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- 06/24/18--13:51: _Meet Chip and Joann...
- 06/24/18--13:54: _6 signs you're prob...
- 06/24/18--14:08: _I went to the massi...
- 06/24/18--14:32: _35 Big tech predict...
- 06/24/18--14:59: _An $80-a-month star...
- 06/24/18--15:10: _Why the 76ers' hear...
- 06/24/18--15:44: _Millions of people ...
- 06/24/18--15:56: _Here's how far ever...
- 06/24/18--16:45: _Costco employees re...
- 06/24/18--16:48: _I got my handwritin...
- 06/24/18--16:52: _Saudi Arabia has li...
- 06/24/18--17:54: _Millennials are coo...
- 06/24/18--17:54: _Millennials skip br...
- 06/24/18--17:58: _JPMorgan identifies...
- 06/24/18--18:02: _'It's crazy': Ad in...
- 06/24/18--18:36: _20 spectacular phot...
- 06/24/18--18:52: _China will lift par...
- 06/24/18--19:49: _Jared Kushner rips ...
- 06/24/18--20:04: _A 15-year-old migra...
- 06/24/18--21:10: _Japan's airlines ga...
- Chip and Joanna Gaines welcomed the arrival of a baby boy on Saturday morning.
- Chip tweeted this morning that the "Gainses crew is now 1 stronger" and "big momma is doing great!"
- Joanna shared an Instagram photo revealing the name of their new bundle of joy: Crew Gaines.
- This is the couple's fifth child.
- 06/24/18--13:54: 6 signs you're probably ready to get married
- Relationship expert Andrea Syrtash shared some of the top signs that you and your partner could be ready for marriage.
- Those signs include having shared values and goals and having open conversations about sex.
- Ultimately, you and your partner are the only people who can decide whether you're ready to commit long-term.
- For those who don't have tickets to the 2018 FIFA World Cup but are in Russia, FIFA's Fan Fest zones provide a fun place to watch matches with fans from all over the world.
- The Fan Fest zones have a ton of games, activities, swag, and giant screens to watch the games.
- I recently visited one of the biggest Fan Fest zones, at Moscow's Vorobyovy Gory, where tons of fans partied all day while watching the World Cup matches.
- 06/24/18--14:32: 35 Big tech predictions for 2018
- Cryptocurrencies will become more widely accepted
- Google and Apple will challenge Amazon in the smart speaker space
- The resurgence of the VR market
- The real self-driving car race will begin
- Drone regulations will relax
- Alibaba’s international expansion
- Gen Z will become a major focal point for media companies and advertisers
- Payment security will become paramount
- Smart home devices will take off
- The field of direct-to-consumer dentistry is taking off.
- In particular, a crop of new companies have taken on the clear aligners market, helping people straighten out their teeth without going into a orthodontists' office.
- Four years in, SmileDirectClub has built up into a large operation with thousands of employees and plans to add more, as well as partnerships to get its first treatment step, an impression kit, into stores.
- You fill out what's called a "smile assessment," which includes questions about your teeth and gums.
- You get an impression of your mouth taken or have it 3-D imaged at one of SmileDirectClub's shops, of which there are 89 around the country, including places like Lubbock, Texas and Madison, Wisconsin. The price of an impression kit is $79.
- One of the 220 state-licensed dentist or orthodontists that work with SmileDirectClub prescribes a treatment plan for you. If your case is too severe, the company may turn you away at this point. "Since we've launched the business until now, there's not one case that hasn't been reviewed, the treatment plan created and remotely monitored from a dentist or orthodontist," Fenkell said.
- You begin receiving a monthly box of dental aligners, which most people receive for about six months, according to SmileDirectClub.
- By the end of your prescribed treatment, you'll receive a retainer from SmileDirectClub — just as you would from a traditional orthodontist — with instructions on how often to wear it to help keep your teeth straight.
- The Sixers traded away the rights to Mikal Bridges just minutes after drafting the Villanova player.
- In return for Bridges, the Sixers received another player they coveted, Zhaire Smith, as well as a first-round pick in the 2021 draft that could appreciate in value or be the asset that helps Philadelphia land a star this offseason.
- It was a difficult decision from an emotional standpoint, as Bridges had close ties to the team, but the value the Sixers received in return was too much to pass up.
- The annual New York City LGBT Pride March took place in Manhattan on Sunday.
- Millions of people flocked to Chelsea and Greenwich Village to catch a glimpse of the parade.
- The march featured elaborate costumes and floats, joyous celebrations, and honors for LGBT-rights activists.
- Handwriting analysts believe that your style of writing can reveal aspects of your personality.
- I had a professional handwriting analyst look at my handwriting and tell me what she saw.
- As it turns out, much of her analysis was spot-on, although I'm not completely convinced.
- Authorities in Saudi Arabia detained several women's rights activists who campaigned for women's driving rights just before the country lifted its ban on women driving.
- At least 12 women's prominent rights activists have been arrested in the last month.
- Saudi Arabia lifted its driving ban on Sunday.
- Home cooking could soon be a thing of the past, according to a new report by UBS.
- Platforms such as Uber Eats have made it possible for consumers to have food delivered directly from restaurants that wouldn't otherwise offer delivery, opening up more options and making ordering in more appealing.
- UBS said that the introduction of robots and delivery drones in the future could drive down costs and make ordering in cheaper than cooking at home.
- This could negatively impact US food producers, such as General Mills and Kraft Heinz, that are dependent on sales of ingredients.
- Generation Z, Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers begin their days in different ways.
- Some of the differences in their morning routines can be attributed to age. Baby Boomers are increasingly retiring, so they tend to wake up later than working folks.
- But some of it can be attributed to generational differences. Millennials, for instance, are the most likely to get their news from online.
- JPMorgan's equity strategists have advised clients to be overweight small-cap companies that do much of their business in the US and aren't as exposed to global trade.
- This group of stocks is a "catch-all trade" for profiting from higher economic growth and inflation while guarding against the downside of a trade war, said Dubravko Lakos-Bujas, JPMorgan's head of US equity strategy, in a note on Tuesday.
- Year-to-date, the Russell 2000 small-cap index has gained nearly 10%.
- The digital ad community is divided into two camps: those who believe blockchain will revolutionize the industry and those who see the tech as overhyped and barely having an effect.
- Still, IBM and Mediaocean, a firm that supplies billing software to top ad agencies, have agreed to a deal to build a blockchain-contract system that launches this fall. Kellogg, Kimberly-Clark, and Unilever have signed on.
- At the same time there are major blockchain doubters: "People are trying to use it to solve problems its not suitable for," one insider said.
- And there's a school of thought that some ad constituencies are deliberately dragging their feet, hoping blockchain doesn't shine a light on their opaque business practices.
- Making contracts faster and smarter.
- Making payments faster.
- Unifying measurement so that every single ad campaign isn't tracked by five different data sources with five different sets of numbers, which is not uncommon.
- Exposing what all the different ad tech middlemen get paid in programmatic ad deals.
- Perhaps, eventually, blockchain could augment or replace a lot of digital advertising infrastructure. Ads could be bought or sold using blockchain technology automatically. Again, theoretically.
- China's Hainan island has released plans to give tourists access to Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter in parts of two cities.
- A partial lifting of the county's "Great Firewall" is part of an attempt to make the southern island a free trade zone and tourist hub.
- It's unclear whether locals would be able to access the otherwise-blocked sites.
- The local government's plan is no longer available online.
- Jared Kushner slammed Palestinian leadership for its lack of commitment to peace in a rare interview with an Arabic-language Palestinian newspaper.
- Kushner's interview is widely seen as an attempt to reach out directly to the Palestinian people at a time when tensions are high between the Trump administration and the Palestinian Authority.
- Kushner has been in the Middle East promoting peace plans which the White House said could be released "soon."
- A 15-year-old migrant boy reportedly left a Brownsville, Texas, children's shelter and is missing.
- The Casa Padre shelter has attracted nationwide attention under the Trump administration's border crackdown, and houses nearly 1,500 boys.
- The shelter's spokesman said that staff cannot legally force children to stay.
- The missing 15-year-old boy reportedly arrived in the US unaccompanied and was not separated from his parents by immigration authorities.
- Japan's airlines recently bowed to political pressure from China to change how they describe Taiwan.
- But Japan Airlines and ANA only changed the descriptions on their Chinese-language sites, not their sites in Japanese, English, or other languages.
- This split approach could provide a roadmap for other foreign companies struggling to deal the threat of being blocked from the Chinese market for references to Taiwan.
Chip and Joanna Gaines have welcomed a baby boy as the newest member of their family this morning.
Chip took the time to share with fans that the healthy baby has "10 beautiful toes and 10 beautiful fingers all accounted for."
And then there were 5.. The Gaines crew is now 1 stronger! 10 beautiful toes and 10 beautiful fingers all accounted for, and big momma is doing great! #blessedBeyondBelief— Chip Gaines (@chipgaines) June 23, 2018
Joanna then shared a photo on Instagram revealing the baby's name. She captioned the photo with "Our baby boy, Crew Gaines, is here and we couldn’t be more in love."
The moniker is a break from the Gaines' tradition of "D" names for their boys. Their first two sons are named Duke and Drake.
The "Fixer Upper" couple announced to their fans that they were expecting a fifth child back in January where Chip, 43, shared a photo with Joanna, 39, showing off her baby bump, while she laid her hand on his stomach, in typical goofy Gaines fashion.
"Gaines party of 7 ... (If you're still confused ... WE ARE PREGNANT)," Chip captioned the photo.
Fans have been following the adorable couple's pregnancy journey from the start. Chip may have even hinted the magical night that led up to the pregnancy in a hilarious tweet.
Hint #3 You might recall a few months back.. the ever amazing, ever romantic @JOHNNYSWIM was in Waco. And they put on a little too romantic of a concert.. anyways, one thing led to another, & we are officially pregnant. And I could not be more EXCITED! #5 #7ThePerfectNumber— Chip Gaines (@chipgaines) January 3, 2018
Since then, Joanna has shared bits and pieces of her pregnancy journey with fans, including her 2:30 am pregnancy cravings.
Woke up this morning at 2:30 AM and was craving fruity pebbles, a pimento cheese sandwich, chicken spaghetti, deviled eggs, and ranch dressing. Didn't have any of that so I made myself some cookies. With all the restaurant's final tastings, the cookbook (yes these cookies are in it!), and this pregnancy-I'm definitely growing at a record rate👌🏽#magnoliatable
The new baby joins siblings Emmie Kay, 8, Duke, 9, Ella, 11, and Drake, 13.
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Today's young couples aren't making rash decisions when it comes to marriage.
A report by dating site eHarmony reveals that 25- to 34-year-olds across the US (not just eHarmony users) knew their partner for an average of 6.5 years before tying the knot. That's compared to an average of five years for all age groups surveyed.
You could, theoretically, spend all of eternity trying to decide whether your partner is the right partner for you. But who has all of eternity to wait?
We asked Andrea Syrtash, a relationship expert, founder of Pregnantish, and author of "He's Just Not Your Type (And That's a Good Thing)", for the top signs that you and your partner could be ready to make a lifelong commitment to each other.
Here's what she told us:
You're the best version of yourself when you're with your partner
"It's amazing how often we put the focus on the other person — what he or she is offering," Syrtash said. "We don't look at who we are with them."
She went on: "You know you're ready to be in a long-term partnership when you can honestly say, 'This person is bringing out my best. I'm a good version of myself with this person.' That's a really good litmus test."
Syrtash's insights recall those of Ellen McCarthy, author of "The Real Thing" and a former weddings reporter for The Washington Post. McCarthy writes that the one word she heard couples use over and over again to describe their relationship was "comfortable."
As McCarthy puts it, a solid partner is like a "good pair of pajamas."
You have shared values and goals
"Hopefully, you're not getting married or thinking about long-term commitment before you've talked about future goals," Syrtash said.
Discussion topics should include kids, religion, and finances.
"If you feel that you've talked through significant future goals together and you're aligned, that's also a good sign."
Karl Pillemer, a professor of human development at Cornell University, spoke with a series of older Americans for his book "30 Lessons for Loving" and learned about the importance of shared values.
One 86-year-old man told Pillemer that it's important to find out from your partner: "What do they care about? How do they think about the world? What matters to them?"
You've talked openly about your finances
Money is a common source of conflict in a marriage, Syrtash said. "So we want to have open conversations before we are legally bound to each other."
For example, is one person coming into the relationship with significant student loans or credit-card debt?
According to Michelle Brownstein, Vice President of Private Client Services at Personal Capital, every couple should have three important money conversations: how they spend and save, how they envision a potential child's future, and whether to rent or buy a home.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Every four years, the world comes together for a festival of football (soccer for Americans) that promises to make us forget all about the world's troubles as best we can for a few weeks and unite in our collective humanity.
That spirit of global togetherness has certainly been on display in pubs and city squares around the world during the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
But nowhere is it more evident than at events FIFA is putting on in this year's World Cup host country of Russia.
For those who don't have a ticket to the games, Russia's 11 Fan Fest sites, spread across the country, promise to be a place where fans can join together and share in each game's triumphs.
With massive screens, entertainment, and activities, the Fan Fests are like the world's biggest sports bars for the duration of the tournament, which began Thursday and runs through July 15.
One of the biggest Fan Fest sites this year is at Moscow's Vorobyovy Gory, a park overlooking the city and Luzhniki Stadium. It holds a whopping 25,000 people at peak capacity.
I recently went to check out the fun while visiting Russia for this year's World Cup. Here’s what it was like:
Since the 2006 World Cup in Germany, FIFA has set up official Fan Fest zones for visiting fans and citizens of the host country to watch World Cup games together. To get to the one in Moscow, you have to walk past Luzhniki Stadium, Russia's national stadium and one of the focal points of the tournament.
It's about a 30-minute walk from Luzhniki. You have to cross the Moskva River, which passes through central Moscow. When I went on a Monday afternoon, it was bright, sunny, and warm.
The Fan Fest is technically in Vorobyovy Gory, a park that overlooks Moscow. Literally meaning Sparrow Hills, it's one of the highest points in the city. It seemed to me a bit like Moscow's Central Park.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Technology is increasingly disrupting every part of our daily lives.
Smart speakers and voice assistants let us interact with our homes and with retailers in new and seamless ways.
Smartphones are taking over as the dominant shopping device.
Viewers continue to move away from traditional TV toward digital platforms.
And the list is growing.
Nearly every industry has been disrupted by digital technologies over the past 10 years. And in 2018, we expect to see more transformative developments affect our businesses, careers, and lives.
Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has put together a list of 35 Big Tech Predictions for 2018 across Apps and Platforms, Digital Media, Payments, Internet of Things, E-Commerce, Fintech, and Transportation & Logistics. Some of these major predictions include:
This comprehensive list of 35 predictions can be yours for free today. As an added bonus, you will gain immediate access to our exclusive free newsletter, Business Insider Intelligence Daily.
To get your copy of this FREE report, simply click here.
Alex Fenkell keeps close tabs on one of his early customers.
Fenkell, a co-founder of SmileDirectClub, picked up a customer service call in 2017 when Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green called in after a championship game against the Cleveland Cavaliers to let the company know he'd broken his aligner.
Fenkell was incredulous — "That's what's on your mind right now?" he remembers thinking.
Green is an early investor in SmileDirectClub, a four-year-old startup that created the direct-to-consumer clear aligners market. It's a business that's been growing rapidly even as traditional orthodontists claim the process could harm patients if they're not seen in-person. The idea behind the company to make straightening teeth more affordable by cutting out the steps of going in-person to a dentist or orthodontist to get braces or other alignments.
That includes selling its impression kits — the first step of the process in which potential patients can make molds of their teeth that they can then ship to a dentist or orthodontist to evaluate — in 100 Macy's stores across the US. The department store's lifestyle and beauty focus was appealing to SmileDirectClub as its first retail partner, the company says.
Four years in, SmileDirectClub is up to 2,500 employees, and says it plans to hire another 1,000 by the end of 2018, the majority of which will be based in its Tennessee headquarters.
In addition to Green, SmileDirectClub is backed by Camelot Ventures, its largest shareholder as well as Align Technologies, the company that makes Invisalign clear aligners and is a supplier for SmileDirectClub.
No need for the dentist's office
SmileDirectClub is far less expensive than getting braces through an orthodontist. While it typically costs anywhere from $3,000 to $7,000 to get traditional braces or Invisalign-brand aligners, SmileDirectClub goes for a fraction of that — you can either pay $1,850 up front, or $250 up front and $80 for 24 months ($2,170 total). Here's how it works.
Growing pains while expanding the oral healthcare market
More companies have joined SmileDirectClub in the past few years in offering direct-to-consumer orthodontics, especially as the patents around clear aligners start to expire. Among those are Candid Co., a New York-based startup that's raised $15 million in funding, Uniform Teeth, which launched in 2018, and Orthly.
As the market has expanded, it's attracted increased criticism from the American Association of Orthodontists, the organization that represents orthodontists. In a statement to Business Insider, the AAO said it has filed complaints with dental boards and attorneys general against SmileDirectClub in 36 states. The organization also issued a "consumer alert," which mentioned some of the direct-to-consumer clear aligner companies by name.
"Comprehensive orthodontic treatment is a complex medical process, and the AAO has long held the position that it is in the best, and safest, interest of the public to have that treatment conducted under the direct and ongoing supervision of a licensed orthodontist," the organization said.
"Of the 36 state dental boards that have questioned the SmileDirectClub model, one-third (12) affirmatively closed their inquiries with no action taken. The remaining cases have had no action taken for months or even years. It is common in these investigations for the Board to close the investigation without notice to the party," a spokeswoman for SmileDirectClub said in a statement.
The company said that it has offered to meet in-person with state dental boards to explain the process. "Our goal is always to be as collaborative, transparent and upfront as possible in an effort to educate the boards about this new industry (doctor-directed at-home aligner therapy)," the spokeswoman said.
Marc Bernard Ackerman, the director of orthodontics at Boston Children's Hospital and the founder of the American Teledentristry Association, said he disagrees with the notion that a slightly crooked smile is a major health concern.
For most people, Ackerman said, the reason for getting teeth straightened has to do with appearances and the psychological benefit that comes with that. He looks at small adjustments as mainly non-medical and doesn't believe they need as much oversight as some orthodontists might let on.
As Ackerman sees it, teledentistry services like direct-to-consumer clear aligners will ultimately increase access to care which were previously only available through physical office visits.
About 60% of the counties in the US don't have an orthodontist, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services. SmileDirectClub's had customers in 70% of those counties, as of November 2017.
For a few minutes during Thursday night's NBA Draft, everything had worked out perfectly for Mikal Bridges.
After winning two NCAA championships with Villanova, Bridges had been drafted by his hometown team — the Philadelphia 76ers — with the 10th overall pick. Bridges and his mother, Tyneeha Rivers, who works for the Sixers as VP of Human Resources, were both overjoyed with how the night had played out. Mikal Bridges was coming home to join the Sixers family.
But just minutes later, a trade was announced— the Sixers were sending Bridges to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for 16th overall pick Zhaire Smith and a future first-round pick. It was a heartbreaking turn of events for Bridges, who was answering questions with media about how excited he was to join the Sixers as the trade was finalized.
For Sixers fans, the move was also a bit jarring, as many had been hoping for Bridges to land with the team. It was also disheartening to see the young player learn the realities of the league in such a brutal fashion just minutes into his professional career, especially when he had such personal ties to the franchise.
But as head coach and de facto interim general manager Brett Brown explained after the decision, the Sixers goal is to win championships, and they were offered a deal that was too good to pass up.
"Phoenix came in and offered a 2021 unprotected plus our 1B in Zhaire [Smith], who we value very highly, and you’re in a position that you’re on the clock, and you really have a decision to make," Brown said of the deal.
Brown made his call, and while the choice was undoubtedly arduous given the circumstances, it's tough to deny the value the Sixers received in return.
First and foremost, Smith was the Sixers "1B" as Brown put it, one of the two players the team coveted most in the draft. He is also a player that fits in with the Sixers needs both positionally and as the team continues to build one of the strongest young defensive fronts in the league. Smith will also likely have a fantastic time throwing down absurd alley-oops lobbed to him by Ben Simmons.
But the biggest asset of the trade was the 2021 first-round draft pick, which initially came from the Miami Heat and has no protections attached to it. The pick holds important value to the Sixers, both as an asset to be used now, or cash in on later.
This summer Philadelphia hopes to contend for some of the biggest players on the market. As Brown said of the pick, "That could be the thing that flips it with us having more assets to enhance a realistic trade for a star. We are star hunting."
If the Sixers need to put together a package to, for instance, bring Kawhi Leonard in from San Antonio, it's possible that the extra first round pick could be the asset that seals the deal.
Further, if Philadelphia instead decides to hold on to the pick, there's a chance that its value only increases in the coming years. 2021 could potentially be the year that high school players are allowed to enter the draft immediately, which would create a draft class filled with essentially two years worth of first-round talent.
Should that be the case, whether the Sixers choose to use the pick that year, or trade it once high school eligibility is established, the pick will be even more valuable an asset than it is right now.
Finally, while it might seem like a small difference, the trade makes financial sense for the Sixers. By trading the rights of the 10th pick for the rights to the 16th pick, the Sixers save close to $1 million due in contracts because of the structure of the rookie scale. It's not a significant amount of money, but for a team looking to land marquee free agents in the biggest offseason in recent memory, every dollar will count.
Brown wasn't devoid of the reality of the situation, and openly acknowledged the emotions that came with the decision.
"I watch Villanova, I love his mom, I love his college coach. There’s a human side to this that is kind of really hard to explain. And we all, I’m assuming, go from this level of excitement and coincidence, you can’t make this up, to something as a group, we sit there, and we feel off this and again one we knocked back, it was a great opportunity, really a great opportunity and then there it is."
In the end, the Sixers pulled the trigger, making a move that might have come off as harsh, but could be the difference that brings the team a championship.
The 49th annual New York City LGBT Pride March was held in the streets of Manhattan on Sunday.
The rainbow-colored spectacle to honor members of the LGBT community and celebrate strides in LGBT rights is the culmination of a series of events held by the NYC Pride organization. New York's march, often the most attended Pride parade in the world, is always a sight to behold.
Here's what 2018's Pride March looked like.
Tennis legend and LGBT activist Billie Jean King served as grand marshal of the NYC Pride March.
Some people came to Pride scantily-clad ...
... while others wore elaborate outfits that showcased their identities.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
The 2018 World Cup is here and the tournament's matches will be played in 12 arenas across 11 cities.
Russia is the largest country on the planet, making traveling between games more difficult compared to World Cups of the past.
Andrew Beaton at the Wall Street Journal estimated the total distance traveled for each team in the tournament based on their base camp and the locations of their three matches of the group stage.
As you'll see, some teams will have fairly reasonable travel demands to make it from match to match, while some others will have a far tougher time when it comes to getting to the stadium on gameday.
You can check out our breakdown of the World Cup travel schedule below.
There's a pretty wide range of travel miles teams will be logging through their first three games of the tournament. The table above is based on round-trip travel between a team's base camp and its first two games, as well as a trip out to the stadium for its third and final match of the group stage.
While no team has it easy, the chart makes clear that some teams have it much tougher than others. To get a better idea of how the teams will be traveling, take a look at the host nation of Russia's travel itinerary for the group stage.
Russia’s team travel route: 1,320 total miles
Russia's base camp is in Moscow, which will also be the location of the team's first match of the tournament. Then, they'll take a roundtrip to Saint Petersburg to face Egypt, before finishing the group stage in Samara.
At 1,320 estimated total miles, it's not the lightest travel schedule in the tournament, but it's pretty close, especially when compared to Russia's Group A opponent Egypt, which will have to travel a whopping 5,288 miles through the first three matches of the World Cup.
Egypt’s team travel route: 5,288 total miles
Egypt's schedule is by far the most grueling of any team in the tournament. They were placed in the southernmost base camp and have to pull round trips to the northernmost and easternmost stadiums for their first two matches.
It is easy to see this and wonder if the host country was playing a bit of gamesmanship with a key opponent.
While Egypt's travel schedule would be considered a haul by any traveler, it's especially gutting when compared to Colombia, the team with the lightest travel at the World Cup.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
• Costco workers shared their stories about the weirdest and worst things they've seen on the job with Business Insider.
• Some Costco workers reported that colleagues and members can occasionally make life a bit difficult.
• Many Costco employees cited the chain's generous return policy as a source of unexpected situations.
Sometimes, surprising situations crop up as well. The retail chain did make Glassdoor's list of best places to work in 2017, but that doesn't mean it's immune to odd and frustrating scenarios.
Business Insider reached out to Costco employees to find out what strange or bizarre situations they've witnessed on the job.
Many of the stories centered in around what one Iowa-based Costco worker called "abuse of Costco's generous return policy."
"Oh, the stories we could tell," said one Costco employee from San Diego. "Smelly socks, 20-year-old refrigerators, stained mattresses, we've seen it all."
Other anecdotes focused more on bad behavior from members and Costco colleagues. And some stories are just about bad luck or unusual circumstances. A total of 49 employees shared their stories with us.
Here's what Costco workers had to say about the most bizarre things they've seen happen in the store:
DON'T MISS: Sneaky ways Costco gets you to buy more
A worker at a Costco in Ontario once witnessed a "fist fight over a cheese sample."
"Someone pooped on the floor in the clothing department and tracked it all the way to the bathroom," said one Costco employee based in Chicago.
A shocking fall
"A guy fell through our roof," a Costco employee from Oregon told Business Insider. "He was working on the roof, sat down on the edge and somehow fell backwards. That's why now Costco requires bars on the sun roofs."
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Some people claim that your handwriting is a window into your personality — that every one of your loops, crosses, and dots can reveal something about yourself.
There's an entire science behind handwriting analysis, called graphology, and it's used by everyone from marriage counselors to potential employers. Supposedly, it can even reveal the vulnerable sides of some of the most powerful and successful people in the country.
Whether graphology is legit has been up for debate for years, so I wanted to put it to the test. I enlisted certified graphologist Elaine Charal, who offered to analyze my handwriting and give me a free personality report. Then, I showed the results to three people who know me well — my sister Sara, my roommate Michael, and my longtime friend Christine — and had them judge whether her assessment was accurate.
First, here's the handwriting sample I sent Charal, in all its chicken scratch glory:
One day later, Charal wrote back to me with a detailed, 11-paragraph summary of what she saw in my handwriting. Here are some of the highlights, as well as commentary from my three trusty associates:
"All of your script is vertical slanted, indicating poise, objectivity and your ability to remain (outwardly) calm under pressure … if you don't want anyone to see that you're upset, no one will see it."
Sara: I would agree with this. You are calm most of the time and so I know that if you are visibly upset or angry, it's because of something big or something important to you.
Christine: I would agree that you always try to remain calm and objective, especially if you're riled up on the inside. Unless it's about sports, or something very silly, then you are totally fine showcasing every hyperbolic note of joy and sorrow.
Michael: I have noticed (see: Eagles playoff run) that you tend to pace a bit when you are nervous/excited.
Me: My sister [Sara] would know! I keep a straight face in most situations, and when I do get animated I even surprise myself sometimes. But as Christine and Michael mentioned, when it comes to sports, I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve.
"Your stick-like l's indicate you to be result-oriented."
Christine: You do love it when things are measurable and numbers-driven (like Scrabble and baseball!) but you don't live and die by results in your own life.
Sara: You've always seemed more concerned with exploration, experience, and living in the moment over the future and what the outcome will be.
Michael: I'd say so.
Mark: While this piece of analysis made me slightly self-conscious about my l's, I'm not sure it's on the mark as far as my personality goes. Christine and Sara said it best, I usually care more about the process of finding an answer than getting it right, and I try not to measure success purely by the outcome.
"A few of your t-bars are crossed in the lower portion of your t-stems, indicating you are likely capable of much more than you realize! This is a protection stroke: you may tend to unconsciously keep your aspirations modest so that you don't disappoint yourself or others."
Christine: Oh, snap... Dude, she might be right.
Sara: I'm not sure if you realize this, but I agree.
Me: I never noticed before that I seem to cross my t's halfway down the t, and sometimes even lower. The bit about my personality is fair — I do find it more practical to set low expectations and exceed them rather than come up short of a big goal. I am very curious to know whether those two elements are actually related.
"A good number of your a's resemble o's, indicating you work hard and make it look easy."
Sara: This is absolutely true.
Christine: Not only does this describe you, but it's also the mark of a true hustler.
Me: Dope! Thanks Sara and Christine.
"Your word spacing is quite wide (where you can fit two or more letters between the words), indicating you are a 'free spirit' who needs 'elbow room' and won't appreciate being restricted or told what to do."
Sara: Yes! This one is spot on. You get things done on your time and in your way and don't appreciate being pushed or instructed to do things someone else's way.
Christine: Very true, the expert has nailed that one.
Michael: Well now we're covering pretty much all of the personality types aren't we?
Me: Right again! It's very fair criticism to say that I resist when people tell me what to do — I'd much rather come up with the idea on my own or do things when I feel it's right. Although Michael's comment is valid, too. The analysis does seem to cover many different personality archetypes.
"The very wide loop in your d-stems in your signature and your printed name indicate some sensitivity to criticism. This can act as a desire for perfection."
Michael: I interpret the desire differently. I think you enjoy discussions about finding an absolute truth … and the process of searching is often more fun than the outcome for you. I don't think you care as much about being perfect to avoid criticism, but rather to reach a neat conclusion to a discussion.
Me: I'm trusting my roommate on this one. I am definitely a perfectionist in some ways, and it's interesting to think that it could be in part because of a sensitivity to criticism. But I think a bigger factor is the value I place on precision and clarity, and my desire to see things through as closely as possible to how I imagined them.
Your signature (your public self) is slightly forward slanted, while your text (your private self) is vertical slanted. This suggests that while you project emotional responsiveness, you are actually a more private person.
Sara: I think this is pretty spot on … The amount someone knows about you correlates with how close you are to them.
Michael: This is somewhat true. I think you are a very outwardly emotional person, not afraid to hide excitement or how you are feeling in any moment. You also are pretty private in some aspects of your life, but I don't think the two are mutually exclusive.
Christine: I would strongly agree with this. You are very open and gregarious while also keeping parts of yourself very private.
Me: We all seem to be in agreement here — I do tend to be a private person until I know someone better, but in the comfort of a bigger group I show a wider range of emotions.
Overall, I was impressed with Charal's analysis, especially the more specific details about my personality that wouldn't necessarily apply to just anyone. I remain a little skeptical that every single flourish of the pen can telegraph an aspect of someone's character. But if three people close to me agree can corroborate most of Charal's assessment, then there very well may be something real behind graphology, and I'd be willing to try my hand at it one more time.
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Authorities in Saudi Arabia arrested several women's rights activists who campaigned for women's driving rights in the weeks before the country lifted its long-standing ban on female drivers on Sunday.
At least 12 prominent women's rights activists have been arrested since May 15, nine of them remain in custody and face serious charges and long jail sentences, Human Rights Watch said Friday.
Local media reports that the nine activists will be referred to a criminal court that specifically deal with terrorism-related offenses.
Two women's rights activists were arrested earlier this month according to the rights group, joining several other men and women all tied to previous campaigns to lift the driving ban. Saudi activists also reported that travel bans were placed on those most recently arrested, along with several others.
Saudi state media has been quick to brand the activists as "traitors," and accused them of forming a "cell" in conjunction with foreign agents, Amnesty International said.
Semi-official #Saudi account is posting this kind imagery of arrested women’s rights activists. The red stamps over activists’ pictures read: “traitor”. State is shockingly brazen. Some of these activists gained immense popularity & credibility during anti-guardianship campaign. pic.twitter.com/ePxMugx7Km— Nora Abdulkarim نورة الدعيجي (@Ana3rabeya) May 19, 2018
The government first announced it would lift its ban on women driving in September, and the ban was officially lifted on Sunday. Critics of the ban say it was symbolic of Saudi Arabia's strong patriarchal society, an image which Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is rapidly trying to change with numerous modernization efforts.
But while the nation was celebrating the abolishment of the ban, the government has been doubling down on activists who had fought for the right.
Activists told the Journal that on the day of the announcement they received calls from the Saudi government banning them from speaking to the media or even praising the move.
"We were told: ‘Don’t talk. We don’t want you to comment positively or negatively. Don’t do it, don’t give interviews,"' an unnamed activist told the Journal.
Activists said the recent crackdown is aimed at preventing anyone from claiming credit for the government's decision to lift the ban.
"They put pressure on the government and the government is still angry, even if it has accepted that women will be allowed to drive,” another activist told the Journal. "Women will drive soon, and they don’t want anyone who can comment."
Among those still in detention are Loujain al-Hathloul, a well-known young activist who spent 73 days in jail for defying the ban in 2014, and Eman al-Nafjan, a Saudi blogger and women's rights campaigner, along with three others. Two other women, aged 63 and 70, helped organize the first driving protests in 1990 and were arrested last month.
Saudi's Press Agency said the activists were arrested for having "dared to violate the country’s religious and national pillars through making suspected contacts in support of the activities of foreign circles." The statement also said those detained sought to "destabilize the Kingdom."
Home-cooked meals could soon become a thing of the past.
According to a recent research report done by UBS entitled "Is the Kitchen Dead?," the growth of food-delivery apps could mean that no one does their own cooking at home in the future.
The report estimates that by 2030, online food delivery could command 10% of the total food services market. This translates to $365 billion in market share, up from $35 billion today.
Online ordering has exploded in recent years as apps such as Uber Eats have made it possible for people to order directly from restaurants that didn't previously offer delivery, opening up the market to more players and giving consumers more options.
UBS describes these delivery apps as being a "game-changer" in the food market.
"Online ordering has started to become the norm, thanks to the convenience, accuracy, and ability to integrate payments," UBS analysts wrote.
"At scale, ubiquitous on-demand and subscription delivery of prepared food could potentially spell the end of cooking at home."
Millennials are three times more likely to order in than their parents are, according to the report. The main reason for this is likely the convenience that food delivery offers. But it has become an even more enticing option recently as the quality of restaurants now offering delivery has gone up.
Moreover, UBS estimated that we could see the cost of ordering in decrease to such an extent that it would become cheaper than preparing your own food at home. This could be made possible if delivery drones and robots became part of the process.
These changes could have a negative impact on US food producers that rely on food ingredient sales to individual consumers. The report notes that General Mills and Kraft Heinz, which are known for their ready-made or home-prepared meals like General Mills' Betty Crocker desserts or Kraft's signature macaroni and cheese, could be hit worst if they do not adapt.
"Those retailers that can redirect, or at least diversify, sales to new avenues of growth such as online grocery, ready-to-eat meals, quick service restaurants, etc., should see a benefit," the report said.
UBS also singled out Sonic Drive-In as being one of the few fast-food chains that could suffer from the death of the kitchen because its drive-in concept is, by nature, not suited for delivery.
Other fast-food chains, however, are showing they're up for the challenge.
Chains from McDonald's and Chipotle to Panera and Taco Bell are making a major push towards delivery. In May, Chipotle reported delivery sales had skyrocketed 667% after it struck a deal with DoorDash in late April, Business Insider's Kate Taylor reported. The same week, GrubHub announced it was taking Jack in the Box delivery nationwide on Thursday, adding a new chain to its portfolio of partnerships that includes Taco Bell and KFC.
"Consumers go in and out of habits," Panera CEO Blaine Hurst said to Taylor. "If I decide I want to try delivery and they don't have delivery as an option, I'm going to try another restaurant."
A poll from MSN surveyed Americans on their morning routines. It then used machine learning and big data, such as the census, to model how a representative sample of the US would have responded. It's as accurate as a traditional scientific survey, MSN said.
Some of the differences in their morning routines can be attributed to age.
Baby Boomers are increasingly retiring, so they tend to wake up later than the working population. Nearly a third of them wake up after 7 a.m., compared to 15% of those aged below 65.
Some discrepancies are also unsurprising, considering generational trends. Millennials, for instance, are the most likely to get their news online, while 13% of Baby Boomers read the paper every morning. (Just 1% of 20-somethings say they read the morning paper.)
Here's how the generations differ in their sunrise habits.
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Adults aged 64 and under are more likely to lay out their outfits the night before.
Of those younger than 65, 85% wake up before 7 a.m. That drops to 68% once folks reach retirement age.
The older you are, the more likely you prioritize breakfast. Two-thirds of young adults never or seldom eat breakfast.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
This difference between the two indexes — of major companies and small-cap stocks — shows that smaller companies are benefitting more from the biggest issues on investors' minds, including trade, regulation, and inflation. The Russell 2000 has outperformed both the Dow and the S&P 500 to gain nearly 10% this year.
Foreseeing this, JPMorgan's equity strategists advised clients late last year to tilt portfolios toward companies that do much of their business in the US. By being overweight small-caps, the bank said, investors were poised to benefit from favorable growth policies in the US and stronger growth. After the US announced its latest plan to escalate tariffs on Chinese goods, JPMorgan doubled down on its counsel.
"We continue to recommend small-caps as a 'catch-all trade' for its higher cyclical, reflation, and tax policy exposures, as well as lower sensitivity to ongoing risk," said Dubravko Lakos-Bujas, JPMorgan's head of US equity strategy, in a note on Tuesday.
"Importantly, domestic companies are more insulated from trade headlines and USD volatility."
Lakos-Bujas' recommendation for smaller domestic companies is pegged to the belief that stronger economic growth would benefit them more, even if it causes the inflation that some investors dread. Multinationals, he said, are exposed to negative economic revisions in the euro area and in emerging markets.
This year's tax cuts are another tailwind behind small-caps. Their effective tax rate fell to 22% from 32% in the first quarter, Lakos-Bujas said. That's almost double the benefit for large caps, where the effective rate is expected to fall to 21% from 27%, he said.
But small-cap companies don't have the all clear. From a technical standpoint, Lakos-Bujas said, the Russell 2000's outperformance over the S&P 500 is likely to slow down.
Also, sustained wage growth would hurt many of these smaller, labor-intensive companies, as would waning support for the Trump administration's economic agenda.
As it relates to trade, small-cap companies that import goods subject to tariffs could be hurt by rising costs, said Rich Sega, the global chief investment strategist at Conning, which has $122 billion in assets under management.
A trade war would also hurt companies that export products subject to Chinese import taxes.
"We'd rather not have it," Sega said. "But it's not enough to offset the very strong current and, I think, potential future benefits of tax reform, regulatory reform, and fiscal stimulus."
For some, blockchain is the advertising messiah, a savior that will fix all the digital ad world's messes.
For others, blockchain is, at worst, the latest version of ad tech snake oil, or, at best, the equivalent of using the Hubble telescope to look across the street.
Indeed, as the hype over blockchain technology's potential for the ad business reaches a crescendo (including more than half a dozen panels on the docket at Cannes), most insiders appear to fall into two camps: Some have an almost religious belief in blockchain's power to revolutionize everything, while others see it has having next to no application in adland.
There are other theories doing the rounds, including that it's become popular to bash blockchain because some would like it to go away. As the theory goes, some fear that blockchain's technology could expose loads of inefficiencies and opaqueness in digital advertising, which ad tech companies and ad agencies thrive on.
Another reason for foot dragging? Blockchain will take away marketers' excuses for not paying their agencies and media partners faster, a longstanding, bitter complaint in the business.
Hype or not, startups are launching, and brands are jumping on board the blockchain, even as doubters take their shots.
What's 'blockchain' again? And how can it help the ad business?
In a nutshell, the idea is that blockchain, as a digital database, could serve as an immutable ledger — digital records nobody can change. There are public blockchains (like the one where bitcoins are mined), private ones, and ones involving consortiums.
There are numerous theoretical ways that blockchain technology could help improve advertising, such as:
IBM and Mediaocean are announcing a big deal in Cannes that includes major advertisers
IBM has been a huge proponent of blockchain. This year it began running limited tests with Unilever designed at bringing more transparency to its ad buys.
Now, IBM is looking to taking things up several notches. It's announcing a deal with Mediaocean, which supplies the invoicing software and other tools to the majority of major ad agencies along with ad tech companies and publishers.
Starting this fall, Kellogg, Kimberly-Clark, and Unilever will start testing having their ad invoicing funneled through this private blockchain network. The hope is that they'll get much greater insight into where their ad budgets are going.
If that goes well, the plan is to expand this initiative beyond billing toward measurement and other digital ad pain points.
"With programmatic advertising, there are multiple players in the middle, and multiple data sources, and it's hard to know who is even in the middle," said Babs Rangaiah, executive partner, global marketing, IBM iX, and a former Unilever marketing executive. "It became more and more of a headache. This could potentially solve the issues."
There are lots of other blockchain startups peddling solutions
IBM is not alone. The startup Amino Payments is working with brands such as AT&T, T-Mobile, Bayer, and Nestlé on using blockchain technology to facilitate payments. Similarly, a venture called NYIAX has just raised $5.6 million in additional funding to build "the world’s first guaranteed advertising contract marketplace."
And a few weeks ago, the ad tech firm Mediamath and the venture firm MathCapital announced investment in Underscore CLT. "Digital marketing remains plagued by fundamental challenges," wrote Mediamath CEO Joe Zawadzki as part of the announcement.
Underscore CLT president Isaac Lidsky sees blockchain making digital ad buying more efficient, and even saving advertisers money by helping eliminate processing fees and transfers.
"I live in the camp that it is going to totally revolutionize our business," Lidsky said. "But it’s going to take some time."
Boy are there lots of blockchain naysayers
Marc Guldimann, CEO of the ad tech firm Parsec, is on a quest to call BS on blockchain and advertising. He's not against the technology per se; he just believes that it has very few worthwhile applications to the business beyond settling up payments. Moreover, he thinks lots of startups are peddling vaporware.
"Blockchain is really just a dumb, slow database," he said. "People are trying to use it to solve problems it's not suitable for. There all these qualities people ascribe to it."
One thing that irks Guldimann is this narrative that blockchain will clean up the murky ad tech supply chain by exposing who's adding value and who isn't, because he believes that people can put whatever information into blockchain tech, accurate or not.
"It doesn't make it more true if you write it to the blockchain," he said. "It's crazy. People have created entire companies around this. People are spending a lot of time with an absolute f---ing misunderstanding of what blockchain is."
Guldimann has even produced a Blockchain Decoder document for Cannes.
Guldimann is not alone. "Blockchain is not going to fix any problems," said one ad tech CEO.
A major argument against blockchain in the ad business is that programmatic involves billions of transactions. If you look at how slow and expensive it is to mine bitcoins, how can this help advertising?
Mike Laven, CEO of the payment company Currencycloud, works outside the ad industry. So he's got no horse in the race. As he explained it, "new business models revolutionize industries, not technology."
And blockchain is "not optimized for high transaction systems," he told Business Insider. "If there’s a business model where people make money from not being transparent, it won't change."
Ed Montes, president of solutions and chief revenue officer at the ad tech firm DataXu, said he could see blockchain helping clean up the often murky digital ad supply chain and exposing hidden fees. And it might help control the flow of data.
But is that a big enough business to motivate a market? "I think that the challenge is creating a model where you can make significant money," he said. "Who pays for this? What’s the business model?"
That's not stopping companies from co-opting the blockchain concept. One ad tech executive said he was growing so frustrated with blockchain startups getting meetings with top marketers that he thought about changing the name of one of his products to include the word "blockchain.""It's f---ing catnip for brands," he said.
Some ad companies may not want things to change
One ad industry veteran put it this way: Marketers may see a value in using blockchain. But do they really want tech that enables near instantaneous payments when they get away with not paying agencies and vendors for months?
And what about procurement officers, whose whole job (and maybe bonuses) depends on being able to extract better terms from partners? Does this make them less relevant?
Do ad tech companies that collect fees for opaque algorithms and mysterious black boxes want things to change Probably not.
"There have been a lot of ways for folks to hide in our supply chain," said Alanna Gombert, Global CRO at MetaX, a startup that's urging consumers to purchase digital tokens to evaluate whether sites should carry ads.
Plus, this industry is also known for moving slowly, despite its digital reputation. "It took us three years to get viewability right," said one publishing executive.
So unless the industry gets aligned, it will be hard to change.
It's becoming popular to pound on blockchain
"In any revolution there is resistance," Gombert said. When asked about people who say that blockchain has no real application in digital ads, she added: "They don’t know what they’re talking about; they don't know how it works."
Will Luttrell, CEO of Amino Payments, said he's almost gotten in fights with people on industry panels about blockchain's promise, or lack thereof.
"Its easy to pooh-pooh things when there is lot of garbage out there," he said. "And too many startups take the approach of, 'All you need to implement is change every single thing you do.' That's not going to work."
Carolina Abenante, founder of NYIAX, said her company is garnering serious interest from brands, though she couldn't say which just yet. When people cast doubt on blockchain's potential, she tells them: "Blockchain has been used by Nasdaq since 2015. Why are we the only industry not doing this?"
Still, some people think the blockchain discussion has been too focused on tactics and incremental change to existing systems. Former Washington Post executive Jarrod Dicker, now the CEO at the blockchain firm Po.et, said blockchain could provide the ad industry with an opportunity to fully reimagine how it operates.
He likened it to how The Washington Post in recent years started building and licensing its own ad tech, something that a newspaper firm would never have contemplated in the past.
"The conversations shouldn't be, 'How to do something we do today better?' It should be, 'How do change the way we think about things?'"
In the US, June is Pride month. It's a time when cities show extra support for LGBTQ+ rights, culture, and communities through parades, drag shows, film festivals, talks, rallies, and more.
The US is far from the only country to recognize pride. Queer people in nations around the world face their own unique challenges, and cities aim to highlight them through their Pride celebrations throughout the year.
Here's how 19 cities around the world have celebrated Pride in 2018 so far.
Columbus, Indiana, began showing its Pride in April, a few months earlier than most of the nation.
The Pride festival occurred in downtown Columbus, the hometown of Vice President Mike Pence (an outspoken opponent of the LGBT community on many issues).
In New York City, each borough is holding its own Pride events and parades during June, except for Staten Island, which celebrates in May.
The parade in Queens, pictured above, featured plenty of glitter and rainbow iconography.
Mumbai's Pride parade in February stopped traffic.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
China plans to lift part of its "Great Firewall" and give foreigners access to Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter on the holiday island of Hainan.
China wants to transform the island, which is the size of Belgium and has been dubbed the "Hawaii of the East," into an international free trade zone and a sprawling hub for foreign investment, gambling, tourism, and luxury by 2020. But like on the mainland, the internet is severely restricted in Hainan with access to most major Western sites blocked.
That's set to change, with the island's provincial government releasing a plan on its website saying access to Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter will be granted to foreigners. Tourists would be able to access these platforms in certain areas within two cities, Haikou and Sanya.
However, it's unclear whether locals would be able to use the sites.
The plan also reportedly said the island will advertise its tourism services with 2,000 minutes of promotional videos on broadcasters like BBC and CNN.
The plan was taken down from the local government's site within a day.
Presidential adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner slammed Palestinian leadership for its lack of commitment to peace in a rare interview with an Arabic-language Palestinian newspaper.
During a tour of the region, Kushner spoke to Al Quds newspaper in what is seen as an attempt to reach out directly to the Palestinian people at a time when tensions are high between the Trump administration and the Palestinian Authority.
"President Abbas says that he is committed to peace and I have no reason not to believe him," Kushner said in the interview published Sunday.
"However," he added, "I do question how much President Abbas has the ability to, or is willing to, lean into finishing a deal. He has his talking points which have not changed in the last 25 years. There has been no peace deal achieved in that time. To make a deal both sides will have to take a leap and meet somewhere between their stated positions. I am not sure President Abbas can do that."
Kushner has been in the Middle East promoting peace plans which the White House said could be released "soon." Kushner and his White House envoy met with leaders from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, Jordan, and Israel but did not meet with the Palestinians, who suspended US ties after President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December.
The 37-year-old, who has been tasked with reaching a Middle East peace agreement, said he was willing to resume talks with Abbas, but that a deal "will be up to the leadership and the people of both sides to determine what is an acceptable compromise in exchange for significant gains."
While the White House has given little detail about the peace plan, which is said to be nearly complete, it reportedly tries to address the humanitarian situation in Gaza as priority.
In his interview, Kushner tried to appeal directly to the Palestinian people, saying: "You deserve to have a bright future."
"Now is the time for both Israelis and Palestinians to strengthen and refocus their leadership, to encourage them to be open to a solution and not to fear the attempt. Over the years, you, the Palestinian people, have paid the price. Show your leadership that you support efforts to achieve peace, let them know your priorities and give them the courage to maintain an open mind towards achieving them."
Palestine's top peace negotiator Saeb Erekat cast doubt on the peace process on Saturday and claimed that Kushner's Middle East tour is an attempt to overthrow the Palestinian leadership.
A 15-year-old boy has reportedly gone missing after leaving a children's shelter for migrants in Brownsville, Texas.
He walked away from the shelter on Saturday afternoon, prompting officials at the Casa Padre shelter to call authorities, a spokesman for the shelter told media.
The shelter, run by the nonprofit Southwest Key Programs, has received nationwide attention under the Trump administration's recently halted practice of separating families that crossed the US-Mexico border illegally.
Casa Padre is the largest migrant children's shelter in the country, and houses nearly 1,500 boys who either arrived in the US unaccompanied or were separated from their parents at the US-Mexico border under the "zero tolerance" policy.
Southwest Key spokesman Jeff Eller told The New York Times that it couldn't legally force children to stay in the facility if they sought to leave — and children have left the 27 shelters Southwest Key runs "from time to time."
"We are not a detention center," Eller said in a statement. "We talk to them and try to get them to stay. If they leave the property, we call law enforcement."
Government photos of the shelter, which is a former Walmart, went viral last weekend after a handful of reporters were allowed to tour the facility. The media described dismal conditions including cramped sleeping quarters and barcodes children must wear on their wrists to be scanned during mealtimes.
Migrant children in the shelters are in the custody of the Health and Human Services Department, generally until they're placed with adult relatives already living in the US.
HHS did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.
The boy had been unaccompanied when he arrived in the US and was not separated from his family by immigration authorities, one source familiar with the situation told CNN.
Authorities had been in touch with a man in Dallas who claimed to be the boy's father, the source said, but when they discovered the man may not actually have been the boy's biological father and were attempting to determine his relationship to the boy, the teenager left the facility.
The man claiming to be the father told authorities that he received a phone call Sunday afternoon from the boy, who said he had crossed the Rio Grande river and was in Mexico and attempting to travel back to Honduras.
"I can tell you he's alive," the source told CNN.
Japan's major airlines bowed to political pressure from China earlier this month, but how they did so could provide a roadmap for other foreign companies.
Earlier this year Beijing began demanding that airlines stop listing self-ruled Taiwan as a country, and instead describe it as a province of China, which frequently tries to assert its claim to the island on the global stage. The incident involved letters sent to 44 foreign airlines. Governments got involved, and the White House even released a statement slamming the demand as "Orwellian nonsense."
Despite the pushback, Japan Airlines and ANA on June 12 joined the likes of Qantas, Air France, Air Canada, British Airways, Singapore Airlines, and Malaysia Airlines in describing Taiwan as a Chinese province.
But unlike other carriers, Japan's airlines have only introduced the "Taiwan, China" descriptor on their Chinese-language sites. Sites in Japanese, English, and other languages refer to Taiwan as its own country.
“We chose a description that is easy to understand and acceptable for users of our websites,” a JAL spokesperson told Japan Times. An ANA spokesperson said they wanted to make their site "easy to understand and acceptable for customers when they use our websites."
Although Taiwan's foreign ministry said it was "very dissatisfied" with the decision, and made a complaint to the airlines, using different terminology for Chinese-language sites could be a working compromise allowing foreign companies to appease China and but not appear completely beholden.
It could also be a particularly useful approach as companies increasingly face the prospect of being punished or even locked out of the Chinese market for not obeying Beijing's demands. Australian Financial Review reported Monday that companies that "offend" China by calling Taiwan a country may not be invited to an import expo in Shanghai in November.
China's Civil Aviation Administration gave US airlines a mid-year deadline to make changes to Taiwan's description on their websites. The White House is reportedly urging US airlines to not give in to China's demands.