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A former nurse at embattled telehealth startup Cerebral said that in her experience, nurse practitioners were handing out antipsychotic medicines like 'candy'

Thu, 06/30/2022 - 2:28pm  |  Clusterstock
A box of medications Cerebral medical providers can prescribe.
  • SoftBank-backed telehealth startup Cerebral is under federal scrutiny for its prescribing practices.
  • 30 interviews and over 2,000 documents suggest the company put growth ahead of patient safety.
  • A Cerebral spokesperson said the reports represented a small fraction of patients and that the former nurse's comment is baseless.

An online mental health startup that launched just ahead of the pandemic appears to have cast aside clinical psychiatry standards in the pursuit of growth, an investigation by Insider's Shelby Livingston and Blake Dodge has found.

Cerebral, the SoftBank-backed telehealth company that raised $462 million in funding, is currently under investigation by federal agencies including the Department of Justice, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Federal Trade Commission.

Now, a trove of internal documents including more than 2,000 incident reports and interviews with more than 30 current and former employees paint a detailed picture of Cerebral's business and medical practices.

A spokesperson for Cerebral, Dan Childs, said in a statement to Insider that the volume of incident reports should be placed in context with the size of the company's patient population.  

The reports are from a seven-month period in 2021, and Childs would not provide the total number of patients Cerebral treated in 2021. The startup had more than 210,000 active patients across 50 states and the UK at the end of March 2022, according to a presentation by Cerebral leadership obtained by Insider.

Under a temporary rule change due to the pandemic, healthcare providers have been allowed to prescribe certain controlled substances, such as Adderall, after an online visit, without an in-person consultation first.

The investigation also found the company relied heavily on hiring family nurse practitioners, who are trained in a wide range of primary-care services. Many FNPs were assigned to treat patients with serious conditions outside their training, the documents and workers said.

Prescriptions of controlled substances ballooned, ranging from around 7,800 to more than 13,000 per week earlier this year, according to company documents.

A psychiatric nurse practitioner who formerly worked for Cerebral told Insider they commonly saw Cerebral clinicians incorrectly treat conditions such as mood swings or depression.

"FNPs will just throw antipsychotics around like it's fucking candy — and it's not," the nurse said. "These are very serious medications with very serious side effects."

Childs said this comment is baseless and unsupported by any evidence.

Cerebral nurses in some instances also prescribed addictive medication to some patients who were already on medications like buprenorphine and Suboxone, resulting in potentially lethal drug combinations, according to several incident reports.

"The synergistic effects between these drugs slows respiration and heart rate, puts them to sleep, and they don't wake up again," said Dr. Anna Lembke, a professor of psychiatry and addiction medicine at Stanford University's school of medicine, describing the worst outcome.

Childs said the company conducts weekly drug screenings to monitor and prevent this.

An incident report quoted a Cerebral patient as saying, "You're sending me powerful neurological modifiers in a happy-colored box filled with Easter egg grass without doing the due diligence required to make sure none of these agents could kill me."

One former senior employee told Insider that cofounder and former CEO Kyle Robertson mostly didn't attend meetings about compliance matters.

"Kyle doesn't care," the employee said. "If it's not about profit, he just doesn't want to hear it." 

When reached for comment independently, Robertson deferred to his lawyer, who did not return Insider's request for comment.

Leaders who did attend compliance meetings, including cofounder and then-chief medical officer Dr. David Mou, would typically spend a just a few minutes reviewing incident reports before growing overwhelmed and defensive, two former senior employees told Insider.

Childs said the reports are monitored by various teams at Cerebral and used to identify areas of improvement.

When urgent patient-safety matters were raised, the executives refused to investigate, the former senior employees said.

Read Insider's investigation into Cerebral here.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The world's best restaurant, which sells $700 lunches, posted a $240,000 loss amid Denmark's Covid restrictions

Thu, 06/30/2022 - 2:53am  |  Clusterstock
Noma — the world's top restaurant — closed for months in 2021 due to coronavirus restrictions in Denmark.
  • Noma — the world's best restaurant — posted a $240,000 loss for 2021 when it was shut for months.
  • The Copenhagen restaurant last reported a loss in 2017 when it was closed for a refresh.
  • It's now serving menus focused on vegetables priced from $420 to $700 per person.

Even the world's top restaurant recorded a loss in 2021 amid coronavirus lockdowns.

Copenhagen's Noma — which ranked No. 1 on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list in 2021 — reported a net loss of 1.69 million Danish kroner ($240,000) in 2021, according to a company filing with the Danish Business Authority. That's after it collected 10.9 million kroner ($1.5 million) in government compensation for the impact of lockdowns.

The last time Noma recorded a loss was in 2017, according to Bloomberg. It was shut for the whole of that year as co-owner and chef René Redzepi wanted to refresh the restaurant.

The 3-star restaurant Michelin had to rethink the business again when it was forced to close on December 9, 2020, due to coronavirus restrictions in Denmark, according to the AFP. The restaurant reopened in June last year with a menu catering to local palates.

Noma is now serving summer menus focused on vegetables. Prices start from 3,000 kroner ($420) per person, including tax. The most expensive lunch menu, complete with wine pairing, costs 5,000 kroner ($700) per person.

Despite the high prices, many pre-paid reservation slots through October 21 are already sold out, according to its booking website.

"In the circumstances, the company's result and economic development have been satisfying," Noma wrote in its company filing. "The company expects an improved result for the year ahead."

Noma was not the only restaurant hit by the pandemic, as food and beverage outlets across the world faced unprecedented challenges due to lockdowns and dine-in restrictions. In the US, about 159,000 food and drink establishments closed in 2020 alone, according to a Washington Post analysis published last week. That's almost double the average of 81,000 closures per year before the pandemic.

Noma did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment that was sent outside regular business hours.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Adam Kinzinger slammed Lauren Boebert for saying she was 'tired' of the separation between church and state

Thu, 06/30/2022 - 2:20am  |  Clusterstock
Rep. Adam Kinzinger criticized Rep. Lauren Boebert in a tweet on Wednesday for her comments on the church and government.
  • Adam Kinzinger slammed Lauren Boebert for her comments on the division between church and state.
  • Boebert said the church should "direct the government" and decried the institutions' separation.
  • In response, Kinzinger warned that there was no difference between her view and that of the Taliban.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger criticized fellow Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert on Wednesday evening for saying that the "church is supposed to direct the government" and that she was "tired" of the two institutions being separated.

"There is no difference between this and the Taliban. We must opposed the Christian Taliban. I say this as a Christian," Kinzinger, an Illinois lawmaker, tweeted while sharing an article about Boebert's statements.

Boebert had made her comments at the Cornerstone Christian Center in Basalt. "The reason we had so many overreaching regulations in our nation is because the church complied," Boebert had said.

"The church is supposed to direct the government, the government is not supposed to direct the church," she continued. "That is not how our founding fathers intended it. And I'm tired of this separation of church and state junk that's not in the Constitution, it was in a stinking letter, and it means nothing like what they say it does."

The letter Boebert referred to was penned in 1802 by then-President Thomas Jefferson, who wrote to the Connecticut Danbury Baptist Association that the US Constitution's First Amendment showed the American people had built "a wall of separation between Church and State."

The First Amendment states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

While it does not mention the separation of church and state specifically, Jefferson's letter interpreting the Constitution has for many years been the basis for the widely-accepted concept, although the phrase was reportedly coined by Roger Williams, the founder of Rhode Island.

As for Kinzinger's reference to the Taliban, the organization is an Islamic militant group that imposes a harsh rule on its subjects based on its leader's fundamentalist views of the Quran.

Representatives for Kinzinger and Boebert did not immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Amazon blocked more than 150 LGBTQ-related search keywords in the UAE after the government threatened the company

Thu, 06/30/2022 - 1:48am  |  Clusterstock
Amazon started removing search results for more than 150 LGBTQ-related keywords in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after the government pressured it to do so. In June, protestors staged a die-in outside Amazon's corporate headquarters in Seattle.
  • Amazon removed search results for 150 LGBTQ-related keywords in the UAE, the NYT reported.
  • Same-sex sexual activity is criminal in the UAE, per the State Department.
  • Other tech giants have bowed to pressure from other governments so that they can operate in those markets.

Amazon started removing search results for more than 150 LGBTQ-related keywords in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after the government pressured it to do so, The New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing company documents.

The UAE government gave the ecommerce giant until Friday to comply with its request to remove LGBTQ-related search results and threatened to penalize Amazon if it did not do so, The Times reported. The article did not explain why the Emirati government asked Amazon to remove LGBTQ-related search results.

On Thursday, Insider searched various LGBTQ-related keywords on Amazon's UAE site, Amazon.ae, and found that several of them returned no results or mentions. Among those that yielded no results were "lgbtq," "pride," and "queer." Some books available on Amazon's US store, such as Maia Kobabe's "Gender Queer: A Memoir" and Jacob Tobia's "Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story," could not be found on Amazon's UAE site on Thursday, Insider found. 

Some LGBTQ-related search terms seem to have bypassed Amazon's removal of search results. Insider searched for "rainbow flag" and found a listing for a writing journal called "Pride Story Paper Book" with a rainbow flag on its cover. Searching the term "same-sex" led to a listing for paper plates and napkins with the words "Mr & Mr" printed on them.

UAE-based users could still search for some LGBTQ-themed book titles, such as André Aciman's "Call Me By Your Name," Alice Walker's "The Color Purple," and  a children's book called "Same but different Too: The Colourful Life" by Naomi y Kissiedu-Green and Chris Laxton, Insider found.

Same-sex sexual activity is criminal in the UAE, and LGBTQ representation is heavily censored, according to a US State Department report released in April.

An Amazon spokesperson confirmed to Insider that the company has restricted some search results on its Amazon.ae store.

"As a company, we remain committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and we believe that the rights of LGBTQ+ people must be protected. With Amazon stores around the world, we must also comply with the local laws and regulations of the countries in which we operate," the spokesperson said.

The UAE embassy in Singapore did not immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment.

Amazon entered the UAE in 2017 after it acquired Dubai-based ecommerce platform Souq.com, which allowed the Seattle-based company to skip regulatory approvals to operate in the UAE. Amazon's cloud-computing unit planned to open three data centers in the country this year, per a company press release from May 2021.

Various Silicon Valley giants have bowed to pressure from governments in exchange for the right to operate in those markets. Apple reportedly stored customers' data on Chinese servers and censored apps in the country, the Times reported in May last year. Apple told the Times it was following regulatory requirements in China and ensured that consumers' data was safe. And in 2019, Netflix removed an episode of a comedy show from Saudi Arabia that mocked the kingdom, the Financial Times reported.

Read the original article on Business Insider

2 conservative news sites have sharply criticized Trump following Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony

Thu, 06/30/2022 - 1:47am  |  Clusterstock
Two conservative news sites have published pieces critical of former President Donald Trump in the wake of Cassidy Hutchinson's bombshell testimony.
  • The Washington Examiner slammed Trump in an editorial on Wednesday, calling him a "disgrace."
  • A National Review columnist wrote that Trump "willfully exacerbated the problem" on January 6.
  • The pieces came following Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony on Trump's behavior before the Capitol riot.

Two prominent conservative news sites have published columns or editorials speaking out against former President Donald Trump, with one calling him "unfit for power" and the other saying he "willfully exacerbated the problem" on January 6, 2021.

The pieces came after Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, testified during a surprise hearing on Tuesday about the former president's behavior in the days leading up to and during the Capitol riot.

Reaction to Hutchinson's testimony, the Washington Examiner published an editorial Wednesday stating that Trump is "unfit to be anywhere near power again" and called him a "disgrace." It also urged Republican voters not to support him in the 2024 presidential elections.

Meanwhile, the National Review's Andrew C. McCarthy published a column analyzing Hutchinson's testimony, writing that "things will not be the same after this." 

"And Trump, who had tweeted that his supporters should come for a 'wild' time in Washington, manifestly knew things might get real, real bad," McCarthy wrote. "Instead of trying to stop it, he willfully exacerbated the problem — and would apparently have made it worse still if the Secret Service had not been courageously insubordinate."

Hutchinson had detailed under oath how Trump raged at his "Stop the Steal" rally on January 6 that security was confiscating weapons, telling staff that his supporters were "not here to hurt me."

She said he insisted on marching with protestors to the Capitol and that she was told by security staff that Trump had an altercation with a Secret Service driver who refused to take him there.

Hutchinson's testimony was the first time a Trump staff member privy to his inner circle's deliberations publicly tied him to the attack.

In another opinion piece published Wednesday, the Washington Examiner's senior columnist Timothy P. Carney wrote that Trump's insistence on allowing armed supporters to attend his rally demonstrated "how unfit former President Donald Trump is for office."

"A good shepherd, upon learning that his flock had arrived armed, would have tried to defuse the situation," Carney wrote. "For starters, he would have cared for his followers' safety."

Outlets defend Hutchinson's testimony

While Trump and his supporters have derided Hutchinson's testimony as lies or hearsay, the Examiner wrote in its editorial that her "resume alone should establish her credibility" and acknowledged that she had "already worked at the highest levels of conservative Republican politics."

"Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson's Tuesday testimony ought to ring the death knell for former President Donald Trump's political career," the editorial reads.

"She did not overstate things, did not seem to be seeking attention, and was very precise about how and why she knew what she related and about which testimony was firsthand and which was secondhand but able to be corroborated," the editorial continued.

The Examiner called Hutchinson's testimony "disturbing," highlighting that it was "distressing to hear" her account of how Trump would throw tantrums at the dining table and send condiments and food flying.

Notably, the Examiner also published editorials criticizing Hutchinson's testimony, such as an opinion piece by Esther Wickham, which said the former aide was "simply regurgitating what she thought other people said."

McCarthy's column was also critical of the January 6 panel and its investigation. It criticized the committee — comprising seven Democrats and two Republicans — for being "highly partisan" and called its process "maddeningly opaque" for keeping testimony from hundreds of people under wraps.

While Hutchinson wasn't cross-examined during her testimony, McCarthy wrote that it didn't mean the evidence she presented was dismissable merely because they wished it to be false or "because we don't like the Democrats or the committee process."

"When we say the committee lacks due-process legitimacy, that means it lacks legitimacy as an 'ultimate finder of fact,'" McCarthy wrote. "It does not mean that we can blithely dismiss any evidence the committee discloses."

He noted that if Hutchinson had intended to lie or exaggerate, it would have been strange for her to voluntarily identify many witnesses who could refute her testimony.

McCarthy wrote that while some details of Hutchinson's testimony could be labeled hearsay, he added that "we're talking here about chain of command, where government officials are expected to report things to their superiors."

"Hutchinson showed the nation, moment by moment, what he was like on a day when, undeniably, Trump was at his worst," he wrote.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Former White House chief of staff says Trump should be most worried about the January 6 panel's potential evidence of his obstruction of justice

Thu, 06/30/2022 - 1:09am  |  Clusterstock
Former President Donald Trump could face accusations of obstruction of justice, wrote former White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.
  • In an op-ed, Mick Mulvaney wrote that Trump could face accusations of obstruction of justice.
  • Per Mulvaney, such claims are the threat that Trump should be most worried about.
  • He also described Cassidy Hutchinson's January 6 testimony as "eminently credible."

Former acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said on Wednesday that he believes the real threat to Trump is the potential evidence the January 6 panel has that may lead to accusations of obstruction of justice.

In an op-ed for USA Today, Mulvaney weighed in on the bombshell testimony given before the panel by Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to Mulvaney's successor, Mark Meadows.

Mulvaney wrote that he had previously defended the former president against claims that he did "anything illegal or criminal" in relation to the Capitol riot. However, Mulvaney said he was having difficulty maintaining that position, particularly after Hutchinson's testimony, which he found "eminently credible."

"Because after some of the bombshells that got dropped in that hearing, my guess is that things could get very dark for the former president," Mulvaney wrote.

Mulvaney noted that there was one real threat to Trump revealed during Tuesday's hearing that did not hinge on Hutchinson's words or credibility. "It is the one that jumped out at me. And it is the one that should most worry the former president," Mulvaney wrote.

He referred to the evidence presented by Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, which showed two messages that January 6 panel witnesses say they received before giving their depositions. The messages included allusions to being a "team player" to "stay in the good graces in Trump world," as well as reminders that Trump reads transcripts of interviews.

Mulvaney added that the implication behind displaying the messages during the hearing was "crystal clear."

"The Jan. 6 committee members believe they have evidence that people within the Trump operation attempted to intimidate witnesses. And that, any way you slice it, is obstruction of justice," Mulvaney wrote.

"Even if Donald Trump were as innocent as the virgin snow that Jan. 6, even if he didn't know about the guns, or didn't assault his agent, or had absolutely no clue what the Proud Boys were up to if he obstructed justice related to the Jan. 6 hearings, then he could well become just the next politician to learn the hard lesson that it usually isn't the crime. It's the cover-up." Mulvaney added.

Read the original article on Business Insider

A US-backed global task force says it has frozen more than $330 billion of assets from Russian oligarchs and the country's central bank in 100 days

Thu, 06/30/2022 - 12:17am  |  Clusterstock
The US-backed REPO task force aims to enforce sanctions designed to disrupt Russian President Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine.
  • The REPO task force has blocked or frozen $30 billion worth of assets belonging to sanctioned Russians.
  • It has also immobilized over $300 billion worth of assets held by Russia's central bank.
  • The task force was set up as part of sweeping sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

In the 100 days since it was founded, a US-backed global task force has blocked and frozen more than $330 billion in assets belonging to sanctioned Russians and the country's central banks, it announced on Wednesday.

The assets blocked or frozen include more than $30 billion worth of assets belonging to sanctioned Russians and over $300 billion worth of assets held by the central bank, according to a joint statement from the Russian Elites, Proxies, and Oligarchs (REPO) taskforce.

The REPO task force has also seized or frozen yachts and luxury real estate held by sanctioned individuals. Yachts seized include the Amadea — a $300 million vessel linked to Russian billionaire Suleiman Kerimov — that arrived in San Diego Bay on Monday, and the $90 million Tango, which was seized in early April by the US in Spain.

The US Departments of Justice and Treasury launched the REPO task force on March 16 as part of sweeping international sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. Members include Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the European Commission.

The task force said its work "is not yet complete" as it seeks to continue tracking sanctioned assets and enforce sanctions. The restrictions are designed to isolate Russia from global markets and disrupt its war in Ukraine.

"Together, we will ensure that our sanctions continue to impose costs on Russia for its unprovoked and continuing aggression in Ukraine and to prevent funds and economic resources from being provided to or for the benefit of designated persons," said the task force.

Read the original article on Business Insider

China will stick to its 'zero Covid' strategy even if it hurts the country's economy, Xi Jinping says

Thu, 06/30/2022 - 12:10am  |  Clusterstock
Chinese President Xi Jinping has called his country's "zero Covid" policy "scientific and effective."
  • China will continue sticking to its "zero Covid" policy, Chinese President Xi Jinping said Tuesday.
  • This is despite the economic risks that come with the strategy, he added during a visit to Wuhan.
  • He said taking a "herd immunity" approach in China could lead to "unimaginable" consequences.

China will stick to its controversial "zero Covid" policy even if it means hurting the country's economy, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday.

"We would rather temporarily affect a little economic development than risk harming people's life safety and physical health, especially the elderly and children," he said during a visit to Wuhan, the city where COVID-19 was first detected, per state news agency Xinhua. 

"Our country has a large population. Such strategies as 'herd immunity' and 'lying flat' would lead to consequences that are unimaginable," he continued. Both herd immunity as well as "lying flat" — Chinese slang for doing the bare minimum — refers to strategies that involve living with the virus.

Xi also reaffirmed China's "zero Covid" policy last month, calling it "scientific and effective."

China's strategy, which involves sudden lockdowns and mass testing, was largely successful at the start of the pandemic, with citizens enjoying relatively normal lives while the rest of the world struggled to contain Covid outbreaks. 

The country's Covid death toll of 14,625 is also low compared to other countries. The US, for example, has recorded more than 1 million Covid deaths

However, China's recent attempts to completely stamp out the coronavirus have proven ineffective due to the highly transmissible Omicron variant — and citizens are losing patience.

For instance, the authorities' chaotic handling of Shanghai's Covid outbreak in April and May — including a harsh policy that separated parents from their Covid-positive children — has led to widespread anger and frustration. 

Last month, the World Health Organization head, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said China's "zero Covid" strategy was "not sustainable," in a rare criticism of a government's handling of the virus.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez dodges Stephen Colbert's question on whether she'll run for president in 2024

Wed, 06/29/2022 - 11:34pm  |  Clusterstock
While speaking to CNN earlier this month, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez declined to say if she would support President Joe Biden for re-election in 2024.
  • Stephen Colbert asked Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez if she might run for president in 2024.
  • "I don't know about all of that," Ocasio-Cortez responded while laughing.
  • She said people need to "focus on keeping a democracy for anybody to be president."

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez evaded a question from late-night show host Stephen Colbert, who asked if she would run for president in 2024. 

During a segment of Tuesday's episode of "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," Colbert quizzed Ocasio-Cortez on the possibility of her throwing her hat in the ring.

"You know, I know somebody who is going to turn 35 about a month before the election in 2024, and they represent New York's 14th. Is that job appealing to you at all?" he asked as Ocasio-Cortez pretended to look around for the person he was referring to.

"Listen, I think that we need to focus on keeping a democracy for anybody to be president in the next couple of years. And that's my central focus is helping the people of this country right now," Ocasio-Cortez replied. 

"So it's possible," Colbert continued, joking that his questions would "get her in trouble." 

"I don't know about all of that," Ocasio-Cortez said while laughing.

During her appearance on Colbert's show, Ocasio-Cortez said that she thought House members who asked Trump for pardons should be expelled from office.

"It was just stunning to understand and see the detail and the depth through which there was a conscientiousness of guilt," Ocasio-Cortez told Colbert.

"They knew that what they were doing was wrong," she added.

While speaking to CNN earlier this month, the congresswoman declined to say if she would support President Joe Biden for re-election in 2024.

"I'm focused on winning this (House) majority right now and preserving a majority this year and 2022, so we'll cross that bridge when we get to it," Ocasio-Cortez told the outlet. "But I think if the president has a vision, that's something, certainly, we're all willing to entertain and examine when the time comes."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Ukrainian and Syrian victims of Russian wartime attacks on hospitals should receive reparations via frozen Russian assets, experts say

Wed, 06/29/2022 - 8:24pm  |  Clusterstock
Residents carry their belongings near buildings destroyed in the course of Ukraine-Russia conflict, in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine April 10, 2022.
  • Legal experts believe bold approaches are required to hold Russia accountable for attacks on hospitals.
  • One of those avenues could be using seized Russian funds to offer reparations to Syrians and Ukrainians.
  • But legal roadblocks at the US and international level could complicate the process, the experts said.

Ukrainian and Syrians who have fallen victim to Russia's systematic healthcare facility bombing campaigns in both countries should be entitled to reparations through Russian assets and funds that have been frozen, international human rights experts told Insider.

Gissou Nia, an international human rights lawyer with the Atlantic Council, co-authored a report in June urging the international community to do more to hold Russia to account for shattering legal protocols by bombing hospitals in both Syria and Ukraine.

In just the first 100 days of the war in Ukraine, Russian forces attacked approximately 200 hospitals, according to the World Health Organization. In a grim parallel, during the Syrian war, 600 medical facilities were attacked, according to Physicians for Human Rights. 

Russia has also targeted humanitarian corridors and employed "double-tap strikes" — bombing a healthcare facility and the subsequent rescue operation — in both Syria and Ukraine.

Russia has denied that it has targeted hospitals and humanitarian corridors in either country.

In their report, the Atlantic Council, an international affairs think tank, said that the pattern of attacking hospitals during wartime "undermines long-established and hard-won provisions under international humanitarian law that are intended to protect civilians during conflict."

In an interview with Insider about the report, Nia argued that bold solutions like offering reparations through seized Russian assets could be a way forward although there are barriers.

"There's a big discussion around the seizure and the possible liquidation of Russian state assets and Russian oligarch assets, and using that for Ukraine's reconstruction," Nia told Insider. "We do believe that part of that needs to go to reparations for victims, and that is not only Ukrainian victims; that's also Syrian victims who have suffered violations by the same perpetrator groups. We think any mechanism that is established to do that needs to factor in that recovery — that could be for victims of hospital attacks." 

Celeste Kmiotek, a lawyer focused on those complex legal solutions for the Atlantic Council told Insider that the approach would depend on each country's framework for seizing Russian assets.

"In the US, despite proposals on the creation of a legal mechanism to seize assets frozen under targeted human rights sanctions, such a bill has not moved forward and so the Department of Justice is still limited to traditional asset forfeiture methods," Kmiotek told Insider. "Technically, victims can apply for a portion of the seized assets but, in short, they would need to be a victim of the same crimes under which the assets were seized (which tend to be corruption-related), and would need to prove a direct harm with documentation. This, unfortunately, rules out most human rights victims."

Kmiotek added that right now the DOJ has no formal mechanism for Syrian or Ukrainian hospital attack victims to request that seized Russian funds be repurposed as reparations. And US Treasurer Janet Yellen said in May that it is not yet legal for the US to pursue that route — but that the US is looking into it.

The US and allies have frozen at least $300 billion in Russian central bank assets since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February.

"The ideal would be putting the funds toward a US-specific or a global claims process to which victims could apply directly," Kmiotek added, emphasizing that setting up that legal framework would be time-intensive as well. 

Alternatively, another solution would be repatriating seized Russian assets to national governments or trusted organizations. In the cases of Syria or Ukraine that could be a dead-end, Kmiotek said.

"In Syria, repatriation is not realistic given that the current government cannot be trusted with funds, and in Ukraine, there remains an ongoing risk that President Zelenskyy's government will fall to Russia, and in both countries, refugees who remain outside the country would not benefit," Kmiotek told Insider. "Organizations have more flexibility, and in the case of Syria are more reliable, but face limitations as to who they can reach, particularly during ongoing wars."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Joe Rogan says Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis would be a 'good president' and calls Joe Biden a 'dead man'

Wed, 06/29/2022 - 7:55pm  |  Clusterstock
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis told podcaster Joe Rogan not to apologize to the "mob." Rogan issued an apology amid a scandal over viral video, where he was heard saying the N-word 24 times.
  • Popular podcast host Joe Rogan said he thought DeSantis would make a good president.
  • The Republican governor has defended the podcast host in the past. 
  • DeSantis is up for reelection in 2022 and hasn't said if he's running for president. 

The high-profile fan base of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis just got bigger.

Joe Rogan, the world's No. 1 most-listened podcaster, said Tuesday that he thinks the 43-year-old Republican governor "would work as a good president."

"What he's done for Florida has been admirable," Rogan said in an episode of his "Joe Rogan Experience" show when Daily Wire actress Gina Carano asked who he might want to see run for the White House in 2024. He described DeSantis as "not perfect" but said he stood "up for freedoms." 

Rogan also referred to President Joe Biden, 79, as a "dead man" when discussing the state of the US. 

Rogan's comments are likely to add to speculation that DeSantis would run for president in 2024 even though the governor has repeatedly said he's focused on his 2022 race for reelection in Florida.

Earlier this month, DeSantis beat former President Donald Trump in a straw poll of self-identified conservative conference-goers at the Western Conservative Summit who were asked who they'd like to be the 2024 presidential nominee. A Morning Consult poll out Wednesday also showed growing support for DeSantis. 

DeSantis tends to brush off questions about 2024 when asked, though last week he said he thought the presidential speculation was aimed at detracting from the losses that Democrats are expected to face in the midterms in November. 

Rogan is just the latest high-profile figure to heap praise on DeSantis.

Last week, pundit Piers Morgan called on Republicans to "dump" Trump and support DeSantis, and earlier this month, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said he'd likely support DeSantis for president in 2024.

DeSantis' COVID response got Rogan's attention

During his podcast, Rogan said his support for DeSantis was largely because of the governor's approach to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

DeSantis prohibited schools and workplaces from forcing workers to vaccinate as a condition of employment, and from forcing children to wear masks in schools. He stressed that the state should focus on the most vulnerable populations.

"I feel like what he did for Florida, a lot of people gave him a lot of grief, but ultimately he was correct," Rogan said. "He was correct when it comes to deaths, he was correct. And when it comes to protecting all vulnerable populations, he was correct in terms of distribution of monoclonal antibodies."

DeSantis sparked national backlash when he pushed for COVID patients to take monoclonal antibodies even though federal officials said they weren't effective against the Omicron strain of the coronavirus that was circulating at the time. DeSantis shot back that most patients and doctors don't know which strain of the virus they had. 

Rogan holds several politically liberal positions, including on abortion and drug legalization. But he has drawn criticism for his willingness to interview controversial people on his podcast and for saying that young and healthy people didn't need the COVID-19 vaccine. (He later walked back the comments and said he was not opposed to the vaccine and encouraged people to get it.) 

Rogan appeared to touch on the controversy more broadly in his Tuesday podcast. 

"There was some weird gaslighting shit that went on," he said, "where people equated freedom and saying the word freedom to like right-wing bigotry and hate is so strange." 

DeSantis in turn has defended Rogan before. In February, he said Rogan shouldn't "kow to the mob" and apologize after a video montage went viral of Rogan using a racial slur on his podcast. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Donald Trump is no longer in contempt of court in New York — but AG Letitia James still holds his $110,000 fine

Wed, 06/29/2022 - 7:45pm  |  Clusterstock
Donald Trump speaking at the NRA convention in Houston, TX, on May 27, 2022. New York Attorney General Letitia James, right, speaks in Washington, DC on Nov. 12, 2019.
  • A Manhattan judge on Wednesday lifted the costly contempt-of-court order he'd imposed on Donald Trump.
  • NY AG Letitia James' lawyers agreed he complied with court orders relating to his personal business files. 
  • James still only has 10 of Trump's files. She also has his check for $110,000 in court-imposed penalties. 

A Manhattan judge on Wednesday lifted a costly contempt-of-court order that had threatened Donald Trump with hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines for failing to fully comply with a New York investigation into his hotel and golf resort business.

Trump has been held in contempt since April, when New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron found the former president had failed to turn over personal business documents subpoenaed by New York Attorney General Letitia James — or, alternately, to explain why so few documents had been turned over.

The contempt finding came with a $10,000-a-day fine that rose to $110,000 before the judge stopped the clock in early May.

Had Trump's lawyers not turned over a set of executive affidavits explaining how Trump's documents were — or were not — preserved earlier this month, the fine could have been re-instated retroactively, potentially costing the former president some $300,000 more.

"It is hereby ordered that the contempt of respondent Donald J. Trump is purged," Engoron wrote in Wednesday's decision.

The lifting of the contempt order amounts to a brief truce between the former president and James, who has been probing allegations of financial wrongdoing at the Trump Organization for three years.  

For Trump, it not only means that his contempt fines won't get any higher, but also that what his lawyers have described as the unrealistic ordeal of complying with the AG's document subpoenas is over.  

On James' side, it signals she has given up on getting any more than the 10 "custodial" files from Trump that have been turned over to her office, just a fraction of some 900,000 files turned over by the Trump Organization as a whole.

She still gets to keep the $110,000 check that Trump cut to her office; it remains in escrow while Trump appeals the contempt order.

The probe is winding down, James' lawyers have said, with one remaining investigative effort still looming: Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, and Donald Trump, Jr. have all been ordered by Engoron to comply in mid-July with James' subpoenas for their testimony.

Afterward, James appears on the brink of filing a massive lawsuit that may seek to put the Trump Organization out of business entirely.

James has alleged that a decade's worth of Trump's statements of financial condition — annual accountings of his net worth used to secure hundreds of millions of dollars in bank loans and tax breaks — are rife with "misrepresentations."

Lawyers for the Trump family and business have accused James — a Democrat who has been outspoken against the former president for years — of conducting a politically-motivated witch hunt.

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January 6 panel subpoenas former White House counsel Pat Cipollone following damning testimony from a former White House aide

Wed, 06/29/2022 - 7:41pm  |  Clusterstock
Former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone said he would testify about Jeffrey Clark, a DOJ official who outlined ways for Trump to challenge the 2020 election.
  • The January 6 panel subpoenaed former White House counsel Pat Cipollone on Wednesday
  • The move comes one day after explosive testimony from a former White House aide.
  • Cipollone previously spoke with the committee during an informal interview in April. 

The House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack subpoenaed former Trump White House lawyer Pat Cipollone on Wednesday. 

The move comes one day after the panel held a surprise public hearing during which former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified that Cipollone was gravely concerned about President Donald Trump facing criminal charges if he joined thousands of protesters at the Capitol on January 6. 

"Mr. [Pat] Cipollone said something to the effect of, 'please make sure that we don't go up to the Capitol, Cassidy, keep in touch with me,'" Hutchinson told the committee, describing a conversation she had with the top lawyer that day. "We're going to get charged with every crime imaginable if we make that movement happen."

Earlier this month, it was reported that Cipollone was in talks to publicly testify about the siege and had indicated that his testimony revolved around Jeffrey Clark, a former top Justice Department official who is alleged to have used his position to aid Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election. 

Cipollone previously spoke with the committee during an informal interview in April. 

In a Wednesday statement, committee chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson and Vice-Chair Rep. Liz Cheney said the panel's probe revealed evidence that Cipollone repeatedly raised concerns about Trump's behavior on the day of the insurrection and in its aftermath.

"While the Select Committee appreciates Mr. Cipollone's earlier informal engagement with our investigation, the committee needs to hear from him on the record, as other former White House counsels have done in other congressional investigations," the chair and vice-chair continued. "Any concerns Mr. Cipollone has about the institutional prerogatives of the office he previously held are clearly outweighed by the need for his testimony."

Cipollone did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The chances of restoring Roe v. Wade are near impossible with the Supreme Court's 6 conservative justices and Democrats' slim Congress majority

Wed, 06/29/2022 - 7:37pm  |  Clusterstock
Joanna Liverance, 26, of Detroit, protests with abortion-rights supporters outside of the Supreme Court, Wednesday, June 29, 2022, in Washington, DC.
  • Democrats are under pressure to protect abortion rights since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last Friday.
  • But the constitutional right to an abortion is unlikely to be restored anytime soon.
  • That's largely because of the Supreme Court's conservative majority and political gridlock in Congress.

Democrats in Washington are under immense pressure to protect abortion rights at the federal level in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision to end Roe v. Wade last Friday. But the half-century of nationwide reproductive rights is unlikely to be restored anytime soon.

One reason is that the Supreme Court's 6-3 conservative majority will be around for a while. To reinstate Roe and reverse Friday's ruling for the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization there would have to be a change in who sits on the bench. Unless the court holds a liberal majority, there appears to be zero appetite for abortion to become a constitutional right again.

"I don't think that we are going to see a reversal in Dobbs," Radhika Rao, a professor at the University of California Hastings College of Law, told Insider. "We're not going to see the return of the abortion right." 

The Supreme Court

A majority of conservative justices, 5-4, handed down Friday's decision. Former President Donald Trump and a Republican-controlled Senate cemented that conservative tilt with three appointments to the bench: Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett, all of whom are in their 50s. Given their ages, the justices are likely to stay on the bench for at least a couple of decades to come, providing three reliable conservative votes. 

"They're quite young. Their tenure in the court is going to be incredibly long," Rao said.

With the retirement of Justice Stephen Breyer, a liberal to be replaced by President Joe Biden's nominee Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the oldest members will now be conservative Justices Clarence Thomas, 74, and Samuel Alito, 72. But for Democrats to appoint their replacements, the circumstances will have to work in their favor.

"If it happened, we're talking about decades from now, after a couple of the conservatives die, and they just happen to die when the Democrat controls the White House and the Democrats control the Senate," Richard Pierce, a professor at George Washington University Law School told Insider.

Another pathway for Democrats to try to protect abortion rights would be to expand the court, which some members of the party have called for to offset its conservative majority. The US Constitution does not dictate the court's size, with the number of justices at one point being as high as 10. Congress has the power to decide.

But President Joe Biden has ruled that out. "That is not something that he wants to do," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters over the weekend.

What about Congress?

Democrats have also been pressed to codify protections that existed under Roe v. Wade into federal law. Yet legislation in the Senate needs 60 votes to bypass the filibuster. And Democrats, with a tiny majority in the 50-50 Senate, do not have enough votes.

The party has also recently tried that: following last month's leak of the draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade, an abortion-rights bill failed in the Senate by a 49-51 vote. 

The other option would be to advance the bill on a party-line vote by eliminating the filibuster. But Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona have consistently been against tossing out the rule, putting the rest of their party in a bind.

Democrats push for voting to expand their majorities

That's why President Joe Biden, along with congressional leaders, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, have urged voters to elect more Democrats to Congress in this year's midterm elections so they can win larger majorities and approve legislation that would protect abortion rights. 

Though if Democrats ever manage to codify Roe v. Wade into federal law, there remains the possibility of a future Republican president coming along, with Republican majorities in the House and Senate, which could repeal such a law and perhaps pass a national ban on abortion.

And codifying abortion rights, even if possible given the current makeup of Congress, could potentially face a legal challenge — one that would almost certainly end up at the Supreme Court.

"I think the court would immediately strike it down as being beyond Congress's power," Barry McDonald, a professor at Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law, told Insider. 

This reality has left Democrats scrambling to protect abortion access nationwide. The Biden administration has already pledged to defend the right to obtain a medical abortion in all 50 states, citing the FDA's authority to regulate drugs. Though advocates have called for more actions, such as establishing abortion clinics on federal lands in states that have restricted the procedure and offering financial support to women who travel to get an abortion in a state where it's still legal. Since Friday, a slew of Republican-led states moved to restrict abortion, impacting roughly half of the country.

Read the original article on Business Insider

How Netflix, Hollywood's most innovative disruptor, is facing disruption with layoffs, streaming competition, and subscriber loss

Wed, 06/29/2022 - 7:19pm  |  Clusterstock
Netflix.
  • Netflix has been disrupting the business of Hollywood since the streamer started making original shows in 2013.
  • But now Netflix is being disrupted by increased competition, a stock price plunge, and subscriber loss. 
  • The streamer has reined in spending and laid off hundreds of employees across divisions.

Netflix, the disruptive streaming company whose innovative strategy and meteoric growth remade the entertainment industry, is facing some challenges of its own. After it lost subscribers for the first time ever earlier in 2022, the company's stock price tumbled. 

Though Longtime Netflix bears like Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter were somewhat vindicated by this development, its impact has rippled through the company. Layoffs hit employees through the spring — first, at Netflix fan site Tudum, then in two additional rounds that affected hundreds of employees and full-time contractors.

With Disney reporting stronger results, including subscriber growth in its first quarter, Netflix has found itself on the back foot — and its troubles have sent shock waves through Hollywood's creative community. Writers, producers, agents, and more stakeholders spoke to Insider about concerns that the company might reduce its creative ambitions, production budgets, and content spend along with its workforce.

Read more about Hollywood insiders fears that Netflix's golden creative age is over after explosive growth created 'a quality control issue'

SUBHED

But Netflix moved quickly to reset the perception that its dominant position in Hollywood was at risk. In addition to announcing plans for an ad-supported tier, set to launch later in 2022, the company also began work to develop live streaming capabilities

Read more about who Netflix might hire to run its advertising business

Netflix even made a play for the US rights to Formula 1 racing, the streamer's first foray into live sports (Disney's ESPN eventually won the bid).

In May, Netflix launched one of its most ambitious live event yet, a massive comedy festival that featured performers from Dave Chappelle to Amy Schumer in venues across Los Angeles — it was a massive logistical undertaking that served to promote the Netflix brand and also highlight the streamer as a supportive creative home for top comedians, even controversial ones. 

Read more about how Netflix staged its massive 11-day comedy festival with more than 300 stars

The company also published a new update to its famous culture memo, affirming its commitment to both representation anD artists' freedom of expression — principles that could occasionally come into conflict, according to one expert. "Sometimes content can harm individuals and communities," said Y-Vonne Hutchinson, cofounder and CEO of ReadySet, a boutique consulting firm focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Read more about how Netflix's overhauled culture memo could create conflict at the company

As competition for streaming subscribers has intensified, Netflix has also broadened its appetite when it comes to new shows. Insider reviewed internal Hollywood agency documents that revealed some series on the streamer's 2022 wishlist: a female "Jack Ryan," its own version of "New Girl," and an "American Idol"-style reality competition.

Read more about what Netflix is looking for in its next series, according to leaked agency documents

At Netflix, disruption starts with its content

It was just a decade ago that Netflix released its first original series, Norwegian mob drama "Lilyhammer," but in that time the streamer has challenged the entertainment industry with its global approach to making, marketing, and distributing content.

Netflix, which started as a DVD-by-mail business, is now the global leader in subscription streaming entertainment, ending 2021 with 222 million paid members. The company's success in streaming has pushed legacy media businesses including Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery, and NBCUniversal to pursue direct-to-consumer strategies of their own. 

And Netflix hasn't stopped there, in recent years expanding its domain to include publishing, live events, gaming, and other adjacent businesses. 

Read more about how Netflix's video-game strategy is starting to take shape

With its headquarters in Los Gatos, California, Netflix has always been product- and data-driven. This has kept it steps ahead of the rest of Hollywood when it comes to creating consumer-facing experiences. 

For example, after years of offering almost no data about its viewership, Netflix unveiled a list of the platform's most popular shows and movies in the US and around the world. In 2021, Netflix went a step further and introduced a Top 10 website to share information about its most-viewed titles. Though what's offered is only a piece of the full picture about how people consume content on the platform, the site unveils more data than any other streamer provides. 

Read more about why new viewership data gives Netflix an advantage over Disney+ and other players in the streaming wars 

How Netflix first disrupted the TV screen and moved into merch and more

When Netflix first arrived in Hollywood, its rivals valued it as a platform for their long-forgotten back catalog shows and movies. The checks Netflix wrote for library titles in those early days helped prop up revenue at the studios. But soon it became clear that the company's appetite for content would encompass more than just licensed programming. 

The streamer launched original programming with a focus on prestige projects from high-profile creatives — series like "House of Cards" and "Orange Is the New Black" came to define its early slate of originals. But over the years, Netflix has systematically moved to conquer each major genre, from documentaries to standup specials to reality TV to YA programming

Netflix's first reality show launched in 2017 — "Ultimate Beastmaster" was a global competition series in the vein of "American Ninja Warrior" that put contestants on complicated, flashy obstacle courses shaped like a literal beast. Netflix has since minted reality hits from "Love Is Blind" to "Selling Sunset."

Check out the pitch deck that sold Netflix on "Ultimate Beastmaster," the streamer's first reality show

The company also made a big investment in original programming for kids, in a bid to create loyal viewers and potentially reduce subscriber churn. But like its competitor Disney, Netflix is increasingly leaning into existing IP for its kids shows. 

"A real hit in the kids space needs a lot of years to build an audience. It needs like 5, 6, 7 seasons to really get its sea legs and then be able to sell backpacks at Walmart," said Cyma Zarghami, the former president of Nickelodeon who now runs kids-focused media company MiMo Studios. 

Read more about how Netflix and other streamers are fighting to find the next 'CoComelon' amid a streaming war for kids content

Today, the streamer makes and distributes hundreds of original titles each year, minting global hits out of shows including "Stranger Things" and "Bridgerton" and movies from "Red Notice" to "Don't Look Up." 

Netflix has also upended the notion that international programming doesn't resonate with US audiences, turning South Korean thriller "Squid Game" and Spanish drama "Money Heist" into two of its most-watched shows. 

Read more about the reasons 'Squid Game' became a global phenomenon, according to a Netflix marketing exec

Netflix has been able to ramp up international production because it kept tabs on global content trends for years. After slowly moving into a few markets outside the US, the company in 2016 launched a large-scale expansion, making its service available in 130 countries all at once. It now operates in every country except China, North Korea, Russia, and Syria.

Read more about how Netflix's 'Squid Game' is part of a robust international TV strategy that's far ahead of rivals, especially in South Korea

In September 2020, Netflix — which is led by co-CEOs Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos — promoted longtime entertainment executive Bela Bajaria to the role of global head of TV. She had previously overseen the company's local-language originals and her promotion, which led to the departure of Netflix veteran Cindy Holland, signaled that the company would prioritize international programming going forward. 

Now, all of Netflix's rivals — including Disney+ and HBO Max — are increasing their global programming efforts. 

View our full interactive chart of Netflix's top leaders 

Netflix is expanding into publishing, events, and other consumer businesses

As Netflix's constellation of original IP grows, the company has been looking for new ways to boost fandom around the world, including with large-scale live events like Tudum, which streamed for fans globally in September 2021, and the more selective The Queen's Ball: A Bridgerton Experience, which is touring the US and Canada. 

Read more about how 'Bridgerton' live events boost a broader strategy to retain subscribers and build fandoms

Netflix's first attempt at adapting its IP for the physical world was through merchandise. It now sells "Stranger Things" cassette players and "Squid Game" track suits at Walmart in just another example of how it's looking to create touchpoints with fans. 

Read more about Netflix's partnership with Walmart to sell 'Squid Game,' 'Stranger Things,' and 'Ada Twist' merch

Netflix also has moved aggressively into publishing, hiring former Condé Nast employees to create fandom site Tudum, which releases news about upcoming Netflix titles and interviews with stars. 

Read more about how Netflix hired Condé Nast and Time Inc. journalists to build a 'fandom engine' to market its shows

With Tudum, Netflix is now competing directly with fan sites like Whats-on-Netflix.com, which obsessively tracks the comings and goings of programming on the service. The streamer also is going up against children's publications like Highlights with Netflix Jr. magazine, which it will ship to the homes of viewers with young children. And it's tackling Hollywood trade publications like Variety and The Hollywood Reporter with Queue, which is edited by Vanity Fair alum Krista Smith and pushes awards contenders with photos and profiles. 

Read more about the 'Netflix stan' who runs the website What's on Netflix

Awards is an area where Netflix has made a particularly sizable investment. Though its studio rivals also spend lavishly to give their films and TV shows the best shot at nabbing Oscars and Emmys, Netflix has gone a step further. It owns highly visible billboards around Los Angeles and hosts premieres at the theaters it purchased there and in New York.

That Apple TV+ beat Netflix to become the first streamer to nab the best picture Oscar — with its 2022 win for "CODA" —  is a signal of how much Netflix is still seen as an interloper by many in Hollywood.  

Read more about how Netflix built Hollywood's noisiest awards operation in its quest for the best picture Oscar

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China's Mars spacecraft has photographed the entire red planet, state media says

Wed, 06/29/2022 - 7:03pm  |  Clusterstock
China's Mars orbiter captured this top-down view of the 59,055-foot Ascraeus Mons volcano.
  • China's Mars orbiter has imaged the entire red planet, according to state media.
  • The Tianwen-1 mission — the orbiter and a rover — met its scientific goals, state media said.
  • The spacecraft's pictures reveal vast craters, canyons as long as the US, and a volcano on Mars.

China's Mars-orbiting spacecraft has beamed back stunning images of the red planet's most distinctive features, and they're just a sample of its new photo library.

The Tianwen-1 orbiter spacecraft has imaged the entire planet of Mars, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation said on Weibo on Wednesday. China released a handful of the orbiter's images from across the Martian surface with the announcement.

Impact craters fill the Arabia Terra highlands on Mars.

Since falling into its orbit there in February 2021, the spacecraft has circled Mars more than 1,300 times, Chinese state media reported. The orbiter brought a rover to Mars as well, dropping it into Utopia Planitia, a vast field of ancient volcanic rock that may have extensive reserves of water frozen beneath its surface. The rover, named Zhurong for ancient Chinese mythology's god of fire, aimed to explore the region and search for its water ice with ground-penetrating radar.

The Zhurong rover capture this image, released by China National Space Administration (CNSA), on June 29, 2022.

If space agencies like NASA or China National Space Administration someday send humans to Mars, water would be a crucial resource. It can both sustain astronauts and be broken down into hydrogen and oxygen for rocket fuel. It's unlikely Mars-bound spaceships could carry enough water, oxygen, and hydrogen for the entire journey there and back, so they would likely need to mine it on Mars.

The ice cap on the Martian South Pole, where almost all the planet's water is stored.

The Zhurong rover traveled nearly 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) before going into hibernation to save its energy through Mars's hyper-cold winter, according to state media. The rover is expected to power back up in December, when Martian spring arrives.

This was the first Mars mission to send a spacecraft into the planet's orbit, drop a landing platform onto the Martian surface, and deploy a rover all in one expedition.

The Tianwen-1 probe, carrying a lander and rover in a landing capsule, en route to Mars. Photo released on December 16, 2020.

Craters were a prominent feature in the images, of course. The below image shows the rim of the ancient Maunder crater, which is about 56 miles (90 kilometers) wide and is partially filled with dust, sand, and other Mars material.

The edge of Mars's Maunder crater.

One image captures a stunning view of the Valles Marineris canyon system, which is almost as long as the United States is wide. The canyons there reach up to 4 miles deep. For perspective, the Grand Canyon on Earth is just 1 mile deep.

The 2,485-mile canyon Valles Marineris on Mars.

Both Tianwen-1 robots, on the Martian ground and in its orbit, have completed their scientific missions, state media reported Wednesday. The orbiter has beamed 1,040 gigabytes of raw data back to Earth, which CNSA will eventually release publicly, state media said.

For now, the mission's findings are not clear.

Read the original article on Business Insider

StockX co-founder believes open dialogue and a variety of team-building experiences is fueling its culture of innovation

Wed, 06/29/2022 - 6:40pm  |  Clusterstock

It's important for managers, particularly those at startups, to know that they don't have all the answers, Schwartz told Insider.
  • The co-founder of StockX said the key to driving innovation starts with adaptable leadership and integrity. 
  • Greg Schwartz said the company has spent a lot of time trying to inspire and incentivize team members.
  • As a first step, managers must realize they don't always have the answers, Schwartz said.
  • This article is part of a series called "Culture of Innovation" exploring how companies are setting the stage for innovation, transformation, and growth.

Whether it's by rethinking their approach to professional development or soliciting feedback from team members, StockX co-founder and COO Greg Schwartz told Insider it's important for all companies, but particularly startups, to have a strong culture rooted in integrity and innovation — and to know that managers don't have all the answers. 

"For me, there's this lesson of making sure that you know what you don't know," said the executive of the $3.8 billion Detroit-based online marketplace for high-demand consumer goods.

Schwartz said fostering a culture of innovation at StockX starts with adaptable leadership. Team leads at weekly meetings encourage employees to present ideas and raise questions about areas they can be better in. 

"You're simply trying to put the best players on the field, create the best team, [and] constantly be learning — and that transitions from thinking it's not all about me, [to] realizing it's all about what's best for the company," Schwartz told Insider. 

Team-building is crucial in a hybrid and remote work environment

At the quarterly all-hands meetings for the company — the first marketplace for consumer goods modeled after the stock market — all 1,500 employees gather virtually. Company values are read aloud, and employees receive a custom pair of sneakers if they have embodied those values in their work. 

"I think the important part is not just the sneakers, of course; it's the importance of making sure that we're recognizing and amplifying work that's being done to live those values," Schwartz said.

Schwartz said StockX also recognizes employees who are taking risks by bringing insightful, innovative ideas on a weekly basis during the company's leadership meetings.

"We've always encouraged our team to bring new ideas to the table and to not be afraid to fail," Schwartz said. 

When it comes to burnout, PTO is not enough

As burnout continues to drive employees, particularly younger employees, into leaving their jobs in what's become known as the Great Resignation, Schwartz said StockX continues to stay in conversation with its workers about their mental and physical well-being. And while StockX has always had unlimited PTO for all its employees, he doesn't believe that it's enough.

The company has "No Meetings Day" every other Wednesday, and in one-on-one meetings, Schwartz encourages team leaders to ask their employees how they and their families are doing — to find out how people are doing as human beings first and then get to work second. If it's been a few months since an employee took PTO, managers are instructed to tell employees to take a few days off. 

Overall, Schwartz believes this way of connecting ultimately leads to team members being mentally engaged — which fuels new ideas and innovation, he said.

"That makes all the difference in the world," Schwartz said. 

Innovation isn't possible without inclusion

According to Schwartz, StockX understands that inclusion, not just diversity, is integral to company culture and cited by experts as a key to retaining talent rather than just another box to check. The company hired a chief impact officer (CIO), who reports to the company's CEO and whose job is to come up with ways StockX can weave diversity into every aspect of the company.

One of the things Schwartz said he's most proud of in this area is the company's Candid Conversations initiative, where the entire company is invited to participate in a talk about a timely cultural topic; their latest conversations were about Juneteenth and Pride month. Leadership will often invite guests — such as Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, founder and editor-in-chief of MuslimGirl.com, and Jane Elliott, an internationally known teacher and diversity lecturer — to come in and speak to employees.

Schwartz said StockX is constantly tweaking its practices by working through a feedback loop that includes both company surveys and quantitative data like team member engagement.

"We combine the traditional metrics with the importance of us as a leadership team and our peers, making sure that we're constantly talking, listening, and taking the feedback from our team members — because it's their feedback," Schwartz told Insider. "It's gonna help this company continue to grow."

Read the original article on Business Insider

65 members of Congress have violated a law designed to prevent insider trading and stop conflicts-of-interest

Wed, 06/29/2022 - 6:08pm  |  Clusterstock
  • Insider and other media have identified numerous US lawmakers not complying with the federal STOCK Act.
  • Their excuses range from oversights, to clerical errors, to inattentive accountants.
  • Ethics watchdogs — and even some in Congress — want to ban lawmakers from trading individual stocks.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Insider and several other news organizations have identified 65 members of Congress who've recently failed to properly report their financial trades as mandated by the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012, also known as the STOCK Act.

Congress passed the law a decade ago to combat insider trading and conflicts of interest among their own members and force lawmakers to be more transparent about their personal financial dealings. A key provision of the law mandates that lawmakers publicly — and quickly — disclose any stock trade made by themselves, a spouse, or a dependent child.

But many members of Congress have not fully complied with the law. They offer excuses including ignorance of the law, clerical errors, and mistakes by an accountant. Insider has chronicled this widespread nature of this phenomenon in a new project, "Conflicted Congress."

While lawmakers who violate the STOCK Act face a fine, the penalty is usually small — $200 is the standard amount — or waived by House or Senate ethics officials. Ethics watchdogs and even some members of Congress have called for stricter penalties or even a ban on federal lawmakers from trading individual stocks. On Capitol Hill, lawmakers are now seriously debating such a ban.

Here are the lawmakers discovered to have recently violated the STOCK Act — to one extent or another:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from CaliforniaSen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California.

Feinstein was months late disclosing a five-figure investment her husband made into a private, youth-focused polling company.

Sen. Tommy Tuberville, a Republican from AlabamaSen. Tommy Tuberville, a Republican from Alabama.

Tuberville was weeks or months late in disclosing nearly 130 separate stock trades from January to May.

Sen. Roger Marshall, a Republican from KansasSen. Roger Marshall, a Republican from Kansas.

Marshall was up to 17 months late disclosing stock trades for one of his dependent children.

Sen. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat from Colorado

In May 2020, Hickenlooper was months — and in two cases, more than a year — late in disclosing five separate stock trades for himself or his wife that, taken together, are worth between $565,000 and $1.3 million, nonprofit news organization Sludge reported.

Then, in June, Hickenlooper failed to disclose purchases of varying classes of stock from by his wife. They include shares of Liberty Media Corporation, Qurate Retail, and Liberty Broadband Corporation in 2021 and early 2022. The stocks were valued between $516,006 and $1.2 million. Hickenlooper was also late in reporting that his wife sold between $130,004 and $300,000 worth of stock in Liberty Media Corporation and Liberty Broadband Corporation from March 2022. 

Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican from KentuckySen. Rand Paul.

Paul was 16 months late in disclosing that his wife bought stock in a biopharmaceutical company that manufactures an antiviral COVID-19 treatment, the Washington Post reported.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat from Rhode IslandSen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat from Rhode Island.

Whitehouse was a couple days late disclosing January 2022 purchases of Target Corporation and Tesla Inc. stock, each valued at between $15,001 and $50,000.

Sen. Tom Carper, a Democrat from DelawareSen. Tom Carper, a Democrat from Delaware.

Carper was about four months late disclosing his wife's sale of stock in a gold mining company.

Sen. Cynthia Lummis, a Republican from WyomingUS Senator from Wyoming, Cynthia Lummis.

Lummis was several days late reporting a purchase in August of up to $100,000 in bitcoin, CNBC reported.

Sen. Gary Peters, a Democrat from MichiganSen. Gary Peters, a Democrat from Michigan.

Peters was months late disclosing a purchase of up to $15,000 worth of stock in FS KKR Capital Corp., which manages business development companies, nonprofit news organization Sludge reported.

Sen. Mark Kelly, a Democrat from ArizonaSen. Mark Kelly, a Democrat from Arizona.

Kelly, a retired astronaut, failed to disclose on time his exercising of a stock option on an investment in a company that's developing a supersonic passenger aircraft, Fox Business reported

Rep. Tom Malinowski, a Democrat from New JerseyRep. Tom Malinowski, a Democrat from New Jersey.

Malinowski failed to disclose dozens of stock trades made during 2020 and early 2021, doing so only after questions from Insider.

The independent Office of Congressional Ethics, in part citing Insider's reporting, found "substantial reason to believe" that Malinowski violated federal rules or laws designed to promote transparency and defend against conflicts. It voted 5-1 to refer its findings to the Democrat-led House Committee on Ethics, which confirmed on October 21 that it will continue reviewing the matter.

Rep. Pat Fallon, a Republican from TexasRep. Pat Fallon, a Republican from Texas.

Fallon was months late disclosing dozens of stock trades during early- and mid-2021 that together are worth as much as $17.53 million. Fallon was late again in December 2021 disclosing stock trades.

Rep. Diana Harshbarger, a Republican from TennesseeRep. Diana Harshbarger, a Republican from Tennessee.

Harshbarger failed to properly disclose more than 700 stock trades that together are worth as much as $10.9 million.

Rep. Susie Lee, a Democrat of NevadaRep. Susie Lee, a Democrat from Nevada.

Lee failed to properly disclose more than 200 stock trades between early-2020 and mid-2021. Together, the trades are worth as much as $3.3 million.

Rep. Madison Cawthorn, a Republican from North CarolinaRep. Madison Cawthorn, a Republican from North Carolina.

Cawthorn was months late in May 2022 when disclosing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of purchases and sales of two cryptocurrencies: ethereum and Let's Go Brandon Coin, the latter referencing an anti-Joe Bien slogan.

Then, in June 2022, he was again months late in disclosing two-dozen additional cryptocurrency trades. 

Rep. Katherine Clark, a Democrat from MassachusettsRep. Katherine Clark, a Democrat from Massachusetts.

Clark, one of the highest-ranking Democrats in the House, was several weeks late in disclosing 19 of her husband's stock transactions. Together, the trades are worth as much as $285,000. She has since stopped trading stocks.

Rep. Blake Moore, a Republican from UtahRep. Blake Moore, a Republican from Utah.

Moore in early- to mid-2021 did not properly disclose dozens of stock and stock-option trades together worth as much as $1.1 million. He was late again disclosing trades made in August.

Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Democrat from MarylandRep. Jamie Raskin, a Democrat from Maryland.

Raskin failed to disclose on three annual congressional financial reports that his wife, Sarah Bloom Raskin, held stock in Reserve Trust. He then didn't disclose that she sold the stock, valued at $1.5 million, until months after a federal deadline for doing so. In early 2022, Raskin explained that sale disclosure delay occurred following his son's death.

Then, in June 2022, Raskin was again late disclosing stock trades. This time, it involved an exchange of stocks his wife received when I(X) Investments merged with Net Zero — a trade valued at between $250,001 and $500,000.  

Rep. Mikie Sherrill, a Democrat from New JerseyRep. Mikie Sherrill, a Democrat from New Jersey.

Sherrill was months late disclosing two sales of vested stock her husband earned as part of his employment. The trades were worth up to $350,000 and Sherrill paid a $400 late fee. 

Rep. Mo Brooks, a Republican from AlabamaRep. Mo Brooks, a Republican from Alabama.

Brooks, who is running for US Senate, failed to properly disclose a sale of Pfizer stock worth up to $50,000.

Rep. Dan Crenshaw, a Republican from TexasRep. Dan Crenshaw, a Republican from Texas.

Crenshaw was months late disclosing several stock trades he made in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Daily Beast reported.

Rep. Kathy Manning, a Democrat from North CarolinaRep. Kathy Manning speaks during the news conference on the introduction of the Medicaid Saves Lives Act on Wednesday, July 21, 2021.

Manning and her husband were late — sometimes by months — disclosing several dozen stock trades made in 2021 that together were worth up to $1.25 million, according to nonprofit news organization Sludge.

Rep. Kevin Hern, a Republican from OklahomaRep. Kevin Hern, a Republican from Oklahoma.

Hern did not disclose nearly two-dozen stock trades in a timely manner, in violation of the STOCK Act. Taken together, the trades are worth as much as $2.7 million.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Democrat from FloridaRep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Democrat from Florida.

Wasserman Schultz was months late reporting four stock trades made either for herself or her child.

Rep. Michael Guest, a Republican from MississippiRep. Michael Guest, a Republican from Mississippi.

Guest was more than eight months late disclosing trades in the stock of two oil companies held by a family trust benefitting his wife.

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, a Democrat from New YorkRep. Sean Patrick Maloney, a Democrat from New York.

Maloney was months late in disclosing he sold eight stocks he inherited in mid-2020 when his mother died.

Rep. Brian Mast, a Republican from FloridaRep. Brian Mast, a Republican from Florida.

Mast was late disclosing that he had purchased up to $100,000 in stock in an aerospace company. The president of the company had just testified before a congressional subcommittee on which Mast sits.

Rep. Lori Trahan, a Democrat from MassachusettsRep. Lori Trahan, a Democrat from Massachusetts.

Trahan was months late disclosing the sale of stock shares in a software company.

Rep. John Rutherford, a Republican from FloridaRep. John Rutherford, a Republican from Florida.

Rutherford failed to properly disclose five individual stock transactions he made in late 2020.

Rep. Brad Schneider, a Democrat from IllinoisRep. Brad Schneider, a Democrat from Illinois.

Schneider was about two months late disclosing two stock trades involving a pet insurance company.

Rep. David Trone, a Democrat of MarylandRep. David Trone, a Democrat of Maryland.

Trone was months late reporting several stocks and structured notes that together are worth well into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Rep. Pete Sessions, a Republican from TexasRep. Pete Sessions, a Republican from Texas.

Sessions was a month late in reporting a purchase of stock in Amazon.com he made during August 2021. Separately, in early 2022, Sessions was late disclosing seven trades he made in late 2021. Sessions has been an outspoken advocate of allowing members of Congress to trade individual stocks.

Rep. Dan Meuser, a Republican from PennsylvaniaRep. Dan Meuser, a Republican from Pennsylvania.

Meuser was about one year late disclosing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of stock purchases his wife and children made during March 2020, LegiStorm reported.

Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, a Democrat from TexasRep. Vicente Gonzalez, a Democrat from Texas.

Gonzalez was nearly a year late in disclosing a sale of up to $15,000 worth of mining company stock.

Rep. Kathy Castor, a Democrat of FloridaRep. Kathy Castor, a Democrat from Florida.

Castor was late disclosing the purchase of tens of thousands of dollars worth of stock shares throughout 2021.

Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar, a Republican from FloridaRepublican Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar of Florida at a press conference outside the Capitol on March 17, 2021.

Salazar was weeks late disclosing a health care company stock share exchange valued at between $250,001 and $500,000.

Rep. Bill Pascrell, a Democrat of New JerseyRep. Bill Pascrell, a Democrat of Maryland, paid a late fee after he was tardy disclosing stock trades.

Pascrell was overdue reporting stock trades he made in December 2019 in General Electric and in August 2019 in pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson.

Rep. August Pfluger, a Republican from TexasRep. August Pfluger, a Republican from Texas.

Pfluger was several months late disclosing numerous stock purchases or sales made in January or March either by himself or by his wife.

Rep. Brian Higgins, a Democrat from New YorkRep. Brian Higgins.

Higgins was about 11 months late disclosing three stock trades he made in late 2020.

Rep. Cheri Bustos, a Democrat from IllinoisRep. Cheri Bustos, a Democrat from Illinois.

Bustos was months late in disclosing that she had sold up to $150,000 worth of stocks in March.

Rep. Steve Chabot, a Republican from OhioSteve Chabot, a Republican from Ohio.

Chabot was months late disclosing a stock share exchange he held in early 2021.

Rep. Victoria Spartz, a Republican from IndianaRep. Victoria Spartz, a Republican from Indiana.

Spartz was two weeks late disclosing a purchase of up to $50,000 worth of stock in a commercial real-estate firm.

Rep. Rick Allen, a Republican from GeorgiaRep. Rick Allen, a Republican from Georgia.

Allen, a four-term Republican who represents a large southeastern region of Georgia, appears to have improperly disclosed the purchases and sales of several stocks during 2019 and 2020.

Rep. Kim Schrier, a Democrat from WashingtonRep. Kim Schrier, a Democrat from Washington.

Schrier was more than two months late disclosing that her husband purchased up to $1 million in Apple Inc. stock, Sludge and Forbes reported. Schrier's office told Insider that the congresswoman was initially unaware of the transaction.

Rep. Kurt Schrader, a Democrat from OregonRep. Kurt Schrader, a Democrat from Oregon, is the latest member of Congress to violate the federal Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012 by improperly disclosing personal stock trades.

Schrader failed to disclose two stock trades from December 2021 on time.

Rep. Mike Kelly, a Republican from PennsylvaniaRep. Mike Kelly, a Republican from Pennsylvania.

Kelly was more than seven weeks late reporting a stock purchase made by his wife.

Rep. Chris Jacobs, a Republican from New YorkRep. Chris Jacobs, a Republican from New York.

Jacobs was months late filing various transactions made throughout early- to mid-2021, Forbes reported.

Rep. Bobby Scott, a Democrat from VirginiaRep. Bobby Scott, a Democrat from Virginia.

Scott was months late in disclosing a pair of stock sales from December 2020, Forbes reported. NPR also reported several other late transactions, as first identified by the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center.

Rep. Austin Scott, a Republican from GeorgiaRep. Austin Scott, a Republican from Georgia.

Scott, a Republican from Georgia, was a week late reporting a handful of transactions conducted by his spouse.

Rep. Ed Perlmutter, a Democrat from ColoradoRep. Ed Perlmutter, a Democrat from Colorado.

Perlmutter ran a few days late in filing disclosures for as much as $30,000 in stock trades his wife made in June.

Dwight Evans, a Democrat from PennsylvaniaDwight Evans, a Democrat from Pennsylvania.

Evans in December 2021 failed to properly disclose a sale of up to $15,000 worth of stock in American Electric Power Co. Inc. 

Rep. Tom Suozzi, a Democrat from New YorkU.S. Congressman Tom Suozzi speaks at a ceremony honoring heroic police officers at police headquarters in Glen Cove, New York on August 24, 2020.

Suozzi failed to file required reports on about 300 financial transactions, NPR reported, citing research from the Campaign Legal Center. In March 2022, Suozzi disclosed more than 30 stock trades months or years past a federal deadline, Insider reported. In May 2022, he disclosed 10 more stock trades weeks past the federal deadline for doing so.

Rep. Warren Davidson, a Republican from OhioRep. Warren Davidson, a Republican from Ohio.

Davidson didn't properly disclose the sale of stock worth up to $100,000, reported NPR, citing Campaign Legal Center research.

Rep. Lance Gooden, a Republican from TexasRep. Lance Gooden, a Republican from Texas.

Gooden failed to file mandatory periodic transaction reports for a dozen stock transactions, per the STOCK Act, reported NPR, citing Campaign Legal Center research. Gooden's office disputed to the Dallas Morning News that the lawmaker did anything wrong.

Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, a Republican from TennesseeRep. Chuck Fleischmann, a Republican from Tennessee.

Fleischmann, a Republican from Tennessee, was late in disclosing a pair of stock transactions together worth up to $30,000.

Rep. Michael Burgess, a Republican from TexasRep. Michael Burgess, a Republican from Texas.

In December 2021, Burgess failed to disclose on time the sale of 100 stock shares in health insurer Cigna Corp. 

Rep. Cindy Axne, a Democrat from IowaRep. Cindy Axne, a Democrat from Iowa.

During 2019 and 2020, Axne didn't file required periodic transaction reports for more than three-dozen trades, reported NPR, citing research by the Campaign Legal Center.

Del. Michael San Nicolas, a Democrat from GuamDel. Michael San Nicolas, a Democrat from Guam.

San Nicolas did not properly disclose two trades — one in 2019 and another in 2020, reported NPR, citing Campaign Legal Center research.

Rep. Peter Welch, a Democrat from VermontRep. Peter Welch, a Democrat from Vermont.

Welch, an outspoken environmentalist, was late disclosing the sale of his wife's ExxonMobil stock. In December, Welch's office told Insider that the congressman and his wife would both stop trading individual stocks.

Rep. Jim Banks, a Republican from IndianaRep. Jim Banks, a Republican from Indiana.

Banks was a week late reporting a handful of stock transactions.

Rep. Mike Garcia, a Republican from CaliforniaRep. Mike Garcia, a Republican from California.

Garcia was late disclosing several stock trades he made in mid-2020, as first reported by the American Independent.

Rep. Rob Wittman, a Republican from VirginiaRep. Rob Wittman, a Republican from Virginia.

Wittman was a few days late in disclosing four of his stock transactions that included pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson.

Rep. Alan Lowenthal, a Democrat from CaliforniaRep. Alan Lowenthal, a Democrat from California.

Lowenthal was late disclosing his wife's purchase of a corporate bond in cloud computing and technology company VMWare, worth between $15,001 and $50,000, Forbes reported. "We have no comment," Lowenthal spokesman Keith Higginbotham told Insider on November 18. 

In June, Lowenthal violated the STOCK Act again when he was months late disclosing four stock or corporate bond trades.

Rep. Jim Hagedorn, a Republican from MinnesotaRep. Jim Hagedorn, a Republican from Minnesota.

Hagedorn was more than three months late disclosing the sale of stock in a company that makes colon cancer-screening products. Hagedorn died in February 2022.

Rep. Roger Williams, a Republican from TexasRep. Roger Williams, a Republican from Texas.

Williams did not properly report three stock transactions his wife made in 2019, reported NPR, citing Campaign Legal Center research.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Xerox CEO John Visentin has died unexpectedly after a long illness

Wed, 06/29/2022 - 5:50pm  |  Clusterstock
Xerox logo
  • The CEO of Xerox died unexpectedly on Tuesday, per a company press release.
  • John Visentin had been in the position since 2018.
  • The release said he died "due to complications from an ongoing illness." 

Xerox announced Wednesday that its CEO, John Visentin, died Tuesday because of complications related to a long-term illness. 

"The Xerox family is profoundly saddened by this untimely event and extends its heartfelt condolences to John's wife, his five daughters and his family," the company press release said. 

Visentin became CEO of Xerox, where he also was vice chairman, in 2018. He will be replaced by an interim CEO, Steve Bandrowczak, whose previous title was president and chief operations officer. 

Visentin also was the founder of Menda Consulting and had worked at investment firm Advent International, according to his LinkedIn profile

"John drove Xerox forward," James Nelson, chairman of Xerox's board, said in the release, adding he worked to expand Xerox beyond the printing arena. 

His, "drive, energy and commitment to the business and its customers, partners and employees will be greatly missed," Nelson added.

Xerox, which was founded in 1906, struggled when the pandemic hit as business operations moved further online and people bought fewer of its products, one analyst said, according to WXXI News. It also faced supply chain disruptions and challenges, like many companies.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Is West Africa the next frontier for apparel sourcing?

Wed, 06/29/2022 - 5:47pm  |  Timbuktu Chronicles
Non-profit Tony Blair Institute (TBI)'s private sector development advisor, Kekeli Ahiable, tells Just Style why West Africa is one of the last frontiers for sustainable yet competitive garment manufacturing and how it can offer vertical integration along the value chain...[more]


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