not right that somebody can lose their human rights and have all dignity stripped away simply because someone delivers a piece of paper or signs a form," Brown said in a statement.
The stock market really doesn't like Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.
The S&P 500 has posted a loss each day the Fed has announced an interest-rate decision under Powell's watch — a record seven straight Fed days — according to an analysis from Bespoke Investment Group.
"That's not a great track record so far!"the firm wrote in a note to clients Wednesday afternoon, illustrating the stark difference in the market's behavior under Powell compared with his predecessors.
The stock market turned sharply negative Wednesday, erasing earlier gains, after the central bank said it would hike interest rates to a target range between 2.25% and 2.5%, a move that was widely expected. The hike marked the fourth of 2018 and the ninth since the Fed's tightening path began in 2015.
The S&P's 1.54% decline on Wednesday was the 19th time the index fell more than 1% on a Fed decision day and the most negative reaction to a Fed decision since September 21, 2011, when the index fell 2.94%, according to Bespoke.
Powell's predecessor, Janet Yellen, saw five interest-rate hikes through her tenure as Fed chair, the first of which came in December 2015. Powell has now seen four hikes under his watch.
The latest rate hike comes at a particularly late stage in the current cycle, while the economy also grapples with unknowns related to the US-China trade war. Stocks have also gotten hit hard in recent months, with the S&P 500 on track for its worst fourth quarter since 1932, according to a UBS analysis.
Powell was thought to stoke the stock market's miserable month of October, with commentary suggesting the central bank was a "long way" from neutral on interest rates.
The S&P was down 9.2% since Powell became Fed chairman on February 5. The market took a nosedive that day.
One of the keys to a successful business pitch is addressing your audience's questions before they're asked.
Although it's not always possible to predict what investors will ask you, one entrepreneur has a smart strategy that has helped her raise more than $20 million for her tech startup.
Falon Fatemi, a Google alum who became the company's youngest-ever employee when she was hired at 19, is the founder and CEO of the startup Node. Fatemi said whenever she's thrown off by an unexpected question from an investor during a business pitch, she'll write it down later and incorporate her answer into the pitch next time she gives it.
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"Success is built on a ton of failures," Fatemi told Business Insider. "Getting rejections can be painful, kind of like dating, but it's really important you use those as an opportunity to get feedback and improve your pitch."
"What I actually used to do is, every set of questions that I was asked in a meeting, I would actually write those questions down and build an objection-handling doc," she said.
"Every hard question I would get that I hadn't prepared for beforehand, I actually would take those questions and build on that. Like, think a little bit on how I could improve my pitch, and weave that objection into my pitch so I'm already covering that, which only made my pitch stronger every time I had a conversation."
Fatemi's strategy has clearly paid off: since launching Node in 2014, the startup has secured $23.3 million from 24 investors, according to Crunchbase. Node uses AI technology to help businesses connect with potential customers, and its investors include Mark Cuban of "Shark Tank."
Whenever Fatemi failed to convince a prospective investor, she found they were often willing to suggest ways she could improve her pitch — all she needed to do was ask.
"I would ask for feedback," she said. "I'd say, you know, I really want to understand why this wasn't a fit for you. I would also like to hear your feedback as to what I can do better, and/or do you have suggestions for people you think would be a better fit."
Fatemi said most investors know within five minutes of talking to her whether they wanted to invest. That makes it critical for entrepreneurs to be able to articulate their story and why they're seeking funding to begin with.
"The amazing thing about the fundraising experience is that it forces you as an entrepreneur to be very, very clear about what you're doing, why you're doing it, and what your long-term vision is," she said. "And that's something that most entrepreneurs don't spend enough time on."
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.
Living in environmentally-conscious times, it may feel like a waste heating up a full-size oven just to make a small meal. And, if you have a small kitchen, a traditional oven may not be an option. This is where toaster ovens can help you save on space and utility bills.
Even if you have a large kitchen, a toaster oven is useful for the heavy-cooking holidays, such as Thanksgiving when you need to cook and warm several dishes at different temperatures at the same time.
There are almost as many heating options available as there are brands. When buying a toaster oven, you also want to consider how much space you will have. Most models will fit between your counter and the bottom of your cabinets. If space is at a premium in your dwelling, be sure to pay special attention to the dimensions of the toaster ovens you are interested in.
We examined the ratings and reviews of hundreds of top users and experts to see which toaster ovens offer the best value for your money, do what they say they can do, and perform consistently. Read on to learn all about our top picks.
Here are the best toaster ovens you can buy:
Updated on 12/20/2018 by Kylie Joyner: Added the Calphalon Quartz Heat Countertop Oven after testing. Updated prices and formatting.
Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.
The best toaster oven overall
Why you'll love it: The Cuisinart Chef's Convection Toaster Oven bakes evenly, is easy to use, and comes with all the pans you need to get baking.
Cuisinart’s Chef’s Convection Toaster Oven is the best toaster oven we've tested. Not only is it easy to use, it also bakes evenly, has plenty of settings, and comes with helpful accessories like a pizza stone, two baking racks, and two baking pans.
With its 0.95-cubic-foot capacity, the oven can hold a 13-inch pizza, a 9-by-13-inch baking pan, a whole chicken, and nine slices of bread. Even though it holds a lot, the toaster oven itself isn't terribly huge. It measures 21 by 17 by 11 inches in size, plus, it looks good in any kitchen, thanks to its brushed stainless steel finish.
The Chef's Toaster Oven has 15 cooking functions, including several helpful pre-sets for foods you'll make a lot like toast, pizza, and sandwiches. It also has a speed convection setting for when you want to get cooking really fast. The 1800 watt oven heats up very quickly and Cuisinart's Exact Heat sensor ensures that the temperature is accurate.
We never had to wait very long for it to reach baking temperatures of 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and it toasts bread perfectly in a matter of minutes. We used the toaster oven to bake pain aux raisin, cuernitos, homemade pizza, and cinnamon rolls. We also warmed up French onion soup, broiled fish, and cooked meals in it for a month to really put it through the test, and it passed with flying colors.
The interior light makes it easy to see what's going on inside behind the big glass door, so you can monitor the progress of your toast, pizza, croissants, or what have you. We found the light particularly helpful when we were still learning the oven's settings.
The baking rack automatically slides out when you open the door, making it easy to pull out your hot baked goods. The interior was easy to clean, too, because of the pull-out crumb tray. All these little features add up to make a great toaster oven that's easy to use.
We're not the only ones that recommend the Chef's Convection Toaster Oven. The Wirecutter recommends this oven as the best large toaster oven. Good Housekeeping Institute tested an older model of this oven and gave it high marks. Techlicious also gave an older version of this oven a great review.
Buyers on Bed Bath & Beyond as well as Amazon rate it highly, and it's won an Amazon's Choice Award. There have been some reports of the door failing over time, some say the labels rub off the buttons, and others complain that it gets hot to the touch.
However, Cuisinart does warn that the sides will heat up and you should remove any meltable objects from the top and sides before you begin baking. The oven comes with a three-year warranty, too, so if you do run into any problems, contact Cuisinart for a replacement. — Malarie Gokey
Pros: Comes with pizza stone and pans, easy to use, bakes evenly, lots of settings
Cons: A bit pricey takes up counter space
The best small toaster oven
Why you'll love it: The Breville BOV450XL Mini Smart Oven with Element IQ has the power of a traditional oven with faster pre-heat times and a smaller footprint in your kitchen.
The main feature that sets the Breville Mini Smart Oven apart is its use of Element IQ variable power distribution. It works like this: Food is cooked more quickly and evenly using the power of four individual quartz heating elements. This distributes heat throughout the appliance where it is needed. The oven adjusts the wattage of the heating elements up to 1,800 watts for flexible cooking based on the heating menu options you choose. The pre-set menu options include toast, bake, broil, roast, cookies, reheat, pizza, and bagel.
With dimensions of 16 by 13 by 9 inches, the Breville Mini Smart Oven is the smallest toaster oven Breville makes, and it can fit four slices of toast or an 11-inch pizza inside. Among the many features that make the unit easy to clean are the removable pull-out crumb tray. You should change it often to ensure the device doesn’t malfunction, as most toaster ovens are designed to stop functioning when crumbs build up to an unsafe level.
Expert reviews of the Breville Mini Smart Oven were almost all positive. Compact Appliance rated it highly for its basic functions as well as the sleek, stainless steel design. The reviewer found the “Smart” term in the name of the device to be a bit misleading because there is no special Wi-Fi functionality. Amy Says Cook performed an in-depth review and found this toaster oven preheats quickly and allows for total cooking control. Time 4 Toast, which exclusively reviews toaster ovens, recommended this model despite the high price because of the Element IQ technology.
The Breville Mini Smart Oven has more than 1,200 five-star reviews on Amazon. Buyers report that this toaster oven is durable and performs just as well if not better than traditional ovens. The biggest complaints are that the buzzer is extremely loud and that the handle to the oven door sticks out too far.
Pros: Durable, easy to clean broad array of cooking functions
Cons: No convection feature, loud
The best convection toaster oven
Why you'll love it: The Calphalon Quartz Heat Countertop Oven heats quickly and evenly, has an easy-to-read screen, and comes with a nice range of accessories.
Whether you live in a small space that doesn’t allow for a traditional oven, or you’re in need of a countertop oven that can help you handle the frenzy of holiday cooking, the Calphalon Quartz Heat Countertop oven is an option well worth considering. This oven features a quartz heating element that allows for more even heating and cooking.
I put this countertop oven to the test to see if it lived up to the promise of fast, precise cooking. During the Thanksgiving holiday, I put it through the paces, and I was pleased with the results. It preheated quickly, and everything we cooked — including a corn casserole and roasted cherry tomatoes — came out perfectly.
The best part is that we had another oven to use for cooking sides while our main oven was busy cooking the turkey for dinner. If you enjoy entertaining, or simply need additional oven space, a countertop oven is a great thing to have in your arsenal of kitchen appliances.
I would also recommend this for those who have a smaller living space or kitchen that may not support a full-sized oven. It can handle all the jobs a traditional oven can, plus it doubles as a toaster. Along with the toast function, ten other cooking functions are available: Bagel, Pizza, Bake, Broil, Roast, Defrost, Reheat, Warm, Cookies, and Dehydrate. It also has a turbo convection setting to crisp up food.
Its larger capacity allows it to cook larger dishes than smaller toaster ovens, but you’ll want to measure your countertop space to ensure a good fit. We had no issue fitting this onto our countertop, and while we likely won’t leave it out all the time, it does blend in well with the rest of our appliances thanks to the sleek, dark stainless steel design.
In addition to having a wide range of cooking functions and a bright, easy to read LCD screen, this countertop oven features a light so you can easily check on your culinary masterpiece — or your piece of toast. Either way, it’s another useful feature to help ensure the cooking process goes smoothly.
I also liked that the oven comes with all the accessories you need to get started, including a wire rack, a baking sheet, a 12-inch pizza pan, and a dehydrator rack. The oven itself is easy to use thanks to the clearly labeled knobs and LCD screen that shows you the temperature setting, cooking function, and time if you choose to use the timer.
I’m not the only one who had great results using the Calphalon Quartz Heat Countertop Oven. This appliance has received highly rated reviews on Amazon and is considered an Amazon’s Choice product. Some reviewers do complain about the high price, and others wish the power cord was a bit longer. Overall though, most love how quickly it heats, how well it cooks, and the multiple settings available. — Kylie Joyner
Pros: Preheats quickly, features quartz element for even heating, easy to read LCD display, 11 different cooking functions, comes with cooking accessories
Cons: On the expensive side, short power cord
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New England Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon announced on Thursday that he is stepping away from football to focus on mental health.
"I take my mental health very seriously at this point to ensure I remain able to perform at the highest level," Gordon said in a statement.
"I have recently felt like I could have a better grasp on things mentally. With that said, I will be stepping away from the football field for a bit to focus on my mental health."
Gordon thanked the Patriots owner Robert Kraft, head coach Bill Belichick, and the team for supporting him.
According to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, Gordon is facing a potential indefinite suspension for violating the terms of his reinstatement under the substance abuse policy. Several reports indicated the Patriots knew this was coming.
Gordon has battled substance abuse issues during his career. He missed all of the 2015 and 2016 seasons while serving suspensions for violating the league's substance abuse policy. He also only played five of 16 games in 2017 while still with the Browns.
At the beginning of the 2018 season, with training camp set to begin, Gordon announced he would be stepping away "as part of his overall health and treatment plan." He returned and played in Week 1 with the Browns before getting traded to the Patriots in Week 2. He has totaled 40 catches for 720 yards and 3 touchdowns with New England.
Read Gordon's statement below:
"Mary Poppins Returns" star Emily Blunt said in an interview that Meryl Streep did not base her performance as Miranda Priestly in 2006's "The Devil Wears Prada" on Ann Wintour of Vogue.
In fact, Streep based it on two powerful men in Hollywood, whom she did not name. "I know who they are," Blunt said.
"The Devil Wears Prada" helped launch Blunt's film career. She told NPR's Terry Gross on "Fresh Air" in an interview that aired Tuesday that while most people believe that Streep's Oscar-nominated performance as the cold and intimidating editor of a Vogue-like fashion magazine was based on Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, it's actually not.
"Although Meryl didn't actually base it on Anna Wintour," Blunt said. "She told Anna that. She based it on two men in Hollywood that she knew, who will remain nameless but I know who they are."
Blunt played Emily, Miranda Priestly's assistant.
"She's just desperate, and completely defines herself by this job that she does and the clothes that she wears," Blunt said of her character. "And she's really funny, a really really funny character, just completely idiotic in many ways."
Blunt also told NPR that in all three movies she's appeared in with Streep, ("The Devil Wears Prada,""Into the Woods," and "Mary Poppins Returns") they've never played characters who like each other. But she hopes that changes one day.
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The transportation and logistics industry is undergoing a massive shift as a result of surging deliveries. Daily parcel volumes are higher than ever before — but so are customers’ expectations for cheap and fast fulfillment.
To keep up with mounting demand, retailers and their logistics partners have been racing to develop more efficient processes with experimental supply chain models like crowdsourced delivery — the Uber model in which customers use mobile apps to connect directly with local couriers for on-demand or same-day fulfillment.
And it’s not just startups like Deliv and Postmates getting in on the action. This year Amazon not only launched its own shipping service to deliver packages for other businesses (“Shipping with Amazon”) but also announced its “Delivery Service Partner” program, which provides capital incentives for people to launch their own delivery companies fulfilling orders on behalf of Amazon itself.
With emerging delivery models like these aggressively stealing away customers, the pressure is on for legacy players like FedEx, UPS, the USPS, and the thousands of businesses who depend on them every day, to respond. But it will take more than just material resources or a large fleet of vehicles to truly compete. These companies need to earn the trust of consumers.
Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has obtained exclusive survey data to paint the 2018 delivery landscape and the trends of its major players. The findings comprise the team’s latest Enterprise Edge Report, The 2018 Delivery Trust Report, and give transportation, supply chain, and logistics companies the tools they’ll need to win back customers.
Enterprise Edge Reports are the very best research Business Insider Intelligence has to offer in terms of actionable recommendations and proprietary data, and they are only available to Enterprise clients.
In full, the study:
So, which delivery features do consumers care about?
First and foremost, speed. It makes sense that consumers value fast delivery, but did you know just how many of them prioritize this feature? According to a recent survey from Dropoff, it’s 99%. And with millions of packages delivered nationwide every single day, that’s a lot customers with high expectations.
But customers don’t just want their packages delivered quickly; they want to follow the journey from store to doorstep. Another one of the most important offerings delivery companies boast is real-time tracking, with nearly 90% of consumers noting it in the Dropoff survey.
If they can get it right, tracking is a twofold advantage for delivery companies; it entices consumers who want to know when their packages are coming, and it appeals to merchant partners who might be willing to switch delivery service providers for the added visibility and customer benefit.
And the field is still wide open for companies to differentiate on this feature. Among those who had a package delivered from UPS, FedEx, USPS, or DHL in the last year, nearly 30% of Business Insider Intelligence survey respondents couldn't actually say which company offered the best tracking features. Whether it means using mobile apps, SMS texting, or chatbots to communicate with customers, there’s plenty of opportunity for logistics companies to hone and become known for this feature.
Want to learn more?
This is just a snapshot of the Business Insider Intelligence 2018 Delivery Trust Report, which compiles the complete survey findings to dive deeper into the opportunities delivery companies have to engage and delight customers.
The multi-part report also presents actionable insights that transportation and logistics companies can use to fight back against Amazon’s continuous push into deliveries.
Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.
It's bacteria's world, and we're just living in it. According to research, there are over one trillion species of microbes living on earth. But as contaminated and terrifying as that may make you feel, you really shouldn't sweat it.
"Bacteria are everywhere," explained Dr. Jennifer Gardy, an associate professor at the University of British Columbia's School of Population and Public Health, a senior scientist at the BC Centre for Disease Control, and author of "It's Catching: The Infectious World of Germs and Microbes."
"They're mostly harmless and often helpful. We shouldn't be afraid of bacteria because that leads to overzealous hygiene, which isn't good either. Truthfully, very few people actually get sick from touching things — it's more human-to-human contact or ingesting something carrying a pathogen," she tells INSIDER.
But, even though bacteria can't hurt us as much as we may have originally thought, Gardy still stresses the importance of washing hands. "Soap, water, and common sense are your best defense against the handful of bugs that you might encounter out there," she said. And if you can't wash your hands keep in mind that a little bacteria is actually helpful.
"Being exposed to bacteria is a good thing — bacteria keeps our immune system busy; if it's not busy, it can start to turn on us, attacking our own cells. This is why autoimmune diseases are so prevalent in countries where people are fastidiously clean," she explained
So, as unnerving as the list below may make you feel, don't walk around using hand sanitizer on your hands all the time, that's probably worse than the bacteria itself.
Your kitchen sponges should be changed often.
When you think about it, kitchen sponges are pretty nasty. A study published last year revealed that because of the density of a kitchen sponge it can harbor much more bacteria than originally thought.
But, even though you may have been washing your dishes with bacteria incubators the researchers stress the study was meant to raise awareness, not fear. So, just change your sponges every so often and you'll be fine.
Most of the bacteria on the top of your cell phone is harmless.
A scientist at the University of Arizona found that cell phones are ten times dirtier than toilet seats. No matter how clean you think you are, human skin carries tons of microbes naturally, plus things get transferred from your hands and mouth onto your phone as well. But again, there's no need to impulsively wipe your cell phone down with anti-bacterial wipes after every call or text — the majority of the bacteria is harmless.
Plastic restaurant menus are nearly impossible to keep clean.
As much as restaurants try and keep their menus clean, the amount of hands that touch menus daily makes it nearly impossible to keep them 100% bacteria free. Although one thing you can do is wash or sanitize your hands right after you give your order so anything foreign from the menu won't hang out on your hands.
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Tesla could move to pick up one of GM's soon-to-be redundant factories in Ohio aiding US manufacturing and the company's future, according to Morgan Stanley.
The bank sees the opportunities left behind by GM as the potential next step in Tesla's expansion. GM's decision to cut around 14,000 jobs last month was criticised by President Donald Trump despite the company previously stating his tariffs would lead to job losses.
Tesla has a history of taking over unused plants, such as the former Toyota and GM NUMMI plant in Fremont, California, and Morgan Stanley says the company will need far more production capability and staff moving forward. The bank estimates Tesla’s current 40,000 employees will reach 50,000 by 2020, 72,000 by 2025 and 92,000 by 2030 with thousands needed in the coming years.
There is a potential cost saving benefit for Tesla in moving to Lordstown, Ohio given few places have a pre-existing labour supply and infrastructure that could adapt to the fast growing electric vehicle maker.
In a recent 60 Minutes interview on CBS, Elon Musk was asked if Tesla could buy one of the GM plants slated for closure.
In response, Musk said: "It's possible that we would be interested. If they were going to sell a plant or not use it that we would take it over."
Musk's comments drew the attention of Ohio's Governor John Kasich who tweeted the Tesla CEO suggesting he should get in touch.
To make the deal viable for shareholders, Morgan Stanley says there are three essential criteria for Tesla to hit. Namely, that there is "a free (or nearly free) cost to acquire the plant, a labor contract that does not involve a traditional UAW/collective bargaining agreement (like their current Fremont, CA plant), extension of the $7,500 Federal tax credit for the purchase of EVs or other incentives to encourage the early adoption of EV technology."
Investors could be cautious about the profitability of such a move especially with labor union disputes a possibility, but notes that any job-saving move would be a great PR opportunity for Musk's company. Tesla has been in the news for Tusk's often erratic habits such as smoking weed during an interview and infamously tweeting that funding was secured for the company, a move which led to a lengthy spat with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
2018 was an eventful year in the finance world. From big hedge funds shuttering, to unicorns (finally) filing for IPOs, to huge transformations in the media and telecom industries.
So what should we expect in 2019?
Business Insider spoke with a variety of of experts, from high flying money managers to prominent investors to top investment bankers and executives. Here's what they said about the biggest trends next year.
Four top investors gave their best predictions for trends in the asset-management industry
Business Insider talked to four top investors in the asset management industry, including executives from JPMorgan and UBS, to get their predictions for 2019.
They expect that the new year will bring about a number of changes, including the continued culling of products and better exits for early-stage impact investors.
Top investment bankers talk technology IPOs
Despite crazy market volatility in recent months, 2019 will still be a strong year for technology initial public offerings, according to top technology bankers that Business Insider spoke with.
Tech IPOs could break records in 2019 as US bankers prepare for some of the largest private companies in the world, like Uber, Lyft and Pinterest, to make their stock market debuts.
Here are the hedge fund managers to watch next year
It's been a roller-coaster ride for most hedge funds this year.
Through the first half of 2018, hedge funds were performing pretty well. But that turned sharply in the third quarter. Market volatility in October and November hit hedge funds hard, and a number of large managers like Jason Karp's Tourbillon Capital Partners and Highfields Capital Partners ended up shutting their funds.
Business Insider talked to top hedge funds consultants, recruiters, lawyers, and investors, who shared their picks about the managers they'll be watching closely next year in this tough environment. The list includes notable investors like Steve Cohen, who founded Point72 Asset Management, as well as lesser known managers.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
A new wave of boycotts is sweeping America. And, there is nothing wrong with that.
At least 18 sponsors have cut ties with Tucker Carlson's Fox News show since last week, when the host said in a segment that immigrants were making the US "poorer and dirtier and more divided." In response to Carlson's statements, progressive activist groups and others on the left threatened to boycott companies that ran ads on the show.
The boycotts sparked fury on the right.
Fox News issued a statement saying: "We cannot and will not allow voices like Tucker Carlson to be censored by agenda-driven intimidation efforts from the likes of Moveon.org, Media Matters and Sleeping Giants. ... While we do not advocate boycotts, these same groups never target other broadcasters and operate under a grossly hypocritical double standard given their intolerance to all opposing points of view."
However, not all of the criticism came from the right.
"The logical endpoint of deeming advertisers to have endorsed the political messages of the shows they run ads on is that only milquetoast both-sidesism with a pro-corporate bent will be advertising-supported, if any political content is ad-supported at all,"Nate Silver tweeted on Tuesday.
Silver hints at the actual point of boycotts. Contrary to popular belief, boycotts' success is not determined by how they negatively impact a company's sales, something that rarely happens. Instead, boycotts are a tool to set a political agenda — in this case, pushing back against a Fox News host saying that immigrants make the US poorer and dirtier.
But, the assumption that "only milquetoast both-sidesism with a pro-corporate bent" will survive the recent rash of boycotts ignores history, both in centuries past and in the Trump era.
The history of boycotts
While companies have been pummeled by boycott threats over the last few years, some of the most significant political shifts in American history have been accompanied by boycotts.
The Montgomery bus boycotts were a massive turning point in the Civil Rights movement, as a rare example of a boycott that directly resulted in a legal action. Prior to the Civil War, abolitionists organized boycotts against goods made with slave labor. And, the Boston Tea Party was essentially the bubbling over of a tea-centric boycott in reaction to what American colonists saw as unfair taxation.
With the US' rich history of boycotts — and related destruction of goods — it shouldn't come as a surprise that people destroyed their Keurigs when the company pulled advertising from Sean Hannity's Fox News show in 2017.
A successful boycott is one that raises political consciousness about certain issues, even if it doesn't impact sales, according to Lawrence Glickman, a Cornell history professor.
For example, anti-slavery boycotts in the 1800s failed to substantially impact Southern businesses' sales. However, the boycotts forced both Northerners and Southerners to realize how their daily lives overlapped with companies that profited from slavery.
"What boycotters try to do is try to personalize the economy, which is often abstract to people," Glickman told Business Insider in 2017. "So, you see yourself buying a good, but you don't necessarily see yourself affecting people or the environment in a direct way."
"What boycotters have always tried to do is separate people from their illusions about consumption, and say, 'this is the direct impact of you buying these goods.'"
Boycotts in the Trump era
Over the last few years, boycotts have become a near-constant response to the news of the day. Politics are polarized, so what is celebrated by one party may be unacceptable to another.
Some companies take backlash as a chance to establish a reputation as a brand that will stand by certain values despite criticism, such as Nike's decision to feature Colin Kaepernick in an ad or Dick's Sporting Goods' commitment to banning assault rifles. Sometimes, companies will apologize — as in when Prada pulled trinkets criticized for their similarities to blackface — or cut ad funding. Often, companies will do nothing at all and hope things will blow over.
In a handful of situations, the boycotts can impact sales. For example, anti-Trump #GrabYourWallet protests are seen by many to have negatively impacted Ivanka Trump's brand, which shut down earlier this year. Target lost roughly $20 million due to boycotts after it announced it would welcome transgender customers to use any bathroom or fitting room that matched their gender identity.
Boycotts of advertisers, however, have not noticeably impacted their sales. IHOP didn't pull its ads from Tucker Carlson's show because people stopped eating pancakes for one weekend. In terms of revenue, boycotts are empty threats.
Instead, boycotts do set political agendas. The #GrabYourWallet boycotts may have damaged the sales of Ivanka Trump's fashion brand, but more than that, it highlighted concerns about the Trump family's private businesses. NFL boycotts kept the narrative of athletes kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality in the news for weeks.
If companies actually do cut advertising or sever ties in response to boycotts, it is usually when they feel the political conversation shifting in a way that could endanger their reputation in the long term.
Boycotts are a tool that every person has to highlight what they believe in politically or socially. Used hand-in-hand with social media, boycotts give people's opinions weight through sheer force in numbers.
Dismissing advertising boycotts as a tool isn't encouraging free speech. If anything, it is the opposite — taking away a strategy that allows people who aren't Fox News hosts to communicate political opinions.
What this means for Tucker Carlson
Constant boycotts aren't causing a "milquetoast both-sidesism." They're a symptom of widespread political polarization. Because the polarization leads to near constant boycotts, advertisers now ignore basically all boycott threats.
Sure, Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson have lost some advertisers. But, Carlson's show is still the No. 1 in its time slot, according to Nielsen Media Research. Fox News told Business Insider on Tuesday that all the sponsors were re-expressing their advertising spending. One show may have lost sponsors, but Fox New didn't lose any revenue. Even if it did, Fox News does not rely on advertising for funding.
Further, the advertiser exodus is a rare phenomenon.
Bill O'Reilly faced boycotts for years, but didn't lose advertisers until 2017, when it was revealed he had paid millions of dollars to settle sexual-harassment allegations. Carlson only lost sponsors after calling immigrants "dirty." Ingraham dealt with it after mocking a Parkland shooting survivor, but didn't lose advertisers after comparing child migrant detention centers to summer camps.
Can boycotts be used to further censorship or harmful ideas? Sure! So can cable news shows, blogs, and social media — all things we think of as being protected as free speech, even if we disagree with them.
I don't want Applebee's determining political programming, but that is not what is happening in 2018. If an apolitical company believes enough of its customers or employees believe something — and that few enough are in the group that will counter-boycott — it pulls advertising, but that is a relatively rare occurrence.
Instead, boycotts have served as a straightforward way to elevate the opinions of groups of people who typically don't have massive political sway.
Advertiser boycotts are a tool to signal that a celebrity making millions of dollars said something that people don't just disagree with, but that also falls far outside what many find acceptable or tolerable. Often, the reactions of the corporate sponsors are less important than setting a political agenda.
People — including Fox News hosts — are allowed to say what they believe. They can also face repercussions for their statements. Boycotts simply give the average person the power to hold public figures accountable.