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- 01/02/19--02:50: _Saudi Arabia made N...
- 01/02/19--02:50: _Jeff Bezos said goo...
- 01/02/19--02:53: _Elizabeth Warren is...
- 01/02/19--02:53: _Netflix cut off a $...
- 01/02/19--02:59: _The world's biggest...
- 01/02/19--03:00: _Chipotle is trying ...
- 01/02/19--03:08: _AI 101: How learnin...
- 01/02/19--03:13: _Taylor Swift, Blake...
- 01/02/19--03:13: _Tennis bad boy Nick...
- 01/02/19--03:49: _10 things you need ...
- 01/02/19--04:00: _The top 10 cities t...
- 01/02/19--04:03: _These are the top 5...
- 01/02/19--04:31: _Once big banks crac...
- 01/02/19--04:33: _A man fired his han...
- 01/02/19--04:55: _Somebody hid needle...
- 01/02/19--05:07: _It's not enough for...
- 01/02/19--05:20: _Ariana Grande says ...
- 01/02/19--14:34: _Bernie Sanders camp...
- 01/02/19--14:36: _Tim Cook blames Tru...
- 01/02/19--14:39: _These are the bigge...
- Netflix pulled an episode of Hasan Minhaj's "Patriot Act" in Saudi Arabia that was critical of the kingdom and accused it of covering up the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi to protect its crown prince.
- The episode mocked the kingdom's changing account of the journalist's death and accused it of lying to protect its crown prince's international reputation.
- Netflix told the Financial Times that it received a legal complaint from the kingdom, which said the episode violated its anti-cybercrime law.
- Khashoggi's editor at the Washington Post said that it was "outrageous" Netflix pulled the episode.
- Jeff Bezos celebrated the new year by riding a horse into a cowboy apparel store in Aspen, Colorado.
- Bezos is reportedly friends with the store's owner.
- The Amazon CEO is no stranger to horses having helped out on his grandfather's South Texas ranch while he was growing up.
- Senator Elizabeth Warren has announced a series of visits to Iowa this weekend, after announcing that she is formally considering a presidential campaign.
- Warren will visit the cities of Des Moines, Council Bluffs, Storm Lake, and Sioux City on Friday and Saturday.
- Iowa is the first state to nominate a candidate in the presidential selection process, and all candidates campaign hard in the state.
- Iowa regularly flits between Democrat and Republican allegiance, and has indicated the winning party in the last four elections.
- Netflix has canned the ability for Apple device users to pay for the streaming service via iTunes.
- Instead, new or lapsed users will be asked to pay for Netflix via the streaming service's own website.
- This is so Netflix can avoid paying Apple's 15% levy on in-app subscriptions.
- The move will deprive Apple of up to $256 million in annual revenue.
- John Hussman — the outspoken investor and former professor who's been predicting a stock crash — briefly turned bullish on the market following its Christmas Eve sell-off.
- But Hussman refuses to get caught up in the hype surrounding the market's rebound. He explains why equities are still doomed to lose 50% from current levels.
- Market internals are still "ragged and divergent"
- The most reliable valuation metrics — or those most highly correlated with forward 10- to 12-year market returns — "remain extremely elevated from the perspective of history and even of recent market cycles"
- Credit spreads are continuing to widen
- Predicted in March 2000 that tech stocks would plunge 83%, then the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 index lost an "improbably precise" 83% during a period from 2000 to 2002
- Predicted in 2000 that the S&P 500 would likely see negative total returns over the following decade, which it did
- Predicted in April 2007 that the S&P 500 could lose 40%, then it lost 55% in the subsequent collapse from 2007 to 2009
- Chipotle is rolling out new menu items aimed at paleo, Whole30, and keto dieters.
- On Wednesday, Chipotle announced it is launching a line of "Lifestyle Bowls" available through the chain's website and app.
- Options include the Whole30 Salad Bowl, Paleo Salad Bowl, Keto Salad Bowl, and Double Protein Bowl.
- Whole30 Salad Bowl: Carnitas, romaine lettuce, fajita veggies, tomato salsa, and guacamole
- Paleo Salad Bowl: Barbacoa, romaine lettuce, fajita veggies, green salsa, and guacamole
- Keto Salad Bowl: Carnitas, romaine lettuce, red salsa, cheese, and guacamole
- Double Protein Bowl: Full-portion chicken, full-portion steak, white rice, black beans, red salsa, romaine lettuce, and sour cream
- 01/02/19--03:08: AI 101: How learning computers are becoming smarter
- Taylor Swift hosted a New Year's Eve party where guests were asked to dress as their childhood heroes.
- She dressed up as Ariel from 'The Little Mermaid.'
- It was a star-studded event, with Gigi Hadid, Blake Lively, and Ryan Reynolds also attending.
- Swift provided plenty of pizza and snacks for her guests, who had all gone to incredible effort with their costumes.
- Controversial Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios was knocked out of the Brisbane International in the second round on Wednesday.
- Kyrgios was defending his title after winning the tournament last year.
- As a result of his defeat, Kyrgios will go in unseeded to the Australian Open this month.
- The 23-year-old suffered an unusual injury in the build-up to the tournament, though.
- He posted photos of himself in hospital after being bitten by a spider over the Christmas period.
- 2018 was the stock market's worst year since the financial crisis. The S&P 500 fell 6.2% last year, capped off by a 9.2% plunge in December — the worst final month of the year since 1931.
- More weak data emerges from China. The Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for December printed 49.7, its first contractionary reading since May 2017, according to Reuters.
- It's a New Year's bloodbath. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was set to open down more than 360 points, or 1.5%, continuing the stock market's slide in the final quarter of 2018. Elsewhere, Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 2.77% and the EURO STOXX 50 was down 0.93%.
- The 10-year is on track for its lowest close in over 11 months. The 10-year yield is down 3 basis points at 2.65%, and looking at its lowest close since January 2018.
- Investors are deserting markets at a pace that echoes the run up to the financial crisis. Hedge-fund redemptions are piling up and a similar unwinding of quant funds in August 2007 and macro funds in October 2015 were "harbingers of subsequent market turbulence," according to a a Deutsche Bank team led by Masao Muraki.
- The world's biggest stock bear says don't be fooled by the market's rebound. John Hussman — the outspoken investor and former professor who's been predicting a crash — explains why stocks are still doomed to lose 50% from current levels.
- Saudi Arabia made Netflix delete a comedy show that accused it of covering up Jamal Khashoggi's murder. Netflix removed an episode of Hasan Minhaj's "Patriot Act" in Saudi Arabia after the kingdom said it violated its anti-cybercrime law.
- Commercial-passenger aircraft fatalities climb in 2018. There were more than 500 fatalities on commercial-passenger aircraft in 2018 — up from zero the prior year — making for a fatal-accident rate of 0.36 per million flights, Reuters reports, citing Dutch aviation consulting firm To70 and the Aviation Safety Network.
- China's video-game freeze is over. China's Online Game Ethics Committee, recently approved 80 new video games — ending the freeze that began in March — but video-game giant Tencent was left out despite its efforts to implement mandatory time limits and age restrictions for its games.
- US economic data trickles out. Market US Manufacturing PMI will cross the wires at 9:45 a.m. ET.
- Housing affordability hit a 10-year low at the end of 2018, but there's still hope for some buyers.
- Wage growth and new construction are keeping up with home price increases in several cities across the United States, according to housing economists from Realtor.com.
- The best places to buy a home in 2019 aren't just the cheapest — Miami, Boston, Boise, and Phoenix will be some of the best housing markets for homebuyers.
- Artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and self-driving technology are helping the transportation and logistics industry finally transform by cutting costs, optimizing delivery routes, and automating mundane tasks.
- Startups will be the lynchpin of this transformation because they specifically target areas of need with cutting-edge solutions.
- Business Insider Intelligence examined the top 5 startups within five key areas: digital freight services, warehouse robotics, AI for supply chain management, last-mile delivery robotics, and self-driving car software.
- The success of Revolut and investment platforms like Robinhood have highlighted the potential gold mine of millennials.
- Companies like Robinhood, Monzo, Revolut, and Acorns will move into lending, banking, payments and investing improving conditions for customers.
- Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, UBS and Santander are among those that are also ramping up their expansion.
- This means at least one unicorn will implode amid rising competition and squeezed prices, Autonomous Next says.
- A man fired through the window of a Taco-Bell drive-thru because he did not get enough taco sauce, police said.
- Oklahoma City police said he was "very upset" about "not getting enough sauce, or not getting any taco sauce" with his order.
- Employees locked themselves in the bathroom when the man went inside, but he left before police arrived.
- The police said it was "extremely fortunate" that no one was hurt.
- Two needles were found in a punnet of grapes in Australia on Monday, bringing the fruit contamination crisis back into the spotlight.
- 186 reports of needles hidden in strawberrys in all six Australian states forced the government to introduce 15-year jail terms for perpetrators.
- Needles were also found in a mango, a banana, and an apple, as well as in strawberries sold in New Zealand and Singapore.
- The ability to conduct banking activities via a sleek mobile app is no longer enough to satisfy consumers — it's table stakes.
- Banks need to focus on deploying robust personal finance management (PFM) features that pull consumers in.
- There are three common approaches banks can take to effectively implement these tools.
- Partnering with a PFM-focused fintech: This can save the partnering banks critical time by bypassing building features themselves — enabling a quicker go-to-market strategy. However, banks must be prepared to forego the ability to implement more customized services.
- Working with a PFM technology supplier: B2B suppliers like Meniga and Personetics, on the other hand, can help banks overhaul their existing mobile apps with specially designed features. They provide the enabling infrastructure banks need to successfully offer PFM features to their customers.
- Acquiring a PFM startup: Although often more expensive, this option grants banks the ability to acquire valuable talent, as well as complete control over their integrations.
- Ariana Grande has said she's currently not dating anyone and plans to stay single for the rest of 2019 — and maybe even her life.
- 2018 was a tumultuous year in the singer's love life, which saw her breaking off her rapid engagement to Pete Davidson.
- Despite her career success over the past 12 months, Grande says she's glad to have waved goodbye to 2018.
- More than two dozen of Senator Bernie Sanders' former supporters and campaign workers want to meet with him and his top political advisors to discuss sexual violence and harassment during the 2016 campaign.
- In a letter, former staffers said they want to mitigate the issue before Sanders launches a 2019 Senate campaign or a 2020 presidential campaign.
- "In recent weeks there has been an ongoing conversation on social media, in texts, and in person, about the untenable and dangerous dynamic that developed during our campaign," former staffers said in a letter sent to Sanders.
- Apple issued a surprising warning about its upcoming quarterly earnings on Wednesday, lowering its revenue target substantially.
- Apple CEO Tim Cook placed a significant portion of the blame on China's economic slowdown, which Cook said was caused in part by President Donald Trump's trade war.
- "We believe the economic environment in China has been further impacted by rising trade tensions with the United States," Cook wrote.
- Apple is an example of how tariffs can indirectly harm American companies.
- Regulations have helped the US, Europe, and China become the three largest potential markets in the world for commercial drone use.
- In the US, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) governs all commercial and consumer drone use. Meanwhile, a slew of states have their own regulations that companies deploying drones have to navigate through.
- In Europe, the lack of EU-wide drone regulations creates a patchwork of national regulations that resembles the state-level rules in the US.
- In China, the military controls over half of the airspace, confining drones to a small area of the country relative to the US and other nations.
- While on paper several of the regulations in Europe are the same as in the US, many European countries have been far more lenient in granting exemptions to their requirements.
- Commercial drone laws in most of these countries are set to change to allow for more widespread use in the next couple years, helping operators fly their aircraft in new locations and for new use cases.
- Offers an in-depth overview of the current regulatory landscapes at the national, transnational, and local levels, and discusses how they're shaping the development of the drone industry in several large markets.
- Gives examples of how companies are working with and around these regulations to deploy drones in a manner that government officials find permissible.
- Provides a look at what regulations will change in the coming years, and explains how that will impact companies operating drones.
Netflix removed an episode of a comedy show that was critical of Saudi Arabia and accused the country of covering up the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi to protect its crown prince.
The episode of Hasan Minhaj's "Patriot Act" that was removed from Saudi Arabia criticized Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and cast doubt on Saudi Arabia's efforts to distance itself from the killing of Khashoggi, who was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October.
Minhaj mocked Saudi Arabia's changing account of Khashoggi's death in the episode and said that the country's evolving account of its leaders' involvement in the killing was designed to protect Crown Prince bin Salman's international reputation as a "reformer" of the Middle East.
Netflix confirmed that it had pulled the episode to the Financial Times, citing a legal complaint from the kingdom.
"This is the most unbelievable cover story since Blake Shelton won sexiest man alive. Are you kidding me?" Minhaj, a Muslim-American comedian, said.
"This entire cover-up exists for one reason," Minhaj said, before the show cut to clips of news reporters citing analysts who suggested that the kingdom's changing story was designed to protect the crown prince.
Saudi Arabia had initially claimed that Khashoggi had safely left the consulate and said that allegations he was killed were "baseless." After changing its story several times, it now maintains that the death was a rogue Saudi government operation.
"The Saudis were struggling to explain his disappearance: they said he left the consulate safely, then they used a body double to make it seem like he was alive," Minhaj said.
"At one point they were saying he died in a fist fight, Jackie Chan-style. They went through so many explanations. The only one they didn’t say was that Khashoggi died in a free solo rock-climbing accident."
While the kingdom's account of what happened has changed, it has maintained that the crown prince was unaware of and did not order the killing. The CIA reportedly found that the crown prince personally ordered the killing and a motion passed by the US Senate condemned the crown prince over the murder.
The video can still be seen on the show's official YouTube channel, where it had more than 1.3 million views at the time of writing.
Minhaj also criticized the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen and the power and wealth of the Saudi royal family.
"It blows my mind that it took the killing of a Washington Post journalist for everyone to go 'Oh, I guess [Crown Prince bin Salman] is not a reformer. Meanwhile, every Muslim person you know was like 'Yeah, no shit.'"
Netflix told the Financial Times that it pulled the episode after the country’s Communications and Information Technology Commission requested its removal as it allegedly violated the anti-cybercrime law.
"We strongly support artistic freedom worldwide and only removed this episode in Saudi Arabia after we had received a valid legal request — and to comply with local law," it said.
Netflix cited Article 6 of Saudi Law to the Financial Times, which states that "production, preparation, transmission, or storage of material impinging on public order, religious values, public morals, and privacy, through the information network or computers" is a crime that can be met with up to five years in prison and of up to $800,000.
Karen Attiah, Khashoggi’s editor at the Washington Post, criticized Netflix's move.
"Hasan Minhaj of Patriot Act has been a strong, honest and (funny) voice challenging Saudi Arabia + Mohammed bin Salman in the wake of
#khashoggi’s murder," she tweeted. "He brought awareness about Yemen. Quite outrageous that Netflix has pulled one of his episodes critical of Saudi Arabia.
"When Jamal Khashoggi wrote about the need for free expression in the Arab world (and everywhere), that freedom is not just about journalists. It’s about freedom for artists, comedians, cartoonists, musicians, activists and anyone who wants to express their views on society."
Jeff Bezos ushered in the new year in unusual fashion — by riding a horse into cowboy apparel store.
The world's richest man was filmed by the staff of Kemo Sabe, in Aspen, Colorado, trotting into the Western-themed shop and raising his hat to cheering onlookers.
You can watch Bezos in action here:
"Now that's how you make an entrance! You look pretty damn good on a horse, @jeffbezos," Kemo Sabe said in a caption accompanying the video.
Bezos' brother, Mark Bezos, also saddled up for the cameras. "Ain't no party like a Bezos party!" Kemo Sabe said.
According to the New York Post's celebrity news site Page Six, Bezos is a friend of the store's owner Tom Yoder. The horse is called Bean, the website added.
Bezos is no stranger to horses, having helped out on his grandfather's South Texas ranch while he was growing up. In an interview last year, the Amazon CEO said fixing prolapsed cattle, windmills, and laying water pipelines helped teach him the importance of being resourceful.
By the looks of things, it's not unprecedented for customers to ride into Kemo Sabe. The store's Instagram has examples of other people trotting to the store on horseback.
At least Bezos chose a real-life steed this time. In March 2017, he made headlines by piloting a 13-foot tall mechanical robot at an Amazon conference dedicated to robotics and machine learning.
Senator Elizabeth Warren has made her first moves on her 2020 campaign trail, by announcing a four-city visit to the crucial state of Iowa.
Warren announced on Tuesday she will visit the cities of Des Moines, Council Bluffs, Storm Lake, and Sioux City.
They will be her first public appearances since announcing on Monday that she had set up an exploratory committee for a presidential campaign.
The events include three open meetings at a large bar, a theater, and a community centre. The fourth, in Storm Lake, is described as a roundtable discussion
The existence of the committee does not mean she is definitely running in 2020, but it is the first step toward staking a claim to be the Democrats' leading candidate.
Another popular Democrat Senator, Beto O'Rourke, met with Barack Obama in his Washington offices in November, suggesting he too may have ambitions in 2020.
Iowa is significant for presidential wannabes as it changes its party allegiance all the time, and is widely known as a pivotal swing state in tight election races.
It voted for Republicans Donald Trump and George W. Bush in 2016 and 2004, but in-between, voted for Obama and the Democrats (in 2008 and 2012.)
Iowa hosts the first presidential primary election on February 3, 2020. In the final presidential vote, Iowa has been on the side of the winning candidate in 2016, 2012, 2008, and 2004.
Warren, the highest-profile Democrat so far to hint at running in 2020, made the first step towards declaring her formal candidacy by sharing a video on Twitter and launching a website that went live on Monday morning.
In the video she described her vision of defending the middle class, which characterised as being "under attack."
Here's the full video:
Every person in America should be able to work hard, play by the same set of rules, & take care of themselves & the people they love. That’s what I’m fighting for, & that’s why I’m launching an exploratory committee for president. I need you with me: https://t.co/BNl2I1m8OXpic.twitter.com/uXXtp94EvY— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) December 31, 2018
When asked whether Warren had a shot, he said: "Well, that I don't know. You'd have to ask her psychiatrist."
The presidential exploratory committee means Warren can start receiving donations, travel around the country whipping up support, and test the waters, before deciding whether to officially declare her intention to run.
Warren will speak on Friday in Council Bluffs, and will visit Sioux City, Storm Lake and Des Moines on Saturday.
Netflix has canned the ability for iPad and iPhone users to pay for the streaming service through iTunes, depriving Apple of an estimated $256 million in annual revenue.
The change means iOS users will pay for Netflix through its website, rather than through Apple's service.
Netflix confirmed to VentureBeat that it had pulled the plug on in-app payment, with a spokesman stating: "We no longer support iTunes as a method of payment for new members."
The company has also updated the FAQ on its website with the following statement: "iTunes billing for Netflix is not available to new or rejoining Netflix customers. If you are currently billed by iTunes, you can continue to use iTunes billing until your account is cancelled."
The change allows Netflix to avoid paying the 15% levy that Apple charges on in-app subscriptions, and keep all subscription revenue for itself. Netflix was already testing a way to bypass iTunes payments in 33 countries, and will now be rolling that out globally.
It will be a costly change for Apple.
According to SensorTower, Netflix is the top grossing app in the US for Apple, bringing in $43 million in November alone. And according to new data cited by TechCrunch, the streaming service handed around $256 million in 2018 to Apple.
Netflix isn't the first developer to buck against the steep fees charged by Apple and Google on in-app purchases. Both take a 30% cut of paid apps, in-app purchases, and subscriptions. That drops to 15% in the second year of a subscription.
Amazon has long had a clunky workaround that means anyone using the Kindle app on the iPhone or iPad can't actually buy books directly through the app.
Epic Games, the creator of "Fortnite", has also chosen not to offer the hit game through Google's app store, Google Play, citing the "store tax." Instead, Android owners have to head to the Fortnite website to download the Android app via a dedicated installer.
NOW WATCH: These are the top 7 smartphones of 2018
After equities turned in their worst Christmas Eve on record, Hussman published a blog post calling market conditions "oversold and highly compressed." With stocks having absorbed such a violent downward move, he argued that they were spring-loaded for a temporary surge.
"While we don’t presently observe conditions to indicate a 'buying opportunity' or a 'bottom' from a full-cycle standpoint, we do observe conditions that are permissive of a scorching market rebound, even if it only turns out to be the 'fast, furious, prone to failure' variety," Hussman said on Dec. 26.
Sure enough, that rebound transpired almost immediately. The Dow Jones industrial average spiked more than 1,000 points the day after Christmas, its biggest single-day increase of all time. Hussman's prediction was correct, and the index is up more than 6% in the period since he made it.
So does this mark the end of Hussman's notorious doomsaying? Has the market's most notorious skeptic changed his tune?
Don't get your hopes up — Hussman is still expecting far deeper carnage in equities. He argues that the turbulent pre-Christmas was simply a harbinger of more difficult times to come.
"Given the obscene valuations that the market reached at its highs, we would view a market decline to 1,192 on the S&P 500 to be a fairly run-of-the-mill cycle completion," Hussman said.
That amounts to a more than 50% decline from the S&P 500's current level, which is already 15% below record highs reached in September.
Hussman's breaks down his bearish long-term view into three main considerations:
In the end, even if the stock market's near-term rally continues in earnest, Hussman thinks it would be foolish to turn fully bullish on the market. He doesn't even think traders should consider removing hedges
"There is no certainty about a rebound, and we wouldn't dream of removing our safety nets against a market decline that I continue to expect to draw the S&P 500 toward the 1,000 level by the completion of the cycle," Hussman said.
Hussman's track record
For the uninitiated, Hussman has repeatedly made headlines by predicting a stock-market decline exceeding 60% and forecasting a full decade of negative equity returns. And as the stock market has continued to grind mostly higher, he's persisted with his calls, undeterred.
But before you dismiss Hussman as a wonky perma-bear, consider his track record, which he breaks down in his latest blog post. Here are the arguments he lays out:
In the end, the more evidence Hussman unearths around the stock market's unsustainable conditions, the more worried investors should get. Sure, there may still be returns to be realized in this market cycle, but at what point does the mounting risk of a crash become too unbearable?
That's a question investors will have to answer themselves. And one that Hussman will clearly keep exploring in the interim.
Chipotle is trying to become the go-to chain for people dieting in the new year.
On Wednesday, the chain announced it is launching a new line of "Lifestyle Bowls," which fit different buzzy dieting trends. The line includes a Paleo Salad Bowl, Keto Salad Bowl, Whole30 Salad Bowl and Double Protein Bowl.
The bowls are made up of ingredients already available at Chipotle. Here's the breakdown:
While the combinations can be constructed in-store, Chipotle is only offering the menu items as options that can be selected online and via the chain's mobile app.
"We've watched guests custom create lifestyle-specific bowls when ordering in our restaurants, so it made sense to offer delicious options via our online channels that help people easily order bowls with real ingredients that help them stick to their wellness goals," Chris Brandt, chief marketing officer at Chipotle, said in a statement.
Read more:What 7 dietitians order at Chipotle
Chipotle has made a number of changes as the chain has tried to regain momentum following a sales slump sparked by E. coli outbreaks roughly three years ago.
In March, Brian Niccol took the helm as Chipotle's CEO, taking the title from founder Steve Ells, who remains the company's executive chairman. The chain has been testing new menu items, and the company moved its corporate headquarters from Denver, Colorado, to Newport Beach, California.
Many companies use the term artificial intelligence, or AI, as a way to generate excitement for their products and to present themselves as on the cutting edge of tech development.
But what exactly is artificial intelligence? What does it involve? And how will it help the development of future generations?
Find out the answers to these questions and more in AI 101, a brand new FREE report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, that describes how AI works and looks at its present and potential future applications.
To get your copy of the FREE slide deck, simply click here.
When it comes to New Year's Eve, celebrities are much like the rest of us — they like to get together with friends, eat, drink, and celebrate the arrival of a new year.
The only difference is, they tend to be somewhat more glamorous. Taylor Swift, for one, is clearly partial to a party — and a fancy dress one at that.
The singer threw a costume bash that saw her dressing up as Ariel from "The Little Mermaid."
Guests were asked to attend dressed as their childhood heroes, and they didn't disappoint.
Alongside Swift's Ariel, Gigi Hadid came as everyone's favourite nanny, Mary Poppins.
Blake Lively donned her finest gingham dress as Dorothy from "The Wizard of Oz" (complete with Toto in a basket), and husband Ryan Reynolds was also at the bash although seemingly not in character — he was dressed in a grey suit, white shirt, and red tie (undone at the time of photo-taking).
Reynolds was also papped enjoying a bottle of Aviation Gin, a company in which he invests.
Other guests pushed the boat out somewhat more than Reynolds, though, dressing up as Cinderella, Nancy Drew, Posh Spice, Rizzo, Frida Kahlo, and Steve Irwin amongst others.
Judging by the photos, Swift ensured her guests were thoroughly nourished by providing plenty of pizza, crudités and dips, cookies, and a cheeseboard.
Upon seeing the pictures, most people were left wondering just one thing: How do we get an invitation next year?
One fan said her goal for 2019 was to be invited to Swift's NYE party.
2019 Goal: Get invited to @taylorswift13’s NYE party.— Tristen Black (@OklahomaGinger) January 1, 2019
"Imagine being invited to Taylor Swift's New Year's Eve party," wrote another fan on Twitter.
Imagine being invited to @taylorswift13‘s New Years Eve party like——— ♡Molly♡ (@ValentinesTay) January 1, 2019
Others said that if they had been invited, they'd have dressed as Swift herself.
Taylor: come to the nye party dressed up as your childhood hero!!— Jade Marie (@tsholyground) January 1, 2019
Me: shows up dressed as 2007 Taylor Swift
They just want to be part of her world.
Australian tennis bad boy Nick Kyrgios failed to defend his Brisbane International title after he was knocked out of the tournament on Wednesday by unseeded Frenchman Jeremy Chardy.
Kyrgios lost in three sets after overcoming American Ryan Harrison in the first round — who he beat in the final of the contest last year.
The Australian's defeat means more than just an early exit from the competition as his ATP ranking is set to fall from 35 to 52 ahead of the first Grand Slam of the tennis season, the Australian Open.
Kyrgios has an unlikely excuse for his sub-par performance, though — a spider bite that lit up Australian media over the Christmas holidays.
The 23-year-old tennis star was treated in a Canberra hospital for the bite over Christmas, according to Fox Sports Australia.
"Got a spider bite on my foot. Christmas different every year," Kyrgios posted on his Instagram story.
The player also posted a photo of himself with an intravenous drip in his arm with the caption: "This spider bite outta control."
Asked if he felt like the spotlight was off him ahead of the Australian Open thanks to other fledgeling Australian talents like 19-year-old Alex de Minaur, Kyrgios replied in the negative.
"I don't know if the spotlight is off of me. I was practicing the other day, I had 13 cameras on my court," he said after his opening round match on Tuesday, according to The Guardian.
"I had a spider bite. That seemed to be the biggest story over the Aussie summer. So let's don't act as if attention is not on me. Obviously, it does help having guys like that [Millman, de Minaur] winning matches … [but] I don't know if the spotlight has shifted at all."
It's not a great start of the year for Kyrgios, whose 2018 season was marred by a recurring elbow injury. The player revealed in the build-up to the Brisbane International that excessive travel took its toll on his mental health.
"Just being away from home was the toughest bit,"Kyrgios said. "Battling injuries, going to tournaments and not even playing was tough, but they're not really big problems.
"I'll have a lighter schedule and when I play, enjoy playing and just compete."
"Being home solved a lot of my problems," he added. "It was more mental than anything. I was away from home for five and a half months. I don't ever want to do that again.
"If I was to win the US Open or something, I won't play again for the rest of the year."
Here is what you need to know.
Housing affordability is in the dumps.
In the final quarter of 2018, the average Americans' ability to afford a home hit a 10-year low, according to a report from ATTOM Data Solutions cited by Realtor.com.
But not all hope is lost. While first-time homebuyers may struggle in 2019, older homeowners looking for a new place will have more options.
According to Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM, "We're going to hit an affordability tipping point in 2019, where it becomes more affordable to buy. Buyers will have more inventory to choose from and they will be running against fewer multiple-offer situations."
Realtor.com's team of economists analyzed housing markets across the US to find the top markets to buy a home in 2019, where new home construction is booming, job growth is strong, public schools are highly rated, and millennials are moving in.
Keep in mind: The best places to buy a home in 2019 aren't just the cheapest. The list includes a few pricey cities, like Boston and Miami, as well as up-and-coming cities, like Boise, Idaho, and Chattanooga, Tennessee. The key is that wage growth and new-home construction in these cities are keeping up with home price increases, stabilizing affordability.
Below, find out the best markets for homebuyers in 2019, along with Realtor.com's price growth forecast.
10. Boston, Massachusetts
Forecasted median home price: $496,710
Forecasted price growth from 2018 to 2019: 4.6%
9. Miami, Florida
Forecasted median home price: $266,586
Forecasted price growth from 2018 to 2019: 5%
8. Boise City, Idaho
Forecasted median home price: $258,303
Forecasted price growth from 2018 to 2019: 6.9%
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Transportation and logistics industries have operated largely the same way for decades. But the surge in e-commerce in the last several years, combined with consumers’ appetite for same-day delivery, has brought us to a tipping point.
Delivery companies are doing all they can to get orders to customers’ doors as quickly as possible, which has facilitated wholesale changes in how they operate.
Cutting-edge digital solutions (including digital freight services, warehouse robotics, AI for supply chain management, delivery robotics, and autonomous driving software) are forcing traditional delivery companies to either evolve or see their core businesses erode.
Transportation & Logistics Startups to Watch, a new report from Business Insider Intelligence, monitors the biggest change agents in the industry to offer unique insight into the development of the transportation and logistics space at large, and shows how traditional companies are adapting to their new environment.
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Business Insider Intelligence's Startups to Watch reports give a high-level overview of the funding trends for startups in a particular coverage area, as well as a list of key startups (by function, what they do, key news, and statistics). Businesses need to understand new competitive threats, technologies, and acquisition opportunities in order to thrive. These reports provide that contextual information in an easy-to-digest manner.
In full, the Transportation & Logistics Startups to Watch report dives into the top 25 companies - five startups across five key disruption areas - that are easing shipping burdens, improving order fulfillment efficiency, optimizing delivery, and automating processes.
Fintech startups beware, banks are coming after your customers.
If the giants of the banking world manage to crack the code of how to market to and serve millennials, that is. Should that day come, financial research firm Autonomous Next says, fintech firms' advantage will shrink and "at least one unicorn will implode."
The success of challenger banks and payment services like Revolut and investment platforms like Robinhood have highlighted the potential gold mine of millennials. Big banks have taken notice, with Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, UBS and Santander are among those that are also ramping up their expansion.
"As a result, customer acquisition costs will rise and the digital model will become more competitive, as servicing costs commoditize at a cheaper price point," Autonomous said. While this is great for consumers, startups might feel the squeeze.
Revolut, a UK startup valued at about $1.7 billion, is growing rapidly both geographically and also in its offerings of services. The firm and its ilk are unlikely to go quietly. Revolut, for example, has a "punchy mission" to "turn the financial sector on its head."
Goldman Sachs jumped into the space with Marcus, a digital lending offering for consumers. It launched in the UK late last year, and is touting a savings account that pays an initial interest rate of 1.5%. That's the best rate in the UK. (But Marcus doesn't have a mobile app, an odd decision for a bank hoping to attract millennials.)
High spending on acquiring new customers has increased the need to sell a variety of offerings to an increasingly digital audience of consumers. Similarly, new and emerging fintech companies will look to even more revolutionary methods of disruption to gain new audience away from video and virtual reality. These include native payment systems within digital experiences and even social currency for video gamers within chat streams.
The trend will spread beyond fintech as well. The pricing pressure that started in consumer finance, "will spill over into B2B banking, money movement, insurance, treasury management and product manufacturing," Autonomous Next said.
An inevitable outcome is pressure on profit margins as prices adjust, the firm said.
"For those companies that are able to re-design operations using a digital chassis, they will be able to compete on the margin with fintech unicorns. Those that are not should exit, or retreat into more bespoke, relationship-driven business lines."
A man fired his handgun through the window of a Taco Bell drive-thru at 1 a.m. because he was given too little taco sauce with his order, police said.
The man pulled up to the window in Oklahoma City and yelled at employees because he did not get taco sauce with his order early on Monday December 31, officers told the KFOR local news station.
He then fired at least one round through the window , the channel reported.
Sgt. Gary Knight said: "A man was complaining about not getting enough sauce, or not getting any taco sauce and was very upset."
He then pulled out a semi-automatic handgun and fired through the window, and then entered the building, but left before police arrived, Knight said. So far nobody has been arrested.
Employees ran to the back of the store and locked themselves in a bathroom, Knight said.
"He apparently left. It's unclear exactly what he did while he was in there as they were hiding," he said.
No employees were hurt, and the Taco Bell was left with a shattered window that has since been boarded up.
"Any time you've got people inside of a business and some person decides, for whatever reason, to fire bullets into that business, [it] makes for a very dangerous situation and we're extremely fortunate that nobody was hurt," Knight said.
Business Insider has contacted Taco Bell for comment.
Two needles were found in a bag of grapes bought from an Australian supermarket on Monday, resurrecting the national crisis which saw 186 people find needles in strawberries and other fruit.
The needles, hidden in two separate grapes from a batch sold at a Woolworths supermarket, were found by a couple in the city of Melbourne.
Skender Hasa and Shams Alsubaiy did not eat either of the grapes with needles in, so were not hurt. Police are investigating the latest discovery of the two needles found in a batch of grapes, 9 News reported.
But the incident was a return of one of the darkest and strangest news events in Australia in 2018. In September and October last year, close to 200 people reported finding needles in various types of fruit.
Australia's prime minister responded personally to the crisis, which badly hit parts of the country's agriculture sector. The government ultimately rewrote parts of the law to mandate harsher punishment.
The strawberry needle crisis started on September 9 when one victim ended up in hospital after eating a strawberry with a needle inside.
A total of 186 cases of needles hidden in strawberrys were reported, Jon Wacker, superintendent of the Queensland Police Drug and Serious Crime Group, said on November 12.
Needles were found in various fruit in all six Australian states, in neighboring New Zealand, and also in at least one pack of Australian-grown strawberrys sold in Singapore.
Australia's government amended a law to more harshly punish those responsible for hiding the needles, increasing the maximum sentence from 10 years in prison to 15.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison had previously criticized the perpetrators.
"You are putting the livelihoods of hard-working Australians at risk, and you are scaring children," he said, "and you are a coward and a grub."
The crisis was tough on some Australian strawberry farmers, some of whom had to scrap whole harvests to avoid any risk of contamination.
The crisis got so bad that Woolworths, Australia's largest supermarket, temporarily stopped selling needles in all 995 of its stores.
Several arrests were made in relation to the crisis — including some who joined in with the phenomenon after it became news. A strawberry farm worker, was charged with "one occasion of aggravation contamination" [sic] on November 11.
Prosecutors allege 50-year-old My Ut Trinh was "motivated by spite or revenge," the Metro reported.
Business Insider has contacted Woolworths for comment, but has not yet received a response.
It’s no longer enough for banks to offer customers a sleek mobile banking app; in fact, they expect it.
And with emerging fintechs continuously creeping in on incumbents’ marketshare, legacy banks must work to provide additional tools that will keep users engaged in-app — and prevent their eyes from wandering to startup solutions.
The best opportunity banks have to do this is by introducing personal finance management (PFM) features to their existing offerings. These features empower customers to take more control over their financial lives by tracking spending, managing investments, and maintaining greater visibility into their overall financial health.
Fintech startups have already refined many of these technologies and, in turn, pressured traditional banks to achieve feature parity or lose customers. Personal Finance Management, a new research report Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has outlined the best ways for banks to catch up to the competition.
Here are three approaches banks can take to implementing PFM tools:
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This is just a preview of Personal Finance Management, a new report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. The full report breaks down the different approaches banks can take to offer their customers better PFM features as competition from fintechs increases.
In full, the report provides insights into the benefits and challenges of each approach, how the industry may change in the future, and which PFM features will soon become table stakes for consumers.
When a new year rolls around, some people vow to find love, to commit to using dating apps, go on blind dates, and maybe even go so far as to approach a person they find attractive in real life.
Not Ariana Grande though.
The singer says she's going to stay single for the whole of 2019 and probably her whole life.
After Elite Daily posed the question, "Who is Ariana Grande dating now?" Grande herself replied, asking, "Can they tell me too?"
She then followed up with a subsequent tweet in which she explained that she wasn't dating anyone and doesn't have any plans to either.
spoiler for the rest of this year / probably my life: it’s no one. please refer back to this tweet for future questions. 🖤— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) January 1, 2019
The "Thank U, Next" singer was also faced with the tragic death of her ex-boyfriend, Mac Miller, in September.
Judging by an Instagram post shared by Grande on New Year's Day, she's glad to have the past year behind her.
"Farewell 2018, you f---," she wrote. "I hope this new year brings you all much laughter, clarity and healing. Be gentle with yourselves and each other.
"If we made it through this last year, we'll for sure make it through this one. Thank you for everything."
Love life aside, 2018 was undoubtedly successful for Grande career-wise — "Thank U, Next" topped charts across with world and the video has had over 225 million views on YouTube.
But when it comes to dating, evidently Grande is in fact not looking for the next one just yet.
Former Bernie Sanders campaign staffers want to meet with the senator and his top political advisors to discuss "the issue of sexual violence and harassment during the 2016 campaign," in advance of the 2020 election cycle, according to a letter sent to Sanders and published by POLITICO.
Though Sanders hasn't yet announced his intentions to run for the White House, more than two dozen women and men who worked for his 2016 campaign want him and his advisers to create a "gold-standard" harassment policy to avoid what they described as an "untenable and dangerous dynamic that developed during [the 2016] campaign."
One of the letter's organizers, who spoke to POLITICO on the condition of anonymity, said signees are trying to address "a pervasive culture of toxic masculinity in the campaign world."
“This letter is just a start,” the organizer said. “We are addressing what happened on the Bernie campaign, but as people that work in this space we see that all campaigns are extremely dangerous to women and marginalized people and we are attempting to fix that.”
Though the former staffers did not detail any specific instances of sexual harassment or violence in their letter, a New York Times article detailed a few instances in which Bernie campaign staffers felt they were harassed during the 2016 campaign. Giulianna Di Lauro, a Latino outreach strategist for the 2016 campaign, told The Times that a Sanders surrogate once ran his hand over her hair in a “sexual way” and continued to push her boundaries "for the rest of the day."
When she reported the incident to Bill Vazquez, a manager on the Latino team, he reportedly told her "I bet you would have liked it if he were younger."
The Times reported that similar accounts have made rounds online among former Bernie supporters.
“I did experience sexual harassment during the campaign, and there was no one who would or could help,” Samantha Davis, the 2016 campaign's former director of operations in Texas and New York, told The Times. She said she was marginalized by her supervisor after declining an invitation to his hotel room.
Jeff Weaver, Sanders' 2016 campaign manager and currently a top adviser, was named in the letter sent to Sanders. In response, he told The Times that “anybody who committed harassment on the campaign would not be asked back.” He also expressed regret for some of the campaign's shortcomings.
“Was it too male? Yes. Was it too white? Yes,” he told The Times. “Would this be a priority to remedy on any future campaign? Definitely, and we share deeply in the urgency for all of us to make change. In 2016, as the size of our campaign exploded, we made efforts to make it a positive experience for people. That there was a failure pains me very much.”
Friends of Bernie Sanders, his principal campaign committee, responded to the letter in a statement to POLITICO.
“We thank the signers of the letter for their willingness to engage in this incredibly important discussion,” the statement said. “We always welcome hearing the experiences and views of our former staff. We also value their right to come to us in a private way so their confidences and privacy are respected. And we will honor this principle with respect to this private letter.”
Some former supporters told The Times that the pervasive harassment and sexism in the campaign drove them away from it. Sarah Slamen, who worked for the campaign in Texas and helped build out Our Revolution, a progressive organization born from Sanders' campaign, told The Times she quit the organization at the end of 2016 after she said she a male member of Our Revolution berated her for suggesting an organizing plan.
“Do you know how hard that is for me to say after working so hard for him?” she said.
In an interview with CNBC on Wednesday, Cook said tariffs imposed by the US and China on products from the opposite country contributed to an economic slowdown in China. The Chinese economic slowdown in turn decreases retail sales in the country and hurt Apple's overall business.
"And what I believe to be the case is the trade tensions between the United States and China put additional pressure on their economy," Cook said. "So we saw as the quarter went on things like traffic in our retail stores, traffic in our channel partner stores, the reports of the smartphone industry contracting, particularly bad in November. I haven't seen a December number yet, but I'd bet it would not be good either."
Cook also highlighted the trade war's impact on Apple's sales in a letter to shareholders announcing the reduced revenue target.
"We believe the economic environment in China has been further impacted by rising trade tensions with the United States," he wrote.
In total, Apple estimated that revenue for the company's first fiscal quarter would come in around 7.6% lower than a previously expected $84 billion. The original guidance called for revenues between $89 billion and $93 billion.
While Apple did not place complete blame on the trade war — the company also cited the strong US dollar, reduced battery replacement prices, and more — the tariff battle between the US and China appears to have taken its toll on the tech giant.
There may still be more worries on the trade front for Apple, as well. Current US tariffs on Chinese goods do not include many consumer electronics like those manufactured by Apple, and some Apple products were dropped from a preliminary list of goods that were subject to tariffs in September.
But President Donald Trump told The Wall Street Journal in November that the iPhone and other Apple products could be hit by the next round of tariffs, which would cover the $255 billion in Chinese products not currently involved in the trade war. Apple previously warned that tariffs on their products would harm the company.
The US and China agreed to a trade war truce at the start of December and have put any additional tariffs on hold. But that truce is only set to last until March 1. And Trump's lead trade negotiator, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, reportedly wants to deploy additional tariffs to pressure the Chinese.
Regardless of the trade war's future, Cook's statements make it clear that Trump's trade war with China is indirectly harming one of the America's largest companies. The announcement is also an example of the highly integrated supply chains US companies use — and how tariffs can disrupt those firms' ability to do business.
In response to the news, Apple's stock fell by over 7% in after-hours trading to $146.40 a share.
This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here.
Drone technologies continue to improve at a rapid pace and are slowly pushing the unmanned aircraft toward the mainstream. Companies in a variety of industries are now looking to use drones to cut costs, boost efficiencies, and create new revenue streams and business values, such as last-mile retail deliveries.
But regulatory roadblocks are still holding back widespread commercial drone use in most large, developed markets. Many countries still have laws on the books that regulate drones as other aircraft, such as planes or helicopters, and prevent unmanned aircraft from flying beyond a few miles from the operator. That makes laws and regulations arguably the chief determining factor in the development of the commercial drone industry worldwide.
This new report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, will give a high-level overview of commercial drone regulations around the world. We detail the major changes in global drone regulations over the past year, and show how regulators are working to stay ahead of the nascent, yet valuable devices. In addition, we show how regulatory changes will impact the industry and allow for new enterprise use cases in the next few years.
Here are some of the key takeaways:
In full, the report: