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- 03/15/18--16:31: _Wall Street banks a...
- 03/15/18--16:32: _Spotify's free vers...
- 03/15/18--16:35: _'He will get the do...
- 03/15/18--17:52: _'I would vote for h...
- 03/15/18--18:10: _CHATBOTS EXPLAINED:...
- 03/15/18--18:27: _The White House ins...
- 03/15/18--18:36: _Israel's prime mini...
- 03/15/18--18:37: _Take a look at the ...
- 03/15/18--18:48: _At least 4 dead aft...
- 03/15/18--18:52: _A rogue suitcase wa...
- 03/15/18--19:01: _THE INSURANCE AND T...
- 03/15/18--19:32: _Alibaba is reaping ...
- 03/15/18--20:01: _Levi's is suing Chi...
- 03/15/18--20:02: _THE INSURTECH REPOR...
- 03/15/18--20:26: _LeBron James threw ...
- 03/15/18--20:46: _ALBERT EDWARDS: The...
- 03/15/18--20:54: _NASCAR race renamed...
- 03/15/18--21:11: _There's one big dif...
- 03/15/18--21:39: _Arizona falls to Bu...
- 03/15/18--21:39: _Weapons sales are o...
- Morgan Stanley and Oliver Wyman just published their annual blue paper on wholesale banks and asset managers.
- The report highlights growing pressures on the asset management industry, which will in turn translate into added cost pressures for the wholesale banks that serve them.
- "We think we are at an inflection point," the report reads. "Institutional and corporate client revenue pools have historically grown at a similar pace, each comprising ~50% of global wholesale banking revenues. However, tailwinds on the corporate wallet and pressures on the institutional wallet present a shift that we think is here to stay."
- Spotify relies on its ad-supported free service to acquire paying users, but that customer acquisition strategy can be expensive, Spotify CFO Barry McCarthy told investors Thursday.
- It takes Spotify 12 months of a user subscribing to Spotify's premium service for the company to recuperate the cost of having them as a free user, on average.
- McCarthy, former CFO of Netflix, thinks Spotify will become profitable as it scales, and expects gross margins of 30% to 35% over the long-run.
- The special counsel Robert Mueller's move to subpoena the Trump Organization brings him ever closer to President Donald Trump's personal finances — a "red line" Trump warned him against crossing.
- Trump said last year that he does not "make money from Russia." But his son, Donald Trump Jr., wrote in a 2008 op-ed that a large chunk of the family's wealth flows in from Russia.
- Mueller's subpoena likely indicates the Trump Organization has something of value to prosecutors, and that they want to "leave no doubt publicly or to Trump [that] this is important to them," said one legal expert.
- The parents of Stormy Daniels, the porn star who claims she had an affair with Donald Trump, say they support Trump.
- The parents also expressed disappointment in how the scandal has developed.
- Daniels's mother said she would vote for Trump "every time."
- AI has reached a stage in which chatbots can have increasingly engaging and human conversations, allowing businesses to leverage the inexpensive and wide-reaching technology to engage with more consumers.
- Chatbots are particularly well suited for mobile — perhaps more so than apps. Messaging is at the heart of the mobile experience, as the rapid adoption of chat apps demonstrates.
- The chatbot ecosystem is already robust, encompassing many different third-party chat bots, native bots, distribution channels, and enabling technology companies.
- Chatbots could be lucrative for messaging apps and the developers who build bots for these platforms, similar to how app stores have developed into moneymaking ecosystems.
- Breaks down the pros and cons of chatbots.
- Explains the different ways businesses can access, utilize, and distribute content via chatbots.
- Forecasts the potential impact chatbots could have for businesses.
- Looks at the potential barriers that could limit the growth, adoption, and use of chatbots.
- And much more.
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- Messaging Apps for Publishers: Why chat apps are crucial for publishers
- Messaging App Research: How instant messaging can be monetized
- The White House on Thursday night denied reports that President Donald Trump was set to replace national security adviser H.R. McMaster.
- Five people with knowledge of the plan told The Washington Post that McMaster's ouster was all but imminent. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders denied the assertion Thursday night, saying "there are no changes at the NSC."
- If it happens, McMaster's departure would follow those of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was fired earlier this week, National Economic Council director Gary Cohn, and White House communications director Hope Hicks, who resigned last month.
- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly told members of his security cabinet that President Donald Trump will likely pull the US out of the 2015 Iranian nuclear accord by May.
- Netanyahu briefed his cabinet on talks held with President Trump in Washington earlier this month.
- Trump in January called the deal a "disaster" and threatened to pull the US out of the deal if changes were not made.
- Talks on the Iran deal are ever timely as President Trump appointed Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State, who previously said he looked forward to "rolling back the disastrous deal."
- A pedestrian bridge in Miami collapsed on Thursday, killing at least four people and trapping eight cars underneath.
- Miami-Dade officials added that nine people have been transported to hospitals.
- The bridge was installed on Saturday and scheduled to open to pedestrians and bicyclists in 2019.
- A rogue suitcase was caught on video gracefully rolling across the tarmac at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Tuesday.
- The video was posted on Facebook by flight attendant Michael Orsini who was eating lunch at the time.
- The world's largest auto insurers now offer usage-based policies, which price premiums based on vehicle usage data collected directly from the car.
- Large home and commercial property insurers are using drones to inspect damaged properties, which can improve workflow efficiency and reduce their reliance on human labor.
- Health and life insurance firms are offering customers fitness trackers to encourage healthy behavior, and discounts for meeting certain goals.
- Home insurers are offering discounts on smart home devices to current customers, and in some cases, free devices to entice new customers.
- Forecasts the number of Americans who will have tried usage-based auto insurance by 2021.
- Explains why narrowly tailored wearables could be what's next for the health insurance industry.
- Analyzes the market for potential future insurance products on IoT devices.
- Discusses and analyzes the barriers to consumers opting in to policies that collect their data.
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- Shares of Alibaba are up more than 3% Thursday thanks to strong sales data from the Chinese government.
- Levi Strauss & Co is suing two companies in China over trademark infringement for using its iconic double arch on jeans.
- The company is seeking the destruction of the products and $47,000 in damages.
- The lawsuit comes as the US eyes China's endemic intellectual-property theft, which many believe President Donald Trump wants to take action against shortly.
- Levi's was recently pulled into threats of a trade war by the EU which said it would put tariffs on the company if Trump moves ahead with steel and aluminum tariffs.
- Funding is flowing into startups and helping them scale, while legacy players have moved beyond initial experiments and are starting to implement new technology throughout their businesses.
- Distribution, the area of the insurance value chain that was first to be disrupted, continues to evolve.
- The fundamentals of insurance — policy creation, underwriting, and claims management — are starting to experience true disruption, while innovation in reinsurance has also continued at pace.
- Insurtechs are using new business models that are enabled by a variety of technologies. In particular, they're using automation, data analytics, connected devices, and machine learning to build holistic policies for consumers that can be switched on and off on-demand.
- Legacy insurers, as opposed to brokers, now have the most to lose — but those that move swiftly still have time to ensure they stay in the game.
- Reviews major changes in the insurtech segment over the past year.
- Examines how startups and legacy players across distribution, insurance, and reinsurance are using technology to develop new business models.
- Provides our view on what the future of the insurance industry looks like, which Business Insider Intelligence calls Insurtech 2.0.
- LeBron James threw down a vicious dunk on the Portland Trail Blazers' center Jusuf Nurkić, sending shockwaves through the Portland arena.
- It's just the latest in a series of mind-blowing highlights that James has rattled off in just the past two weeks.
- Despite 15 years in the NBA, James is still showing basketball fans things we've never seen before with shocking regularity.
- A trade war would bring forward the next financial crisis sooner than expected, according to the Societe Generale strategist Albert Edwards.
- For several years, Edwards has warned that "waves of deflation" will cause a 2008-style crisis.
- 03/15/18--20:54: NASCAR race renamed 'Roseanne 300'
- "Roseanne" is returning to the airwaves later this month with the original cast.
- To promote the show's return, NASCAR has renamed Saturday's Xfinity race the "Roseanne 300."
- The naming creates the odd situation of Fox airing and promoting a race that is promoting a TV show that airs on a rival network.
- As Spotify prepares for its debut on the public markets, it got some good news in the form of new consumer survey data from Goodwater Capital.
- Spotify topped rivals such as Apple Music and Pandora in terms of how likely customers were to recommend it to others and to either maintain or increase their usage of the service.
- But the survey data also offered some warning signs. It found many consumers use more than one streaming service and Apple and Google have clear advantages over rivals because of their ownership of the two main smartphone operating systems.
- No. 13 Buffalo dominated No. 4 Arizona in the second half of their first round March Madness matchup to secure their first win in tournament history.
- The 21-point victory came with the help of Wes Clark, who scored a game-high 25 points on 10-of-14 shooting in addition to seven assists.
With the win, Buffalo moves on to face No. 5 Kentucky on Saturday with a spot in the Sweet 16 on the line.
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- Our best bets for the first round of March Madness
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Wall Street banks are at "an inflection point."
According to a big report from Morgan Stanley and Oliver Wyman on wholesale banks and asset managers, it's now time for banks to shift their focus towards corporate business, versus the institutional investor clients they've been focused on.
That's because the asset managers are under intensifying cost pressure. As a result, institutional client revenue growth over the next three years is forecast to slow to a compound annual growth rate of 2%. Corporate client revenues in contrast are forecast to grow at CAGR of 5% in the short term, as rising rates bolster various business lines.
"We think we are at an inflection point," the report reads. "Institutional and corporate client revenue pools have historically grown at a similar pace, each comprising ~50% of global wholesale banking revenues. However, tailwinds on the corporate wallet and pressures on the institutional wallet present a shift that we think is here to stay."
The report highlights a positive medium-term outlook for corporate revenues in macro trading, dealmaking, and transaction banking.
"Cyclical tailwinds are set to drive revenue growth in the corporate segment, but with very different dynamics between "CFO-down" and "CFO-up" relationships," the report said.
"CFO down" businesses include debt business, lending, cash management and trade finance. As the name suggests, these are usually delivered to the CFO and Treasury units. These businesses tend to be sticky and stable, and will benefit from rising rates. And it's here that Morgan Stanley and Oliver Wyman are forecasting the fastest growth in revenues (5.5% CAGR over the next five years).
"CFO-up" products in contrast include headline grabbing equity deals, mergers and acquisitions, and leveraged finance. These are higher return businesses, but also more volatile and more relationship based. Specialized advisory firms have already eaten in to this revenue pie, taking market share from the bigger banks.
The report said:
"To win with corporates, banks need to invest in relationship bankers for CFO-up businesses and in technology for CFO-down businesses. CFO-up products, like M&A advisory, are high-touch relationship-driven businesses. We don't think that will change any time soon. Highly skilled relationship bankers are key for banks to continue investing in. For CFO-down products, like transaction banking, technology is set to disrupt, define and expand the future state of the industry."
Spotify loses money on every new user that takes advantage of its free service tier, but that shouldn't concern investors in the long-run, Spotify chief financial officer Barry McCarthy told investors on Thursday.
"The ad supported service is also a subsidy program that offsets the cost of new user acquisition," McCarthy told investors.
The Spotify service comes in two tiers: First, a free version, supported by ads. And then, there's the $9.99 ad-free Spotify Premium service, where the company makes most of its subscription revenue.
But while the free tier eventually leads many customers into eventually becoming a Spotify Premium customer, it's still a costly investment: After a customer moves from the free tier to Spotify Premium, it takes 12 months on average for Spotify to recoup the costs of all the music they listened to without paying.
The company attributes those losses to the music licensing fees and royalties that it has to pay on every song that streams on its service. That's added up to $10 billion in music fees since Spotify debuted in 2008. In 2017, it meant that Spotify lost $1.5 billion on $5 billion in revenue.
Spotify sees its free service as a marketing and acquisition expense, McCarthy said, and believes that it will pay off financially for Spotify once the company has the scale necessary to grow its margins.
McCarthy, who served as CFO at Netflix from 1999 to 2010, said he saw how scale impacted the video streaming service's ability to make money. He expects Spotify to have a similar experience.
"Scale can be a great enabler," he said.
Long term, McCarthy said that Spotify is prioritizing that growth over profitability, but expects to have gross margins of 30 to 35%.
Here are two charts McCarthy shared with investors:
The special counsel Robert Mueller's reported decision to subpoena the Trump Organization for documents related to its dealings in Russia shows he is not only homing in on President Donald Trump, but that Mueller believes the company has information crucial to the Russia investigation.
Mueller, who was appointed to oversee the investigation last year, is probing Russia's interference in the 2016 US election and whether Trump's campaign colluded with Moscow.
As part of that investigation, he has drilled down in recent weeks on the Trump family's dealings with Russia and other foreign governments to gauge whether outside entities used the Trumps' financial interests to influence the president's policies and platform.
Mueller's decision to subpoena the Trump Organization instead of merely requesting the documents suggests he "has reason to believe that the Trump folks have something of interest," said Michael Gerhardt, a constitutional law expert who once served as a federal special counsel. "It is not likely to be a fishing expedition for no good reason."
Gerhardt said there could be a few reasons why Mueller subpoenaed the business.
"One is that perhaps they anticipated resistance so they cut to the chase," he said. "The other is the Trump folks were already resisting on this or other stuff."
The third, he added, is that Mueller's team is playing "hard ball" to "leave no doubt publicly or to Trump [that] this is important to them."
Alan Dershowitz, a professor at Harvard Law School, echoed the third point. "When a subpoena is issued it becomes a crime to destroy records," he said. "Perhaps prosecutors want to send a message."
Asked by The New York Times' Michael Schmidt and Haberman last year about whether an investigation into his finances would breach a red line,Trump answered, "I would say yeah."
"I don't make money from Russia," he continued. "In fact, I put out a letter saying that I don't make — from one of the most highly respected law firms, accounting firms. I don't have buildings in Russia. They said I own buildings in Russia. I don't. They said I made money from Russia; I don't."
The comments appear to stand in contrast to those made by Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., in a 2008 New York Times op-ed. The younger Trump wrote, "In terms of high-end product influx into the US, Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets."
"Say, in Dubai, and certainly with our project in SoHo, and anywhere in New York," he added. "We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia."
'Mueller will get the documents he wants'
The Trump Organization was also pursuing a deal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow as recently as late 2015 and early 2016, at the height of the presidential election.
Trump signed a non-binding letter of intent for the deal that was dated October 13, 2015.
Trump's longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, and the Russian-born businessman, Felix Sater, took point on pushing for the deal.
In a series of emails the two men exchanged weeks later, Sater bragged about his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin and told Cohen he would "get all of Putin's team to buy in" on the deal.
"Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it," Sater wrote, according to The Times. "I will get Putin on this program and we will get Donald elected."
Sater walked back his claims in a recentinterview with BuzzFeed, saying he did not know Putin and that he made an exaggerated claim about his relationship with the Russian leader to secure the deal.
The breadth and scope of documents Mueller is seeking from the Trump Organization remain unclear. But whatever he obtains may "provide evidence that witnesses lied under oath and can also be evidence regarding events that we already know are under investigation,"wrote former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti.
"If documents are destroyed, that could be obstruction of justice," he added.
Meanwhile, Mueller's approach to dealing with the Trump Organization reflects that taken by most prosecutors investigating corruption and financial crime. Conversely, because the White House has been cooperating with the probe since it began, Mueller has merely sent document requests their way as opposed to subpoenas.
"Trump's commingling of his political and business affairs might ultimately be his Achilles heal," said Jens David Ohlin, a vice dean at Cornell Law School and an expert on criminal law. "Typically, a president might assert executive privilege in an attempt to shield documents and other evidence from public view. But there's no way that the Trump Organization, as a cooperation, or its officers and employees, can assert executive privilege."
Mariotti noted that the special counsel's decision to subpoena the Trump Organization may have been part of an effort to cast a wide net allowing him to compel the production of a vast array of documents and records beyond what may immediately be necessary to continue the investigation.
Once prosecutors can bring the subject of a subpoena to the negotiating table, they can narrow the request, he added. "The broad language in the subpoena, and the requirement to comply with the subpoena, gives the prosecutor the upper hand in that negotiation."
Either way, Ohlin said, "Mueller will get the documents he wants."
The parents of Stormy Daniels, the porn star embroiled in a scandal involving President Donald Trump, are reportedly ardent supporters of Trump and expressed disappointment by the news surrounding their daughter's accusations.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, alleged she was paid $130,000 to keep quiet about an affair with Trump. The payment, which was made prior to the 2016 US presidential election, and attracted extreme scrutiny because of its timing and circumstance.
"If Mr. Trump runs four more times, I would vote for him every time," Sheila Gregory, Cliffords's mother, said to The Dallas Morning News.
"I like him. I like the way he handles things," Gregory continued. "It's time this country is put back where it belongs — taking care of the people here instead of the people who don't belong here."
"I see her in the news — everything that's going on — it's hard," Bill Gregory, Cliffords's father, said to Inside Edition. "It's become a real mess, looks like to me."
"I like Trump and I like my daughter," Bill said. "I don't want to pick sides. It's unfortunate that it's gotten to this point."
Both parents said they had not spoken to their daughter in years. The two reportedly divorced when Daniels was 3 or 4 years old.
"It hurts me deeply," Gregory told The Dallas Morning News. "My friends all say the same thing: 'I can't believe that is the same sweet child — you took such good care of her.'"
"I say, 'How do you think I feel?'"
Clifford recently offered to return the $130,000 in exchange for the freedom to reveal details about her alleged sexual relationship with Trump. Meanwhile, the White House said Trump had "no knowledge of any payments" and that he "denied all these allegations."
This is a preview of a research report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about BI Intelligence, click here.
Advancements in artificial intelligence, coupled with the proliferation of messaging apps, are fueling the development of chatbots — software programs that use messaging as the interface through which to carry out any number of tasks, from scheduling a meeting, to reporting weather, to helping users buy a pair of shoes.
Foreseeing immense potential, businesses are starting to invest heavily in the burgeoning bot economy. A number of brands and publishers have already deployed bots on messaging and collaboration channels, including HP, 1-800-Flowers, and CNN. While the bot revolution is still in the early phase, many believe 2016 will be the year these conversational interactions take off.
In a new report from BI Intelligence, we explore the growing and disruptive bot landscape by investigating what bots are, how businesses are leveraging them, and where they will have the biggest impact. We outline the burgeoning bot ecosystem by segment, look at companies that offer bot-enabling technology, distribution channels, and some of the key third-party bots already on offer.
The report also forecasts the potential annual savings that businesses could realize if chatbots replace some of their customer service and sales reps. Finally, we compare the potential of chatbot monetization on a platform like Facebook Messenger against the iOS App Store and Google Play store.
Here are some of the key takeaways:
In full, the report:
Interested in getting the full report? Here are several ways to access it:
The White House on Thursday night denied reports that President Donald Trump was set to replace national security adviser H.R. McMaster.
Five people with knowledge of the plan told The Washington Post that McMaster's ouster was all but imminent. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders denied the assertion, saying Trump and McMaster "have a good working relationship and there are no changes at the NSC."
The Post later amended its story to show that, when asked, multiple senior White House officials "did not dispute that the president had made a decision" about the national security adviser.
White House chief of staff John Kelly apparently also told staff that "Trump has made up his mind about ousting McMaster," the newspaper reported.
The Wall Street Journal followed up with its own report, in which it also indicated that Trump does intend to push McMaster out.
Trump received some criticism earlier this week for the manner in which he fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, an announcement that the president made on Twitter.
It was not immediately clear if or when McMaster would leave the Trump administration, and both The Post and The Journal cited sources familiar with the matter who said Trump was seeking an orderly departure for the three-star general.
McMaster's exit would follow those of National Economic Council director Gary Cohn and White House communications director Hope Hicks, who resigned last month.
By all accounts, Trump has sought to remake his Cabinet amid a whirlwind of chaos that continued from his first year in office through the first months of 2018. People familiar with the president's thinking say he is emboldened by the unrest which was fostered in part by frequent clashes with the moderate wing of his administration.
But political observers are worried that Trump will replace those moderating forces — those who have leaned away from Trump's nationalist-leaning agenda, among other things — and install more loyalists in their place.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is another one potentially on the chopping block. Sessions' relationship with the president has been tenuous ever since he recused himself from the Russia investigation.
Additionally, Trump has bristled at the criticism some of his advisers have aired about him. Tillerson reportedly called Trump a "moron,"and ignited the president's anger in October 2017 when Tillerson refused to deny using the pejorative. McMaster was accused of calling Trump an "idiot" who has the intelligence of a "kindergartner" during a July 2017 dinner in Washington, DC. A National Security Council spokesperson denied that report at the time.
Trump was odds with Cohn more recently, after the president announced massive tariffs on steel and aluminum. Cohn was unhappy with the move, and had pushed Trump to reconsider. Instead, Trump tried unsuccessfully to get Cohn to fall in line.
Cohn, at one point, was being considered as a possible replacement for White House chief of staff John Kelly, another top staffer with whom Trump is frequently at odds.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly told members of his security cabinet on Sunday that President Donald Trump will likely pull the US out of the 2015 Iranian nuclear accord by May.
"I believe that Trump is very close to cancelling the nuclear agreement. The president spoke in the presence of his people, in the presence of all his senior government officials, and told me that if there is no significant change, he will leave the nuclear agreement with Iran," Netanyahu reportedly said.
Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and Chief of Staff John Kelly were reportedly all present during the discussion.
Channel 10 said the Prime Minister's office did not deny the report, but refused to comment on the details.
The Iran deal lifted sanctions on the country in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear program, but Netanyahu and Trump have both been critical of the deal in the past.
Trump in January called the deal a "disaster" and threatened to pull out and resume sanctions on Iran if "terrible flaws" of the deal were not fixed. Trump will decide whether to extend its sanctions relief on Iran by May 12.
Talks on the Iran deal are a hot topic after Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and is expected to replace him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who has taken a hardline approach to Iran. Some speculate scrapping the Iran deal could be one of Pompeo's first moves.
Trump said Tillerson's departure had much to do with his pro-stance on the Iran deal. In 2016, Pompeo said on Twitter that he looked forward to "rolling back this disastrous deal."
In 2020, the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers hope to share a stadium in Inglewood, California.
The LA Stadium, which will house both teams, is a massive, sprawling $2.6 billion project that will host year-round sports and entertainment events. It's also slated to host the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2028 Olympics in L.A.
Renderings of the arena show a sleek, state-of-the-art, open-air building, with plenty of restaurants and bars, community spaces, and the in-vogue "halo" scoreboard the Atlanta Falcons brought to the NFL.
Take a look at the renderings below:
The entire complex sprawls over 298 acres just outside of L.A.
The complex will include retail and residential space.
The space is pretty scenic.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
A newly installed pedestrian bridge near the Florida International University collapsed on Thursday, trapping eight cars underneath and killing at least four people, according Miami-Dade County Fire Chief Dave Downey.
Nine people have been transported to hospitals so far, Downey said. Officials were reportedly still searching for more victims and weren't sure if people were still trapped.
The massive search-and-rescue effort searched under the slabs of concrete stretching across the eight-lane highway, with more than 100 firefighters on the scene, along with technical rescue workers, search dogs, and cranes.
Rescuers will likely remain at the scene through the night using heavy equipment to move parts of the bridge little by little, creating "safe zones" in which they can work, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Division Chief Paul Estopinan said.
Miami-Dade County Police Chief Juan Perez said the police department's homicide bureau would take the lead in investigating the incident, adding that the state attorney was standing by and ready to assist. He said it would likely take days before a cause for the collapse could be determined.
Perez said anyone worried about their family members or loved ones in the area could call 305-348-3481 for information.
The 950-ton bridge was installed on Saturday using a method intended to reduce risk to workers, pedestrians, and drivers, The Miami Herald reported.
It was built to connect the university campus with the city of Sweetwater, allowing students to cross over the busy highway safely. The bridge was initially scheduled to open in 2019, NBC 6 reported, and it's unclear if anyone was on it during the collapse.
"The most important thing we can do right now is pray for the individuals who ended up in the hospital, for their full recovery, and pray for the family members who lost loved ones," Gov. Rick Scott of Florida said on Thursday.
"The road under the collapsed bridge is heavily used by so many people in #Miami This is such a horrifying tragedy," Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, a former adjunct professor at FIU, tweeted.
The National Transportation Safety Board said it was sending a team to investigate the collapse.
'Building bridges and student safety'
FIU released a statement Thursday afternoon saying university officials were working with police and first responders.
"We are shocked and saddened about the tragic events unfolding at the FBI-Sweetwater pedestrian bridge," the statement said. "At this time we are still involved in rescue efforts and gathering information."
Just days earlier, the university tweeted a quote from its president, Mark Rosenberg, about the newly constructed bridge.
"FIU is about building bridges and student safety. This project accomplishes our mission beautifully," Rosenberg said.
The university also tweeted a rendering of the bridge:
This Saturday, we'll be positioning a 174-foot section of the FIU-Sweetwater UniversityCity Bridge. We're about to get a new #FIUview and an extra 9,900 square feet of gathering/event space! pic.twitter.com/E3DQ6GYFUj— FIU (@FIU) March 8, 2018
Officials had praised the quick completion of the bridge, which reportedly finished weeks ahead of schedule. Its construction was part of a $19.4 million project grant partially funded by the Department of Transportation, NBC 6 reported.
Both Figg Engineering Group and Munilla Construction Management, which had partnered to design and build the bridge, released statements expressing condolences and vowing to investigate what went wrong.
"We will fully cooperate with every appropriate authority in reviewing what happened and why," Figg Engineering told Business Insider in a statement. "In our 40-year history, nothing like this has ever happened before."
But media outlets were quick to point out that Figg has been involved in bridge collapses. One bridge project collapsed and fell 40 feet onto railroad tracks in the middle of construction in June 2012, The Virginian Pilot reported.
Munilla was sued earlier in March over allegations it had caused the injury of a TSA employee at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport as a result of "shoddy work" on a bridge, The Miami New Times reported.
"The new UniversityCity Bridge, which was under construction, experienced a catastrophic collapse causing injuries and loss of life," MCM wrote Thursday on Twitter. "MCM is a family business and we are all devastated and doing everything we can to assist."
The employee was walking along the bridge in October 2016 when it collapsed under his weight and sent him tumbling to the ground, breaking multiple bones.
This video shows the scene at FIU on Thursday:
THE FIU BRIDGE COLLAPSED OH MY GOD pic.twitter.com/JO7jfx5AoN— Gabriela Collazo (@GabrielaRose12) March 15, 2018
Footage from TV networks showed firefighters and other rescue workers rushing to recover victims.
This story is being updated.
A rogue suitcase was caught on video rolling across the tarmac at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport sans its owner.
In a video posted to both Facebook and Instagram by flight attendant Michael Orsini, the lonely luggage appears to elude staff as it gracefully makes its way past the airport's D and E concourse.
Orsini told Travel + Leisure magazine that he was eating lunch on Tuesday when he noticed the bag making its escape.
In the video, which has amassed over 100,000 views, Orsini can be heard laughing as the bag glides along the tarmac. At one point in the video, a truck slows down to seemingly inspect the suitcase but keeps driving instead, leaving the suitcase to continue on its journey down the tarmac.
"Right when we thought it was coming to stop, it picked back up and went out of the camera frame," Orsini told Travel + Leisure. "Not sure how much further it went, but it was the most entertaining thing of the day."
It's unknown if the bag was ever returned to its rightful owner.
Business Insider reached out to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport for comment and was asked for a link as the airport had not yet seen the video.
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This is a preview of a research report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about BI Intelligence, click here.
Insurance companies have long based their pricing models and strategies on assumptions about the demographics of their customers. Auto insurers, for example, have traditionally charged higher premiums for parents of teenage drivers based on the assumption that members of this demographic are more likely to get into an accident.
But those assumptions are inherently flawed, since they often aren't based on the actual behaviors and characteristics of individual customers. As new IoT technologies increasingly move into the mainstream, insurers are able to collect and analyze data to more accurately price premiums, helping them to protect the assets they insure and enabling more efficient assessment of damages to conserve resources.
A new report from BI Intelligence explains how companies in the auto, health, and home insurance markets are using the data produced by IoT solutions to augment their existing policy pricing models and grow their customer bases. In addition, it examines areas where IoT devices have the potential to open up new insurance segments.
Here are some of the key takeaways:
In full, the report:
To get your copy of this invaluable guide to the IoT, choose one of these options:
The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you’ve given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of insurance and the IoT.
E-commerce is skyrocketing in China, the country's National Bureau of Statistics said Thursday, and Alibaba is reaping the rewards.
Online retail sales in the country grew 37% in the first two months of 2018, NBS reported, up from 32% growth the prior month. Meanwhile, traditional retail sales grew just 9.7% — falling just short of the expected 9.8%.
"Taking into consideration normal seasonality pattern, this gives us a higher level of comfort in our Alibaba’s FY18 GMV growth estimate of c.30% with potential upside," Jefferies analyst Karen Chan said in a note to clients Thursday, reiterating her buy rating and $325 price target.
Jefferies is one of the Alibaba's biggest bulls, with a price target 41% above the Wall Street consensus of $230 per share.
"We believe the strong online retail sales in spite of weak seasonality could be attributed to: 1) a longer-than-usual shopping window prior to Chinese New Year holiday; 2) increased rural consumption spending over CNY from post-80s with smart home electronics and imported fresh goods showing fast growth; 3) step-up in online-offline promotional efforts, e.g. red packets, Taobao-RTmart (SunArt) promotion; 4) enhanced logistics service for fresh goods, e.g. Hema," Chan said.
Shares of Alibaba are up 4% in early trading Thursday and 85% in the past year.
Levi Strauss & Co is suing two companies in China over trademark infringement, as talk of a trade war that could directly affect the US denim icon heats up.
The company confirmed to Business Insider that it began legal action last year over Chinese companies using an arch-like curve, a trademark stitch pattern that Levi's sews onto the back pockets of its denim jeans.
"Levi Strauss & Co. can confirm that it filed a lawsuit on November 20, 2017 against third parties in China in relation to a trademark infringement of its trademarked ‘arcuate’ stitching design," the company told Business Insider, adding that it is a "pending court case."
The local Beijing court handling the matter posted details of this week's proceedings on its WeChat page. Levi's appeared to be suing China Business Management Co. Ltd and Guangzhou Shenglian Garment Co. Ltd. for using the "same or similar logo," according to the court.
Levi's is seeking $47,000 in damages and is asking for the goods to be destroyed and for the manufacturers to publish a statement in a Chinese intellectual-property periodical.
The US company has had success in the past in defending its trademark in China.
In 2012, Levi's won its first stitching infringement case in China against a local brand that used a similar design. The company sought $150,000 in damages but, because it could not prove the number of infringing jeans that were sold, it received a third of that.
Over the last few decades Levi's has applied for at least 11 trademarks of its pocket stitch design, according to one trademark database searched by Business Insider. Only two have been approved.
Aside from expected categories like clothing and accessories, the company applied to protect the design being used on false hair, wedding dresses, printer-ink ribbons, rosaries, and fitted toilet lid covers. It also sought to have dozens of businesses, including bookkeepers, vending-machine rentals, and veterinary medicine wholesalers, prevented from using the symbol.
The Levi's case spotlights US accusations of China's intellectual property theft
The scope of Levi's applications is standard practice in trying to prevent other companies from using another brand's intellectual property, a practice which is commonplace in China. Two former senior US defense officials told The New York Times last year that Chinese intellectual-property theft costs the US as much as $600 billion a year.
And while US-China relations are currently focused on steel and aluminum tariffs, US President Donald Trump intends to target intellectual property theft next.
Last year, a US Trade Representative report accused China of "widespread infringing activity – including trade secret theft, rampant online piracy and counterfeiting, and high levels of physical pirated and counterfeit exports to markets around the globe."
And on Thursday White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said Trump will get recommendations on China's theft in coming weeks.
"This will be one of the steps — one of the many steps — that the president is courageously going to take in order to address unfair trade practices," Navarro told CNBC Television.
But even before discussion begins on tackling intellectual property theft, Levi's itself has been targeted in a potential trade war.
In response to Trump's tariffs, the president of the EU's governing body, Jean-Claude Juncker, said it would put tariffs on iconic US products.
"We will put tariffs on Harley-Davidson, on bourbon and on blue jeans – Levi’s,” said Juncker.
It's a smart move if only based on the politics of their headquarters. The two companies are based in Wisconsin and California, whose House representatives include, respectively, Speaker Paul Ryan and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi — exactly the sort of leaders that countries want to pressure into changing Trump's tariffs.
Tech-driven disruption in the insurance industry continues at pace, and we're now entering a new phase — the adaptation of underlying business models.
That's leading to ongoing changes in the distribution segment of the industry, but more excitingly, we are starting to see movement in the fundamentals of insurance — policy creation, underwriting, and claims management.
This report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, will briefly review major changes in the insurtech segment over the past year. It will then examine how startups and legacy players across the insurance value chain are using technology to develop new business models that cut costs or boost revenue, and, in some cases, both. Additionally, we will provide our take on the future of insurance as insurtech continues to proliferate.
Here are some of the key takeaways:
In full, the report:
LeBron James is 33 years old, but ask him, and he'd tell you he's playing the best basketball of his historic career— and judging by the past two weeks, he's right.
James' latest addition to his unmatched highlight reel came on Thursday night against the Portland Trail Blazers. In the first quarter, just five minutes into the game, James had the ball close to midcourt when he saw an opportunity.
Dashing towards the basket, he raced past three Portland defenders, then elected to leap over the last two, with Jusuf Nurkić being the ultimate victim of his posterization.
You can watch the carnage play out below.
As beautiful as the dunk in real time, it's even prettier in slow motion.
Even the Blazers crowd couldn't help but stare in awe of King James.
This play would be enough to merit endless praise for LeBron even if it was his first insane play of the season — but it's not his first this week. On Tuesday night against the Phoenix Suns, James broke out a windmill dunk midgame. Shockingly, he had pulled off an almost identical dunk against the Suns four years earlier, while he was still a member of the Miami Heat.
James would later post an Instagram video of the two dunks, writing in the caption that he aged "Like fine 🍷!"
Watching the dunks side by side, it's downright eerie.
And that's not even the end of his highlight-filled March! Two days before that dunk against the Suns, James fooled a five Lakers on the court with a fake before sending a beauty of a no-look pass to a wide-open Ante Zizic for an easy assist.
And just a week before that wild play, James pulled off one of the best handles you'll see in your life — sending a ball behind his back and through a teammate's legs before recovering his dribble and driving to the basket.
March has proven that LeBron is merely ageless, and even after 15 years of the best basketball we've ever seen, we still have no idea what he might show us next.
Albert Edwards says his bearish thesis for the economy may be unfolding sooner than he expected.
The Societe Generale global strategist has long warned about the threat of deflation, driven by countries like China devaluing their currencies to make exports more attractive. The end result would be a collapse comparable to the 2008 crash, he has said.
Edwards now points to the Trump administration's trade policy as another catalyst that could hasten the next crisis. Recent tariffs the US imposed on steel and aluminum imports threaten a full-scale trade war, he noted.
"A trade war and competitive currency devaluation was always going to be the end game in our Ice Age thesis as a global deflationary bust destroyed wealth, profits, and jobs," Edwards said in a note on Thursday.
"But it looks as if it might be arriving sooner than we had anticipated."
China exports just 1.1% of its steel to the US, and so the tariffs were considered unlikely to do serious damage to Chinese businesses. The more immediate fuel for a trade war, Edwards said, is retaliatory action against China by the US for alleged intellectual property theft. The Nikkei Asian Review reported Wednesday that the US was set to impose tariffs on $60 billion worth of Chinese products as punishment.
The US could also turn on other trading partners as Trump continues to advance his "America First" agenda.
"Boiling away in the background are Germany's, and now too the eurozone's, outsized trade surpluses" with the US, Edwards said. He added, "expect President Trump to soon turn his protectionist fire on both Germany and the EU. That will be messy."
ABC announced on Thursday that NASCAR's upcoming Xfinity race in Fontana, California is being renamed the "Roseanne 300" to promote the return of the iconic TV show.
The Xfinity series is the second tier of stock car racing. NASCAR promotes the series as their "minor league" for up and coming drivers, but it does often feature NASCAR's top drivers who are either looking to help sponsors or to just get extra laps in preparation for the next day's main NASCAR race on the same track.
According to the announcement, "Roseanne 300" branding will appear throughout the track, including the pace car, infield grass logo, and in victory lane.
Michael Fishman, who plays DJ in the series, is expected to serve as grand marshal and give the traditional command for drivers to start their engines.
"Roseanne" will re-debut on March 27 on ABC, creating the odd situation of Fox airing and promoting a race that is promoting a TV show that airs on a rival network. The race will air on Fox Sports 1 on Saturday at 5:00 pm.
It's become a truism that Spotify users really love the music streaming service, but now there's some data to back that up.
Some 92% of Spotify users in the US plan to either keep using the service as much as they are now or actually up their usage, according to a new survey conducted by Goodwater Capital, a venture-capital firm that focuses on consumer technology companies. That made Spotify the highest-rated music service among consumers.
Spotify's service is marked by "undisputed customer love," Goodwater wrote in its report.
Pandora came in second; some 86% of its US users plan to maintain or increase their usage of its service. Amazon was third with 80%, according to the report, which was based on a survey of 3,000 US consumers. And Apple and Google both lagged behind.
Consumers were also more likely to recommend Spotify to other people than other music services, according to Goodwater. Spotify's Net Promoter Score— which gauges how likely consumers are to recommend a service or product — was 24, the highest in its group.
Among consumers younger than 30 — which represents the core audience for music streaming services, Goodwater found — Spotify's NPS score was 32. Apple Music had the next-highest NPS score in that age group at 15.
But Goodwater's data wasn't entirely positive for Spotify. The most popular music service was actually Pandora, the investment firm found. Over the last year, some 34% to 35% of US consumers had used Pandora; just 21% to 25% had used Spotify.
And many consumers aren't particularly tied to one music service or another, the survey found. Among consumers who had used a streaming music service, 46% listened to more than one.
Meanwhile, Goodwater found that Apple and Google's control over the operating systems that run on nearly all smartphones gave their music services a leg up. Consumers who have devices that run Apple's iOS were six times more likely to use Apple Music than Google Play Music. Conversely, consumers with Android devices were five times more likely to use Google Play Music than Apple Music.
Spotify has had more success reaching Apple device users than those of Android devices, Goodwater found. Some 28% of iOS users are also Spotify users, while 20% of Android device owners use Spotify.
Goodwater's report comes as Spotify is preparing to debut its stock on the public markets. The company, which operates the largest subscription streaming music service but has never posted a profit, is expected to go public on April 3.
The No. 13 Buffalo Bulls pulled off the biggest bracket-busting upset of the first day of March Madness late Thursday night, shocking the college basketball world with a dominant 89-68 victory over the No. 4 Arizona Wildcats — the first tournament win in the school's history.
Arizona came into the NCAA Tournament as a team on a mission — having won five straight games en route to the Pac-12 title after having to deny an ESPN report that accused head coach Sean Miller of coordinating the payment of a player. Miller denied every allegation, and the Wildcats had been on a tear since he was back leading the team, but their run came to a screeching halt thanks to the potent offense of the Bulls.
Wes Clark led the way for Buffalo, leading all scorers with 25 points and shooting an absurd 10-of-14 from the field, in addition to his seven assists for the game. CJ Massinburg was another crucial anchor for Buffalo, sinking five from beyond the arc as the Bulls turned the game into something of a blowout through the second half.
While Loyola-Chicago earned the title of first upset of March Madness 2018 with their win over Miami earlier in the day, Buffalo's shocking win will have bigger ramifications in bracket leagues across the country. Despite being a No. 4 seed, Arizona was a trendy pick to make a run in the tournament, with 10.7% of ESPN brackets sending them through to the Final Four — more than all but six teams in the field.
With the win, the Buffalo Bulls move on to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, where they will meet No. 5 Kentucky with a spot in the Sweet 16 on the line.
Best of luck to all of those whose brackets have made it this far.
More March Madness:
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute recently published its 2017 "Trends In International Arms Transfers" report, which details the 25 largest weapons exporters between 2013 and 2017.
The report, which also lists the 40 largest importers, found that international major weapons transfers increased by 10% in the last four years, compared to 2008 and 2012.
International weapons transfers have steadily increased since 2000 after having largely declined around the end of the Cold War, SIPRI reported.
The report also found that weapons sales to the Middle East, Asia, and Oceania have increased in the last 10 years, whereas weapons sales to the Americas, Africa, and Europe have decreased.
Here are the 10 largest exporters:
The Netherland's largest clients were: Jordan (15% of all sales), Indonesia (15% of all sales), and the US (11% of all sales).
The Netherlands accounted for 2.1% of all exports and its exports increased by 14% compared to 2008-2012.
Italy's largest clients were: UAE (12% of all sales), Turkey (10% of all sales), and Algeria (9.9% of all sales).
Italy accounted for 2.5% of all exports and its exports increased by 13% compared to 2008-2012.
Israel's largest clients were: India (49% of all sales), Azerbaijan (13% of all sales), and Vietnam (6.3% of all sales).
Israel accounted for 2.9% of all exports and its exports increased by 55% compared to 2008-2012.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider