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My family of 4 spent $600 a night at Disney's Beach Club Resort, and it's one of our favorite hotels

Sat, 01/28/2023 - 9:03am
My family stayed at Beach Club in Disney World.
  • My family of four stayed in a club-level suite at Disney's Beach Club Resort for $600.
  • We loved the resort's amenities, dining options, and proximity to the Disney parks.
  • Upgrading to club level was worth it for us as it came with free food and a special concierge. 

As a travel planner at Marvelous Mouse Travels, I know picking the best resort for your family is the first step for a Disney vacation. Recently, my family stayed at Beach Club.

Themed after a New England-style beach resort, it's located in the Epcot area around Crescent Lake, our favorite resort area to stay in. 

Here's a look at our recent stay in a club-level suite and why Beach Club has become a top pick for my family.

We opted for a club-level suite, which meant we got priority check-in

My husband, our two kids, and I opted for a club-level room at Beach Club, and we loved the additional pampering and amenities.

It's just a hotel suite, but it comes with access to the Stone Harbor Club lounge, a private concierge, and priority check-in. The lounge and all club-level rooms are located on the fifth floor, which you need a room key to access. 

Upon arriving, we were greeted and escorted up to check in with the club-level concierge. After getting some information about the resort and the lounge hours, we were offered a sparkline-wine welcome drink and brought to our room.

Our suite cost $600 a night and comfortably fit the 4 of us

Club-level suites offer access to a lounge and a private concierge.

Compared to a standard suite, club-level rooms usually costs about $270 more, depending on the time of year. Our room cost $600 a night.

It had two queen beds, a double vanity bathroom, a small fridge, a coffee maker, a full balcony patio, and a great view of the pool.

The Stone Harbor Club lounge offers free food service 5 times a day

Coffee is served early in the morning followed by a continental breakfast. Then there are light snacks in the afternoon, hors d'oeuvres and beverages (including alcoholic) in the evening, and desserts and cordials at night.

My family filled up on continental breakfast in the morning.

There was free breakfast in the lounge.

The spread included cereal, hard-boiled eggs, yogurt, bagels, pastries, sausage, egg scrambles, coffee, tea, and juice.

It was plenty for a full meal and would've cost our family of four over $100 at a quick-service location. The afternoon snacks included candies, trail mix, and kid-friendly offerings such as crackers and pretzels.

In the evening, there was also enough food to make an entire meal.

The evening spread included some unique options, like poke cones.

There were small plates like tuna poke cones, salad, cheeses and meats, assorted breads, apples and caramel, mac and cheese, chicken fingers, assorted veggies, and mini steaks with mashed potatoes.

My family ate this for dinner one night, and it was filling and delicious.

The evening service also included beer and wine.

Adults could get beer and wine for free in the lounge.

Later at night, we enjoyed some desserts, and the adults got Baileys and Kahlua, which could be added to coffee.

The lounge also had a stocked freezer of Mickey ice-cream bars and ice-cream sandwiches that could be accessed all day. To say this was my boy's favorite part is an understatement.

Even when the club-level lounge isn't open, we were able to ask for a glass of wine, bottle of beer, can of soda, or cup of juice to bring to the pool or our room. Bottled water was also always available.

Beach Club has some of the best amenities at Disney World

There are sandy beachy areas around the resort.

You can walk to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios (or take the extremely convenient Disney Skyliner or boats), and you have access to the amenities of all three resorts in the area: Beach Club, Yacht Club, and BoardWalk Inn.

We often walk over to the BoardWalk Inn to grab a pizza for lunch, pastries for breakfast, or ice cream for a late-night snack. Our boys also love to play the carnival games on the Disney BoardWalk or head down to the arcade.

Beach Club shares its pool with Yacht Club.

Stormalong Bay is by far the best pool on the Disney property. The Yacht and Beach Club resorts share this pool, which has a lazy river, a big pirate-ship slide, and a sand play area.

It's a great spot for parents who want to relax and children who want a day of water fun.

There's also a full fitness center for those wanting to keep up their exercise routine on vacation, especially after eating a Kitchen Sink sundae at Beaches and Cream Soda Shop.

There are sit-down, quick-service, and even character-dining options at the resort

We went to Cape May Cafe for dinner.

Cape May Cafe is the only table-service restaurant at the Beach Club (although there are a few in Yacht Club next door). It offers a buffet for breakfast and dinner.

In the morning, you can find some of your favorite characters for Minnie's Beach Bash Breakfast. The buffet has fruit, oatmeal, waffles, French toast, biscuits and gravy, eggs, bacon and sausage, and an omelet and carving station.

Breakfast costs $45 for adults and $29 for children 3 to 9.

In the evening, a seafood-inspired buffet offers a bountiful array of salads, meats, fish, vegetables, sides, and a traditional New England steam boil. It was one of our favorite meals of the trip.

Dinner costs $46 for adults and $27 for children 3 to 9.

The resort also has quick-service options at Beach Club Marketplace

You can pick up snacks and quick meals in the Marketplace.

You can grab breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and desserts, and it's known for its different varieties of mac and cheese — bacon-topped is my favorite.

The pool bar and restaurant, Hurricane Hanna's, offers food and drinks throughout the day.

We enjoyed the bacon-cheddar cheeseburger and chicken strips, and I always make time for a Banana Cabana cocktail, made with mango rum, coconut rum, Bols crème de banana, orange juice, and pineapple juice.

Beach Club is a great resort for groups of all sizes

We'll definitely be returning to Beach Club.

Beach Club offers families, small and large, ample room choices, a plethora of amenities, delicious food and drink options, and the best pool at Disney World.

For those opening and closing the parks every day, club level probably isn't worth it. But if you're looking for a more relaxing vacation with time at the resort, I think it's a worthwhile investment.

The club-level concierge is also a great perk for specialized service without needing to go to the front desk. When we had a ticket issue come up during our trip, the concierge was gracious and helpful in getting it resolved quickly.

For larger groups, the property also has studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom villas that offer plenty of space.

After this trip, it's fair to say that Beach Club is one of my family's favorite hotels.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Tyler Posey is going to keep playing Scott McCall as long as 'Teen Wolf' fans will let him

Sat, 01/28/2023 - 9:00am
Tyler Posey as Scott McCall in "Teen Wolf: The Movie."

The actor spoke to Insider about his return as Scott McCall, reuniting with costars from the MTV series, and the absence of Dylan O'Brien's Stiles in "Teen Wolf: The Movie."

Tyler Posey may not be a teen or a wolf, but his life has been running parallel to Scott McCall's ever since he first slipped into the character's maroon No. 11 lacrosse jersey over a decade ago.

"Scott and I have always sort of had a similar trajectory ever since the show started, because in the first episode, he got bit by a werewolf, his life changed," Posey told Insider. "I got 'Teen Wolf' and my life changed in a different way, but we were still sort of on the same wavelength."

Jeff Davis' "Teen Wolf"  had all the makings of success when it premiered in June 2011: an altruistic protagonist navigating his teen years under abnormal circumstances, a sarcastic but extremely lovable sidekick (Dylan O'Brien's Stiles Stilinski), high-school romances, and an abundance of supernatural happenings in a time when vampires, werewolves, and other dangerous, but attractive creatures were plentiful in pop culture (see: "Supernatural," "True Blood," "The Vampire Diaries," and of course, "Twilight"). 

The series turned Posey from a child actor to a heartthrob, the kind of star whose face would be on billboards in Times Square and whose presence would attract hundreds of fans at San Diego Comic-Con.

It was on "Teen Wolf" that Posey embraced the responsibility of leading a TV show, as seasons passed and various cast members exited the show and new actors entered the fold.

Tyler Posey as Scott McCall on season one of "Teen Wolf."

And while Scott was becoming a true alpha, trying to keep his friends and family alive in Beacon Hills, Posey was witnessing the deaths of loved ones in real life. 

His mom, Cyndi Garcia, died of breast cancer at age 55 in 2014. Posey was 23 at the time and the season five premiere of "Teen Wolf" was dedicated to her. 

"I dealt with death at an early age, and we were both distracted by Beacon Hills," Posey says of the parallel between himself and his character. "I was working on Beacon Hills, he was living in Beacon Hills. And it didn't take until 'Teen Wolf' stopped for me to really digest everything that had been happening in my life for the past 20 years, grieve, learn how to mourn, relive everything, and understand who I am as a person now." 

"He finally had time to just sit with his life and really, for the first time, acknowledge what happened and accept and cope," the actor adds. "He and I are in a very similar situation."

Scott finds himself on a similar life path to Posey at the start of "Teen Wolf: The Movie," which picks up approximately 15 years later and landed on Peacock on Thursday.

Now in his early 30s (like Posey in real life) and working as a vet in LA, Scott is feeling wistful and lonely, having left Beacon Hills behind a while ago to get eliminate the distraction of "trying to save everybody and be the hero," Posey explains. 

"He and I are very similar in that sense that we've got trauma, but we're very much settled into who we are as a person."

"Teen Wolf: The Movie" brings back a multitude of characters from the original show as Scott and his pack team up to defeat a menacing threat in Beacon Hills, but many fans believe the movie shouldn't have moved forward without Stiles. Posey, however, disagrees, pointing out that O'Brien had a decreased presence on the final season due to scheduling conflicts with "The Maze Runner: The Death Cure." (O'Brien even told Entertainment Tonight at the time that he wasn't contractually obligated to appear at all in season six.) 

"The last season and a half, I think, he wasn't on the show, so I was used to carrying the weight of the show on my shoulders, which is something I always wanted anyway," Posey says. "I always wanted to be the leader and bear that weight and responsibility of keeping the morale up and getting good work in, and still having it be this really fun working atmosphere."

"So it wasn't shocking, it wasn't too different, but it's always nice to have Stiles there with me," he adds. "He still lives on in all of our hearts and he helped sort of shape this show into what it is."

Dylan O'Brien and Tyler Posey starred as best friends named Stiles and Scott on "Teen Wolf."

Although O'Brien isn't in "Teen Wolf: The Movie," Stiles' beloved Jeep is back and ever-present in the story. "Memories just flood back" when Posey recalls filming with O'Brien in Stiles' beloved Jeep. 

"Dylan learned how to drive a stick with that Jeep, and that Jeep is three times older than we are," he says. "So it was frightening for the both of us to be inside that Jeep under his control, which he didn't have much of."

"There were moments where we would have to start on a hill and they would say action and he would hit the gas, but we would be rolling backward and we'd both scream and he'd slam on the brakes and they'd go 'cut' and we're like, 'We're gonna die in this thing!'" Posey continues. "So, the Jeep holds a lot of really great memories of growing up and really fun moments that I loved to share with Dylan."

He still lives on in all of our hearts and he helped sort of shape this show into what it is. Tyler Posey on Dylan O'Brien's absence in "Teen Wolf: The Movie."

Crystal Reed however is back, despite her character Allison Argent getting killed off during the season three finale of "Teen Wolf." 

Posey says that he and Reed connected on a different, more spiritual level as adults because of their similar routines, like morning meditations. 

"Everything is just calmer," he says. "I'm a little more calculated. I'm more present with every moment."

Tyler Posey as Scott, Vince Mattis as Eli, and Crystal Reed as Allison in "Teen Wolf: The Movie."

As a producer on the movie, Posey says he was able to "step up without overstepping my boundaries and give some advice or give my two cents."

"I'm just another voice of reason in the madness of the 'Teen Wolf' filming world," he says, adding that he came to work with a collaborative attitude. He even assumed the position of a real-life mentor to Vince Mattis, who plays Eli, the 15-year-old son of Derek Hale (Tyler Hoechlin). 

"I really took Vince under my wing, and he and I had such a good time," Posey says, adding, "He's still newer in this industry and he reminded me of myself."

Posey especially wanted Mattis to understand that — even though the show is a huge deal to its fans — the cast is still having fun and not taking themselves too seriously. "I wanted to show him that like, none of us are egocentric, you know?"

With a sequel movie comes the inevitable question, "Will there be even more?" If it's up to Posey, there will be.

"I hope there's more 'Teen Wolf,'" Posey reiterates. "I really do. I want to do it justice. I want to do the fans justice and give them exactly what they want and keep it going and be really excited about the future for it, you know? I want that role. If it means me protesting to Paramount+ that I want the show to keep going, then so be it."

Tyler Posey as Scott McCall in "Teen Wolf: The Movie."

But even if Posey isn't ready to say goodbye to Scott just yet, not every character will live on to see another "Teen Wolf" spin-off — something the actor expects fans to understand at this point as they've always "had to deal with a lot of people exiting the show and a lot of loved characters dying."

"Growing up, you, me, most of the fans I'm sure have dealt with somebody close dying. I think it's something that we need to portray," he explains, adding, "It's something that I hold personal to me cause I've dealt with the death of a loved one, and I love being able to portray that on-screen and having people relate to it. It's just another means for us to make the world seem less scary and not as lonely. We're going through the same stuff that other people are going through."

"But also, 'Teen Wolf' has been known to bring every single person back from the dead, so it's never finite."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Trump's political ascent was fueled by Southern Republicans. Now they're his main 2024 opponents.

Sat, 01/28/2023 - 9:00am
  • As Trump looks to 2024, he could face a presidential field with multiple candidates from the South.
  • Southern conservatives were a key part of Trump's electoral coalition during his 2016 campaign.
  • Potential WH contenders like DeSantis and Haley could significantly erode Trump's Southern support.

After Donald Trump launched his 2016 presidential campaign at Trump Tower in Manhattan, few would have predicted the reach he'd eventually have across the American South.

Headed into the race, many saw former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas as the likeliest candidates to win over Southern voters. But as Trump made the case for why he was best suited for the Oval Office, his message — emphasizing his background as a political outsider who would disrupt the status quo on issues like immigration and trade — resonated among Republican primary voters across the country.

But his message had particular traction in the South, where the Queens native found a deeply receptive audience among evangelical voters, driven by his promise to nominate candidates for the Supreme Court who would overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion in the United States.

Then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures towards Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, left, and Ted Cruz of Texas during a Fox Business Network GOP presidential primary debate in North Charleston, S.C., on January 14, 2016.

In the pivotal 2016 South Carolina primary, Trump won the contest — beating Bush, Rubio, and Cruz in their own Southern backyard. And on Super Tuesday that year, Trump completed a near-sweep of the region — winning Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Virginia — while only coming up short in Texas.

Trump rallied GOP voters in the South in both 2016 and 2020, which helped him carry states like Kentucky and West Virginia in electoral landslides while also winning politically-competitive states like Florida and North Carolina.

But a lot has changed in the nearly eight years since Trump first announced his campaign.

After leaving the White House in January 2021, Trump's political sphere of influence shifted from New York to Florida. And Ron DeSantis, who for years had been a staunch Trump ally, was elected governor of Florida in 2018 and soon forged his own conservative political identity — which has made him a major threat to Trump's quest to win the GOP presidential nomination next year.

However, DeSantis isn't alone. A contingent of Southern GOP politicians — from Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina to Gov. Glenn Youngkin of Virginia and former Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina — have the potential to block the former president from winning the nomination should they launch their own candidacies. Cruz may also run for the White House again in 2024.

Looking to 2024, in what ways could the South — which was instrumental in sending Trump to the White House in 2016 — fail to deliver the GOP nomination for the former president?

Donald Trump announces that he will run for the US presidency, in the lobby of Trump Tower in Manhattan, on June 16, 2015.Trump is no longer a Washington outsider

In 2016, Trump was a novelty to many Republican voters. He lacked government experience, which many saw as a net positive in selecting a nominee to take on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Trump also benefited from GOP enthusiasm over his experience in the private sector, along with a fervent desire to see conservative jurists placed on the Supreme Court — an achievement he was able to fulfill with the successful nominations of Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett.

But in 2020, Trump would face then-Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, who had served in the Senate for 36 years before an eight-year stint as vice president under President Barack Obama. And as October arrived, many voters were frustrated by Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which pushed them to cast ballots for Biden.

After the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, and the middling performance of the GOP in the 2022 midterm elections, some Republicans have also begun to question the former president's electoral appeal. And the Southern electorate represents the best chance for a GOP candidate to blunt Trump's comeback, given its plethora of delegate-rich states.

Potential entrants who could point to their strength with conservatives and suburban moderates include Govs. Brian Kemp of Georgia and Glenn Youngkin of Virginia. Also, if Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas or former Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas were to run, they could both tout their stints leading conservative states far from the nation's capital.

Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida arrives to speak to supporters at an Election night party in Tampa, Fla., after winning reelection to a second term on November 8, 2022.All eyes are on Ron DeSantis

DeSantis — who in 2018 cut a GOP primary campaign ad where he read a passage from "Trump: The Art of the Deal" to his young son and presented a MAGA lawn sign to one of his daughters — was reelected to a second term as governor last November in a 19-point landslide over former Gov. Charlie Crist.

Over the course of his first term in Tallahassee, DeSantis morphed from reliable Trump booster to a national political figure in his own right.

Within the last two years, DeSantis has become a favored speaker at Republican functions across the country. And in recent months, DeSantis has increasingly eclipsed Trump as the top presidential choice among GOP primary voters.

While Republicans continue to laud the policies that Trump pursued while in office, many simply see DeSantis as the future of the party.

But DeSantis has not yet announced his intentions for 2024.

Then-President Donald Trump, center, walks with (from left to right) Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, and Sen. Rick Scott of Florida during a visit to Lake Okeechobee and Herbert Hoover Dike at Canal Point, Fla., on March 29, 2019.Multiple Floridians could be on the GOP ballot

Trump may be a Florida resident these days, but DeSantis is the face of efforts to turn the state into a laboratory for conservatism.

Last year, the state's voting laws were overhauled, with an election police unit now empowered to probe suspected cases of voting fraud. The state Department of Education is blocking a pilot Advanced Placement (AP) African American Studies course from being offered to students, arguing that the course would violate state law in its current form. And just this week, the governor announced that he wants to permanently bar COVID-19 vaccine and mask mandates in the state.

But Rubio and Republican Sen. Rick Scott could also potentially be in the mix for 2024, which could create a scenario where four Floridians are vying for the White House.

Could Trump win Florida in such a situation? Yes. But if there are multiple Floridians on the GOP primary ballot in addition to other strong conservatives in the race, it would be tougher for the former president to sweep the state like he did in the 2016 Republican primary when he swamped Rubio statewide — winning in 66 out of 67 counties.

Then-Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina announced that she was appointing then-Rep. Tim Scott to the Senate seat being vacated by then-Sen. Jim DeMint during an appearance in Columbia, S.C., on December 17, 2012. Haley and Scott could potentially be competitors to win the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.Trump must contend with the delegate math

In February 2016, Trump gained significant momentum after winning the South Carolina primary, which boosted his performance across the region.

By the time the Florida GOP primary was held, Jeb Bush had already suspended his campaign, humbled by his fourth-place showing in South Carolina.

But the 2024 race could have much different dynamics, especially if Haley or Tim Scott decide enter the presidential contest.

Such a showdown in the Palmetto State would be sight to behold, with an ex-governor and former United States Ambassador to the United Nations potentially going up against the first Black senator from the state — whom she appointed to the seat.

Trump has not held any major public campaign events since he announced his 2024 campaign at Mar-a-Lago in November.

But on Saturday, he'll jumpstart the race and hold a rally in Columbia, S.C., alongside Gov. Henry McMaster and Sen. Lindsey Graham — amid speculation about Haley's potential candidacy and Trump's overall standing within the Republican Party.

In 2016, Trump locked up the nomination by racking up wins in states like South Carolina and Florida — which employed a winner-take-all system in allocating their delegates — while also capturing a swath of states with more proportional systems. While Trump didn't earn a majority of the vote in many of the primary races that year, he benefited from a divided GOP field, allowing him to amass delegates to the point where candidates including Cruz, Rubio, and then-Gov. John Kasich of Ohio were simply unable to keep up with his performance.

Only time will tell if Trump can recreate that same electoral magic next year.

Read the original article on Business Insider

ChatGPT is on its way to becoming a virtual doctor, lawyer, and business analyst. Here's a list of advanced exams the AI bot has passed so far.

Sat, 01/28/2023 - 8:59am
ChatGPT is making progress towards a host of professional degrees.
  • ChatGPT is a chatbot launched by OpenAI that uses generative artificial intelligence to create its own content.
  • The bot has been used to generate essays and write exams, often passing, but making mistakes, too. 
  • Insider rounded up a list of the assignments, quizzes, and tests ChatGPT has passed. 
Wharton MBA ExamChatGPT would have received a B or B- on a Wharton exam, according to a professor at the business school.

Wharton professor Christian Terwiesch recently tested the technology with questions from his final exam in operations management— which was once a required class for all MBA students — and published his findings

Terwiesch concluded that the bot did an "amazing job" answering basic operations questions based on case studies, which are focused examinations of a person, group, or company, and a common way business schools teach students.  

In other instances though, ChatGPT made simple mistakes in calculations that Terwiesch thought only required 6th-grade-level math. Terwiesch also noted that the bot had issues with more complex questions that required an understanding of how multiple inputs and outputs worked together. 

Ultimately, Terwiesch said the bot would receive an B or B- on the exam. 

 

US medical licensing examChatGPT passed all three parts of the United States medical licensing examination within a comfortable range.

Researchers put ChatGPT through the United States Medical Licensing Exam — a three part exam that aspiring doctors take between medical school and residency — and reported their findings in a paper published in December 2022. 

The paper's abstract noted that ChatGPT "performed at or near the passing threshold for all three exams without any specialized training or reinforcement. Additionally, ChatGPT demonstrated a high level of concordance and insight in its explanations."

Ultimately, the results show that large language models — which ChatGPT has been trained on— may have "the potential" to assist with medical education and even clinical decision making, the abstract noted

The research is still under peer review, Insider noted based on a report from Axios. 

EssaysWhile ChatGPT has generated convincing essays on occasion, it's also raised eyebrows for spewing out well-written misinformation.

It didn't take long after ChatGPT was released for students to start using it for essays and educators to start worrying about plagiarism. 

In December, Bloomberg podcaster Matthew S. Schwartz tweeted that the "take home essay is dead." He noted that he had fed a law school essay prompt into ChatGPT and it had "responded *instantly* with a solid response." 

 

—〽️atthew S. Schwartz (@SchwartzReports) December 7, 2022

 

In another instance, a philosophy professor at Furman University caught a student turning in an AI-generated essay upon noticing it had "well-written misinformation," Insider reported

"Word by word it was a well-written essay," the professor told Insider. As he took a more careful look however, he noticed that the student made a claim about the philosopher David Hume that "made no sense" and was "just flatly wrong" Insider reported

In an interview in January, Sam Altman— CEO of OpenAI which makes ChatGPT — said that while the company will devise ways to help schools detect plagiarism, he can't guarantee full detection. 

 

Microbiology QuizChatGPT successfully passed through a college level microbiology quiz.

Science journalist and executive editor of Big Think, Alex Berezow, tested ChatGPT with a 10-question microbiology quiz that he devised

Berezow, who also holds a Ph.D in microbiology, noted that the questions would be appropriate for a final exam for college level students. ChatGPT "blew it away," Berezow wrote. 

In one example, Berezow asked: 

"An emergency room patient presents with a terrible headache and stiff neck. The doctor orders a spinal tap to collect cerebrospinal fluid. A Gram stain of the CSF reveals the presence of Gram negative diplococci. What is the diagnosis?"

To which ChatGPT correctly responded:

Based on the information you provided, the Gram stain of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) shows the presence of Gram-negative diplococci, which are bacteria that are typically oval-shaped and occur in pairs. This finding is consistent with the diagnosis of meningitis.

In another instance he asked:

"In five words or less, what is the point of Koch's postulates?"

To which ChatGPT said: 

Establish causality between microbe and disease.

Taking out the word "and" Berezow said ChatGPT "Nailed it."

Law School Exams

ChatGPT recently passed exams in four law school courses at the University of Minnesota, based on a recently published paper written by four law school professors at the school. 

In total, the bot answered over 95 multiple choice questions and 12 essay questions that were blindly graded by the professors. Ultimately, the professors gave ChatGPT a "low but passing grade in all four courses" approximately equivalent to a C+. 

Still the authors pointed out several implications for what this might mean for lawyers and law education. In one section they wrote:

"Although ChatGPT would have been a mediocre law student, its performance was sufficient to successfully earn a JD degree from a highly selective law school, assuming its work remained constant throughout law school (and ignoring other graduation requirements that involve different skills). In an era where remote exam administration has become the norm, this could hypothetically result in a struggling law student using ChatGPT to earn a JD that does not reflect her abilities or readiness to practice law."

 

 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Donald Trump, a billionaire, is fighting NY Attorney General Letitia James over a measly $110K check

Sat, 01/28/2023 - 8:45am
Former President Donald Trump is fighting to take back a $110,000 contempt-of-court check he cut last May to the New York attorney general's office; the check is his fine for failing to fully comply last year with AG Letitia James' subpoenas for his business documents.
  • Trump and NY's attorney general are in a wordy war over his $110K contempt-of-court check from May.
  • The check is Trump's fine for flouting subpoenas; he's filed 1,000 pages in briefs to get it back.
  • The big fight over a small sum is an odd side-show to NY's $250 million lawsuit against Trump Org.

Former President Donald Trump and New York Attorney General Letitia James are fighting a big, wordy war over a relatively small prize: a $110,000 check he sent her office in May.

The money, which sits frozen, for now, in an attorney general escrow account, is Trump's contempt-of-court penalty for flouting James' subpoenas last year, as she readied her massive September fraud lawsuit against the Trump Organization.

Trump, by Forbes' reckoning, is worth $3.2 billion. But he's sparing no effort to get his $110,000 penalty check back.

He wants it back so badly that his lawyers have filed a total of 977 pages of appellate paperwork seeking its return and the expungement of the original contempt order.

The fine was "vindictive," "speculative," "improper," "punitive," "excessive," and based on "threadbare justification," attorney Alina Habba argues over the course of a 233-page Notice of Motion, a 247-page Record on Appeal, and a pair of briefs totaling 497 pages.

"I don't think they're being strategic," said Tristan Snell, the lead prosecutor on the New York attorney general's investigation into Trump University, which settled for $25 million in 2016.

"I think this is being driven by animosity, pure and simple," said Snell, who now runs MainStreet.law, a firm focused on helping small and medium-sized businesses. 

Much of that animosity has played out in public. Trump has repeatedly called James "racist" and, perplexingly, "Letitia 'Peekaboo' James."

A lawyer for the attorney general's office, meanwhile, kept his response to Trump's appeal down to an also fervent, but far trimmer, 66 pages.

The response included a section of argument titled, "Mr. Trump's Contumacious Conduct Was Calculated to Impede OAG's Fraud Investigation."  "OAG" is short for Office of the Attorney General.

A state appellate panel of five judges began weighing Trump's contempt-order appeal Wednesday, as first reported by Bloomberg. Appeals typically take four to six weeks to decide.

The contempt-of-court order now under the panel's review had been issued back in April, by New York State Supreme Court Arthur Engoron, who, like the appellate panel, sits in Manhattan.

Engoron, "chose to blindly 'rubber stamp' the exact amount of daily sanctions requested" by the attorney general, Habba complains in her most recent filing in the appeal,  a 237-page brief from December.

Engoron is the same judge who in November imposed an independent monitor over the Trump Organization, in response to what he called Trump and his company's "demonstrated propensity to engage in persistent fraud."  Trump "Truthed" in response that Engoron is a "Radical Left Lunatic Judge in New York City."

Engoron is also the same judge presiding over the attorney general's fraud lawsuit, which accuses Trump, his company, and his three eldest children of a decade-long pattern of lying about the worth of company assets in financial documents.

The sweeping case seeks to permanently ban the Trumps from doing business in New York and is scheduled for trial in October.

Engoron has refereed fights between the attorney general and Trump's lawyers since the summer of 2020, when the AG first sought help getting the former president to comply with her investigatory subpoenas in the lead-up to the fraud lawsuit.

The appeal centers one of those fights, over James' contention that despite running an international real-estate and golf-resort business for decades, Trump only ever turned over 10 personal business documents to her investigation. Those few documents included such non-evidentiary curios as a photo of a grocery store, and several old news clippings about golf stars from the 1960s and 1970s.

The Trump Organization itself turned over 900,000 documents to the attorney general's probe — some 6 million pages. Still missing, though, the attorney general has alleged, were additional files from the paperwork trove they believed Trump stored in two dozen metal file cabinets on the 26th floor of Trump Tower in Manhattan.

"The Court should put an end to Mr. Trump's intransigence and subterfuge," James said in demanding Trump be fined $10,000 a day until he turns over all Trump Organization business documents in his personal custody, or else explain why he's empty-handed.

The judge agreed, telling the parties during a hearing, of Trump, "He can't produce what he doesn't have. But you can't just say, 'I don't have anything. You have to say where you looked." 

Engoron lifted the costly contempt-of-court order in June, halting the fine at $110,000, but only after Trump's lawyers turned over a set of affidavits swearing that there had been a thorough search, and indeed, Trump had nothing else to turn over. 

Trump's $110,000 remains in escrow until the appeal is decided. Habba and a spokesperson for James did not respond to requests for comment.

There's no small irony in Trump spending 1,000 pages to fight being in contempt for turning over too few pages.

Trump's extensive effort in an appeal that's essentially a legal side-show to the far-more-consequential James' fraud lawsuit is noteworthy, given that Trump has otherwise been clearing his busy docket. 

 Trump recently withdrew his last two remaining cases contesting James' lawsuit.

The first, a federal lawsuit in Florida that he'd filed in November and dropped on Friday, had sought the dismissal of James' lawsuit. The second, a federal appeal filed in Manhattan, had sought to invalidate James' three-year investigation into his company, and was dropped by Trump on Tuesday.

Trump's withdrawal of those two suits clears the way for a trial on James' lawsuit, scheduled for October, that his lawyer has promised Trump will attend and be "very involved" in.

Trump's lawyers, meanwhile, continue to spare no words in taking on the attorney general's office.

On Thursday night, attorneys for the 16 defendants named in James' lawsuit filed nearly 5,000 pages of response papers

The filings repetitively complain that James' lawsuit errs in repeatedly referring to "the Trump Organization," as her 222 pages do some 300 times. The Trump Organization is branding shorthand and not a legal entity, Trump's lawyers contend.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Many of tech's power-players are alumni of Peter Thiel's controversial fellowship, which pays entrepreneurs to drop out of college. See how they made their millions.

Sat, 01/28/2023 - 8:42am
Peter Thiel
  • In 2011, Silicon Valley giant Peter Thiel created a fellowship that pays young entrepreneurs to drop out of college.
  • The program initially faced backlash, but the fellowship now counts many powerful young figures as alumni. 
  • Check out some of the Thiel Fellowship's most successful alumni.
What is the Thiel Fellowship?PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel speaks during a discussion at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, in 2011.

Peter Thiel is a giant in Silicon Valley. After co-founding PayPal with Elon Musk and Max Levchin, Thiel went on to found Palantir. He's the first outside investor in Facebook and has invested in other tech success stories like SpaceX and Airbnb. 

Thiel is also a vocal supporter of libertarian and conservative politics and once told a podcast host that too much education has "brainwashed" Silicon Valley. 

In fact, Thiel created a fellowship in 2011 that encourages entrepreneurs to choose the path less traveled and skip college altogether. 

The Thiel Fellowship, which started in 2011, "gives $100,000 to young people who want to build new things instead of sitting in a classroom," according to the fellowship's website.  

The controversy

The program had a rocky start in its first few years, according to the book "The Contrarian: Peter Thiel and Silicon Valley's Pursuit of Power" by Max Chafkin. 

Some fellows, who were as young as 16, had never been in charge of their own finances and felt they were left adrift by the program. 

"It was college without the classes, a residential community, or studying — in short, most of what was enriching about college," wrote Chafkin.

The program attracted critics. In a 2013 piece, entrepreneur and academic Vivek Wadhwa wrote, "Sadly, for the vast majority of college dropouts, the opportunities are sparse. They won't earn nearly as much as their friends who had the perseverance to finish what they had started. And if they do become entrepreneurs, the companies they start will be far less successful than those started by degree holders." 

Despite the program's controversy, it has produced multiple towering figures in Silicon Valley. See some of the fellowship's notable alumni: 

Vitalik ButerinVitalik Buterin founded Ethereum in 2013.

Vitalik Buterin is the mastermind behind the decentralized blockchain platform Ethereum. 

Buterin was selected as a Thiel Fellow in 2014 at 20 years old. By that time, he had already started Ethereum and Bitcoin Magazine.  

Since his fellowship, Ethereum has grown to become the world's second-largest cryptocurrency. 

As the price of cryptocurrencies shot up in 2021, Buterin's personal fortune rose to about $1.5 billion, according to Bloomberg. 

However, since then, the price of Ethereum has sunk, and so did Buterin's fortune. Last May, he tweeted that he's no longer a billionaire. 

Dylan Field

Field is now the wealthiest person to go through Thiel's fellowship, according to Bloomberg. 

He dropped out of Brown in 2012 to accept the opportunity and co-founded a software company called Figma to challenge Adobe's PhotoShop.

A decade later, in September 2022, Adobe announced it would acquire Figma in a deal valued at $20 billion, making Field a billionaire. 

In a 2020 LinkedIn blog post where he discussed his Thiel Fellowship application, Field said his original pitch was about drones, not web design. 

"Startups are creative endeavors and they usually don't follow clean, predictable trajectories, especially in the early days. The "perfect idea" rarely comes from fancy spreadsheets and market analysis," he wrote. 

 

Laura Deming

Deming was part of the Thiel Fellowship's inaugural class in 2011. 

She began working in a lab at age 12 and was enrolled at MIT by age 14. She dropped out at 16 to pursue Thiel's program. 

In a press release announcing the first round of Thiel Fellows, Deming was touted as trying to find a scientific cure for aging. Since her time in Thiel's program, though, she has pivoted to venture capital investing. 

In 2017, when Deming was 23 years old, her fund, called the Longevity Fund, raised $22 million. 

Lucy GuoLucy Guo is the founder and CEO of Moment.

Guo was selected for the 2014 class of fellows at age 19. She had been making profitable websites since she was in 6th grade, according to the fellowship's press release. 

During her 2-year stint in Thiel's fellowship, Guo worked on a platform that would allow students to complete schoolwork via multiplayer games, according to the release. 

Since then, Guo was hired as Snap's first female designer, and she cofounded an artificial intelligence firm called Scale AI, which is worth $7.3 billion as of 2021, according to Crunchbase. Most recently, Guo founded Passes, which is a web3 platform for creators. 

According to Forbes, Guo is worth $440 million. 

Austin RussellLuminar founder and CEO Austin Russell

Russell became the world's youngest self-made billionaire at age 25, according to Forbes. 

Russell is the founder of Luminar Technologies, which develops technology for self-driving cars, and has a partnership with Volvo.

Russell dropped out of Stanford in 2012 after winning Thiel's fellowship prize. He had the idea for the self-driving tech company since he was in high school. 

Luminar publicly listed its shares on the Nasdaq in 2020, and Russell's wealth skyrocketed. He is now worth more than $1 billion, according to Forbes' latest calculations. 

Joshua BrowderJoshua Browder, founder, and CEO of DoNotPay

Browder joined the 2018 class of Thiel fellows after dropping out of Stanford. 

He founded DoNotPay, a "robot lawyer" that helps users fight parking tickets and negotiate cable bills. 

Recently, Browder attempted to use AI to help a defendant fight a traffic ticket in court but dropped the effort after receiving threats of possible jail time. 

Nevertheless, DoNotPay has raised more than $27 million in funding, according to Crunchbase. 

Browder also started a venture capital firm called Browder Capital, through which he invested in fellow Thiel alum Dylan Field's company Figma before its $200 billion acquisition by Adobe. 

Ritesh AgarwalOyo CEO Ritesh Agarwal

Agrawal, the founder of OYO Rooms, was selected for Thiel's fellowship in 2013. 

OYO is a budget hotel chain that began in India but has expanded across Asia, Europe, and America. 

It has raised $4 billion in funding, according to Crunchbase.  

Robert Habermeier

Habermier had already cofounded Polkadot alongside another Ethereum cofounder, Gavin Wood, when he was accepted as a Thiel Fellow in 2018. 

Polkadot is a web3 company, blockchain platform, and cryptocurrency. It is sometimes referred to as the "Ethereum killer," according to a recent report

Polkadot's price has fallen significantly, but the cryptocurrency's market cap still hovers near $8 billion. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

The Memphis Police Department's original report on Tyre Nichols death is full of discrepancies and outright omissions, newly released bodycam footage shows

Sat, 01/28/2023 - 2:18am
The image from video released on Jan. 27, 2023, by the City of Memphis, shows police officers talking after a brutal attack on Tyre Nichols by five Memphis police officers on Jan. 7, 2023, in Memphis, Tenn. Nichols died on Jan. 10. The five officers have since been fired and charged with second-degree murder and other offenses.
  • On January 8, Memphis Police released a statement about a "confrontation" with a reckless driver.
  • Tyre Nichols died of injuries from a "use-of-force incident" that occurred during the traffic stop.
  • New bodycam video shows officers beating Nichols, which is omitted in the police version of events.

On January 8, the Memphis Police Department released a statement describing a "confrontation" with an alleged reckless driver, later identified as Tyre Nichols. But bodycam footage of the incident, released Friday, revealed a different story of the brutal beating that left the 29-year-old dead.

"On January 7, 2023, at approximately 8:30pm, officers in the area of Raines Road and Ross Road attempted to make a traffic stop for reckless driving," The original Memphis Police Department statement read. "As officers approached the driver of the vehicle, a confrontation occurred, and the suspect fled the scene on foot."

—Memphis Police Dept (@MEM_PoliceDept) January 8, 2023

 

The statement continued: "Officers pursued the suspect and again attempted to take the suspect into custody. While attempting to take the suspect into custody, another confrontation occurred; however, the suspect was ultimately apprehended. Afterward, the suspect complained of shortness of breath, at which time an ambulance was called to the scene. The suspect was transported to St. Francis Hospital in critical condition."

Memphis Chief of Police Cerelyn Davis said on Thursday that the officers had no proof to pull Nichols over, and has called the video "heinous, reckless, and inhumane." 

"We've looked at cameras, we've looked at body-worn cameras, and even if something occurred prior to the stop, we've been unable to substantiate that at this time," Davis told CNN. "We have not been able to substantiate the reckless driving." 

Bodycam footage released by the City of Memphis on Friday revealed that the "confrontation" was actually a 5-against-1 takedown of Nichols that his lawyers described as officers beating the man like a "human pinata" while he cried out for his mother. Nichols died three days after the stop. 

Less than three weeks after the initial incident, five of the officers involved in the incident were charged with second-degree murder. Two Shelby County sheriff's deputies have also been placed on leave pending an investigation into their conduct, according to a statement from the Sheriff's Department released Friday.

The Shelby Sheriff's Department did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. The Memphis Police Department and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, which is handling the investigation into the incident, did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. 

Prior to the video's release, the Memphis police chief described the stop as "heinous" and "inhumane."

The videos, released in four parts showing perspectives from different officers' bodycams, do not show any reckless driving on Nichols' part and begin with a tense scene of officers ordering him from the car.

In one video, an officer can be heard ordering Nichols to "get the fuck out of the fucking car." After Nichols responds that he "didn't do anything," the officer pulls him out of the car and throws him to the ground.

"I'm gonna tase your ass," the officer can be heard saying.

Nichols stands up and struggles with the officer before the officer deploys his Taser and misses Nichols. He then runs away.

Another officer can be heard saying, "I hope they stomp his ass."

In another bodycam video, Nichols can be seen repeatedly being stomped on and punched by officers as he cries out for his mother. Later in the footage, Nichols' cries become less coherent, his speech slurs, and he struggles to stand up. 

The Memphis Police Department's original statement makes no mention of the officer conduct that caused Nichols to be transported to the hospital, though a January 10 Tennessee Bureau of Investigation statement said he "succumbed to his injuries." 

—Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (@TBInvestigation) January 10, 2023

 

Legal experts told Insider the footage reveals a "breakdown" in police protocol and described the incident as "excessive."

"There's no reason why five officers need to reduce themselves to closed-fist punching in order to subdue a suspect who does not appear to be violent in return, but at the very worst can be said to not be compliant with their orders," Joshua Ritter, a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, former prosecutor, and partner with El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers, told Insider of the footage.

Nationwide, anti-police-brutality protests have gathered steam as people react to the bodycam footage, prompting comparisons to the 2020 video of George Floyd's death, when officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for several minutes as Floyd cried that he couldn't breathe. Chauvin was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison for Floyd's murder.

Instead of circulating the bodycam footage of Nichols' death, which experts say can do more harm than good, many activists are spreading videos of him skateboarding to remember him as someone who "lived in joy."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Activists are spreading carefree videos of Tyre Nichols skateboarding to remember him as someone who 'lived in joy'

Sat, 01/28/2023 - 1:15am
A woman leaves a flower during a vigil on the day of the release of a video showing the Memphis police beating of Tyre Nichols.
  • Five Memphis Police Department officers have been charged in the death of Tyre Nichols.
  • In anticipation of the release of bodycam footage, his skating videos were circulated online. 
  • His mother also remembered him as a skater in a public crowdfunding post.

Tyre Nichols was a gentle skateboarder who loved his family and photography. And his friends, family, and activists protesting his death want to remember him that way. 

A video compilation of the 29-year-old grinding rails and catching air in Sacramento, California is being shared across social media to commemorate the life of Nichols, who died after five Memphis Police Department officers beat, pepper-sprayed, and tased him in Memphis, Tennessee on January 7 following a traffic stop.

Camara Williams, a podcaster, attorney, and community organizer who advocates for abolishing the police, tweeted the video on Friday, telling Insider the video showed "he was a person who lived in life and lived in joy." 

—The Uncultured Black (@camarawilliams) January 27, 2023

 

The video of Nichols enjoying simple moments of "Black joy" was something Williams said every Black person can relate to.

"I saw that and I was like, 'wow, this is something that we've all had,'" Williams said. "We've had moments where we enjoyed the sunset, or where we were doing something that made us happy, whether it's cutting some wood or gardening or doing something that may be unremarkable in the greater scheme of life, but it was remarkable in that it gave us peace. I felt like that is that was such a beautiful thing to capture and share."

Williams compared the situation to his own life, telling Insider he had been harmed by bullies in the past, but knew it would be a disservice to him if people only remembered his life by his "worst moment." Williams said he felt the same way about Nichols' life.

"If the worst moment in your life was the only thing people remembered you by, that would be sad," Williams said.

In a crowdfunding message, Nichols' mother RowVaughn Wells also referenced his life as a skater and described him as "quirky and true to himself."

"Tyre Nichols was loved by his community and was known to be gentle, kind, and joyful," Wells wrote. "He loved skating and was originally from the Bay Area in California. He was known as someone 'you know when he comes through the door he wants to give you a hug' and that 'he wouldn't hurt a fly.'"

Earlier on Friday, Wells encouraged parents not to show the body camera footage of her son being beaten to their children.

One of Nichols' close childhood friends, Angelina Paxton, told The New York Times that when he was in Sacramento, Nichols used skateboarding as an outlet when dealing with his father's illness and distance from his mother.

"He was going through a lot," Paxton said. "When he skated, it's like he wasn't worried anymore. It was like nothing mattered more than when he landed that trick, you know?"

According to family members, Nichols was a father to a 4-year-old son and loved his mom so much he got a tattoo of her name.

Another friend, Nate Spates Jr., who met Nichols at a Starbucks in Tennessee described him as a "free-spirited person, a gentleman who marched to the beat of his own drum" to CNN.

He was also a self-described aspiring photographer, according to his photography website, which is filled with images of vibrant sunsets over a lake, verdant hills, and slices of life from the city of Memphis. The Associated Press reported that before his untimely death, he was returning home from taking photos of the sky.

"My name is Tyre D. Nichols. I am an aspiring photographer," Nichols wrote on the site. "Well I mostly do this stuff for fun but i enjoy it very much. Photography helps me look at the world in a more creative way. It expresses me in ways i cannot write down for people."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Some donations from George Santos' failed 2020 campaign are attributed to addresses that don't exist, report says

Sat, 01/28/2023 - 12:12am
Rep. George Santos leaves a GOP caucus meeting on Capitol Hill on January 25, 2023.
  • Mother Jones tried to track down donors listed in George Santos' 2020 campaign filings.
  • More than a dozen top donors had addresses that don't exist or names that could not be verified.
  • The congressman's latest campaign is under scrutiny due to questionable loans and sources of funding.

More than a dozen top donors listed in George Santos's failed 2020 campaign were attributed to addresses that don't exist or to names that could not be verified, according to a Mother Jones report published Friday.

Before he was elected in New York's 3rd congressional district last year — a term which is already facing one scandal after another with reports of a fabricated backstory and potential campaign finance violations — Santos made an unsuccessful bid for Congress in 2020.

His campaign raised $338,000 that year. But an investigation by Mother Jones reports that at least more than $30,000 came from donors whose identities can't be confirmed, raising concerns of possible violations of federal campaign finance laws.

In one case, Santos' 2020 campaign filings listed a $2,500 donation from an individual named Stephen Berger at a Brawley, California address. However, the location is associated with William Brandt, a longtime California rancher and Republican donor, and his wife, Mother Jones reported.

A spokesperson for Brandt told the publication that "neither he or his wife (the only other occupant [at the Brandt Road home]) have made any donations to George Santos. He does not know Stephen Berger nor has Stephen Berger ever lived at…Brandt Road."

Santos' communications director, Naysa Woomer, did not respond to a request for comment.

There were also instances where the addresses of reported donors did not exist. One donor was reported to be located at 45 New Mexico Street in Jackson Township, New Jersey, but the address does not exist, according to Google Maps.

Another donor whose address could not be verified was listed as Rafael Da Silva, which is the same name as the professional Brazilian soccer player, Mother Jones reported.

The findings add to the number of discrepancies reported since Santos was elected in November.

On his resume, Santos listed jobs he never held, such as project manager at Goldman Sachs and asset manager associate at Citigroup. Santos admitted to The New York Post in December that he embellished his resume.

Santos' 2022 campaign donations have also raised questions of possible election violations. 

On Tuesday, the Long Island congressman's campaign filed revisions to its 2022 filings, which revealed that $500,000 may not have come from a "personal" loan as previously reported, according to The Daily Beast.

His campaign may have also failed to properly report where some of its large contributions, such as one $25,000 donation, exactly went, The New York Times reported.

The Washington Post reported Friday that the Justice Department has asked the Federal Election Commission to hold off any enforcement action against Santos, suggesting a criminal inquiry is being sought against him.

Spokespersons for the FEC and the Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Tyre Nichols video shows a complete 'breakdown' in police protocols, legal experts say: 'No reason 5 officers need to reduce themselves to closed-fist punching'

Fri, 01/27/2023 - 10:34pm
  • The video of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols being beaten by Memphis police was released Friday.
  • Legal experts told Insider the footage showed police met Nichols with force even though he wasn't initially resisting.
  • He may have run away from the officers because he thought he needed to in order to save his life, lawyers said.

Content note: This story describes police brutality, death, and contains graphic videos.

The video released Friday of five Memphis police officers brutally beating Tyre Nichols during a traffic stop showed clear police misconduct and a breakdown in protocol for detaining someone, legal experts told Insider.

The violent footage was taken during a traffic stop on January 7 in Memphis, Tennessee, and was released days after the five officers were all charged with second-degree murder, among other charges. Nichols, who was 29, died of his injuries on January 10. Police said Nichols was pulled over on suspicion of reckless driving, but later said there was no evidence substantiating the allegation.

Prior to the video's release, the Memphis police chief said it was "heinous" and "inhumane."

"What I saw was certainly police misconduct," Joshua Ritter, a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, former prosecutor, and partner with El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers, told Insider of the footage. "What I saw is never the way that five fully trained officers should try to detain a person."

The videos showed an officer approaching the car after pulling Nichols over and immediately telling him to "get the fuck out of the fucking car." After Nichols exclaims that he didn't do anything, an officer pulls him out, throws him to the ground, and says "I'm gonna tase your ass." Nichols then stands, struggles with an officer, and runs away after the officer deploys his taser.

As he runs, an officer can be heard saying: "I hope they stomp his ass."

Ritter said it was "abundantly clear" that "there was either a breakdown in training and protocol or a complete lack of training and protocol that these officers had to begin with."

"There's no reason why five officers need to reduce themselves to closed-fist punching in order to subdue a suspect who does not appear to be violent in return, but at the very worst can be said to not be compliant with their orders," he added.

He added it was hard to believe there was no way the five officers should not have been able to detain Nichols safely, without resulting to physical blows. "It's almost as if they are trying to gain his compliance by assaulting him," he said.

Los Angeles-based civil rights attorney V. James DeSimone agreed the police's treatment of Nichols from the beginning of the interaction was excessive, adding, "this could've all been avoided if police had treated this young man with respect in the first incidence" rather than with a "physical confrontation" and threats.

All of the lawyers Insider spoke to said that Nichols initially appeared compliant but was met with force anyways, raising questions about why he ended up running away, which could be construed as him resisting arrest and used to argue they were just trying to make a non-compliant person comply.

"They came in hot. They came in just straight beating on him even though he was very compliant," Matthew Barhoma, a criminal defense attorney and founder of Power Trial Lawyers and Barhoma Law, told Insider. "Then he resisted. And it raises the question: Why did he resist? It's very likely he resisted because he felt the need to save his life."

Ritter agreed, adding that the "natural human instinct may be to resist when five people are essentially beating up on you."

Barhoma said he was "shocked" by the footage, adding that when the charges were announced he thought it may be a case of "overzealous prosecution," but that after the video he clearly sees how this could be a case of police brutality.

Whether or not the officers' conduct clears the high bar of second-degree murder is another question.

"I think the second-degree charge is probably high, and it's going to be difficult for them to ascertain," Barhoma said, adding he thought manslaughter charges may have been more fitting.

Ritter agreed the murder charges would be hard to prove, but that given all the context — the video showing force, Nichols being pulled over on suspicion of a non-violent offense — prosecutors may be able to prove it.

However Neama Rahmani, president of West Coast Trial Lawyers and a former federal prosecutor, said there was "no question in my mind that murder charges are appropriate."

"I've prosecuted police officers. I've seen police officers imprisoned. I've seen a lot," he said. "This is probably one of the worst things I've ever seen."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Memphis councilman breaks down in tears over bodycam footage of the beating of Tyre Nichols: 'This wasn't supposed to happen'

Fri, 01/27/2023 - 10:25pm
Protesters take over a bridge Friday, Jan. 27, 2023, in Memphis, Tenn., as authorities release police video depicting five Memphis officers beating Tyre Nichols, whose death resulted in murder charges and provoked outrage at the country's latest instance of police brutality.
  • A Memphis city councilman told CNN the beating death of Trye Nichols "cannot go unaddressed."
  • In an emotional interview with Don Lemon, chairman Martavius Jones wept over the 29-year-old's death.
  • "We gotta build a better Memphis for Mr. Nichols," Jones said.

In an emotional interview with CNN's Don Lemon, Memphis City Council chairman Martavius Jones broke down in tears over the death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols, saying "this wasn't supposed to happen."

Bodycam footage released Friday night revealed police interactions with Nichols, who had been pulled over in a traffic stop, including the brutal beating that ultimately killed him. The five officers involved in the incident have been charged with second-degree murder.

"Don, we have to do something," Jones told Lemon in the clip, which has since gone viral on social media. "Not that we were immune to anything, but this wasn't supposed to happen in our community. This was a traffic stop, it wasn't supposed to end like this."

—Shannonnn sharpes Burner (PARODY Account) (@shannonsharpeee) January 28, 2023

 

Jones was so overcome with emotion in the interview that he was unable to speak, breaking down in tears over the violent footage that showed Nichols being repeatedly kicked, beaten with batons, and electrocuted with a taser. The footage prompted nationwide protests over the brutality of the officers involved.

"We gotta do something," Jones told Lemon. "You know, to think that this is my last year in office. We have to build a better Memphis. We gotta build a better Memphis for Mr. Nichols. We have to let his legacy — his sacrifice, the sacrifice that his mother will not have her son anymore — we cannot let this go unaddressed. So I hope that, well I'm sure, that my colleagues will stand with me, we're gonna have some tough conversations."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Body cam footage of Tyre Nichols' fatal beating was released Friday. But many fear video will do more harm than good.

Fri, 01/27/2023 - 10:04pm
RowVaughn Wells, mother of Tyre Nichols, and Rodney Wells, Nichols' stepfather, at a news conference in Memphis, January 23. The family has urged peaceful protests.
  • Body cam footage of Tyre Nichols' death was released Friday evening.
  • Graphic videos of police brutality can be traumatizing, especially for the Black community.
  • Balancing transparency and accountability with trauma is key, experts say.

Memphis is reeling after the release of bodycam footage showing Tyre Nichols being beaten by police.

Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man, died three days after he was held at a traffic stop and beaten by Memphis police officers. The police department fired the five officers, who are facing second-degree murder charges, and released video footage of the arrest Friday evening.

But many members of the Black community and police accountability experts say video footage can do more harm than good, even if the evidence can provide transparency and accountability in cases of police brutality.

RowVaughn Wells, Nichols' mother, has refused to watch the video, and urged parents not to show it to kids.

"What I've heard is very horrific, very horrific and any of you who have children please don't let them see it," Wells told the public.

Prior to the video release, protesters gathering at Martyr Park in Memphis said they weren't waiting for the videos to reveal what happened because they already knew enough.

On social media, some chose to counteract the expected brutality of the footage with images they said were from Nichols' life. One poster shared a video of Nichols skateboarding, saying they hoped the footage would be amplified amid the violence of the video. 

Video footage can be retraumatizing

Members of the Black community have similarly said they won't be watching the video of Nichols' death, and are urging the public not to share the video. Bodycam footage of police brutality cases are often graphic and can be traumatizing for viewers, especially Black people.

—Charity Sadé (@BlckFemmesMattr) January 27, 2023

 

"It is traumatizing to see, especially for Black people. If it takes watching Black people get tortured & not the fact that we have been screaming forever about the violence from police then they need to figure that sh-t out, but not at the expense of Black people," one Twitter user wrote.

Others have shared steps on limiting exposure to graphic video footage, urging people to stop sharing the videos online.

Family and officials who watched the video described it as "heinous" and "inhumane."

"It was an unadulterated, unabashed, non-stop beating of this young boy for three minutes," Antonio Romanucci, the Nichols family's attorney, said, likening Nichols to "a human pinata."

Citizens in Memphis await the release of video footage of Tyre Nichols' death.Bodycam footage does not always prevent police brutality

Body-worn cameras are meant to improve officer safety, increase evidence quality, and protect the public.

Research on the effectiveness of body cams have yielded mixed results: One 2021 report by the University of Chicago Crime Lab and Council on Criminal Justice's Task Force on Policing found that complaints against police dropped 17% and the use of police force fell by nearly 10%, while other studies found no statistically significant differences in either use of force or civilian complaints.

In the courtroom, video footage can provide "immeasurably important" evidence in police brutality cases, according to Christopher E. Brown, principal attorney at The Brown Firm, a law firm that litigates cases involving police excessive force.

One of the most powerful examples of the significance of video played out in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murder and manslaughter in the killing of George Floyd. Bodycam footage from the police officers involved in Floyd's arrest revealed his death from various angles, and both prosecutors and defense attorneys used the video extensively throughout the case.

"If there weren't video, you're dealing with the blue line: the officers protecting one another. From their perspective, it's admirable. From our perspective, it's atrocious. The bodycam footage penetrates that line," Brown told Insider.

Balancing transparency and accountability

Releasing video footage of police brutality is also a way to ensure transparency and accountability for law enforcement, which has an obligation to the public, according to experts.

"One of the most important things about state violence is that it often happens in public spaces," Lauren Bonds, executive director of the National Police Accountability Project, said. "So it really does go beyond the individual interaction between the police officers in question and the person injured. It's a public issue that all of us should be invested in and care about, and that could impact all of us at some point."

Bonds, a Black lawyer fighting to end police brutality, said it's "incredibly valid" that viewing graphic footage can be traumatic, and said she doesn't watch these videos unless her work requires it. Having footage available to the public, however, can provide power to pressure law enforcement to hold officers accountable, Bonds said.

"It is the responsibility of the people who put these videos out there to give viewers advanced notice and the option to opt out," Bonds told Insider.

 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Ukraine says Russia's putting inflatable tanks on the battlefield — but the decoys deflated

Fri, 01/27/2023 - 9:44pm
A Russian T-90M Proryv main battle tank destroyed by Ukrainian forces near the village of Staryi Saltiv in Ukraine's Kharkiv region, May 9, 2022.
  • Ukraine accused Russia of staging inflatable tanks near Zaporizhzhia in a Thursday Facebook post.
  • But the Russian decoys unintentionally deflated, according to Ukrainian officials. 
  • Russia has employed deceptive warfare for decades, but its recent efforts apparently fizzled. 

Ukrainian military forces accused the Russian army of deploying inflatable tanks in the south of Ukraine in an effort to deceive the opposing side, saying the country's "rubber" decoys had deflated in an anticlimactic display.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in a Thursday Facebook post said Russia's army had run out of steam in the Zaporizhzhia region, where Russian troops have been incessantly firing on Ukrainian defenses in recent days, according to the Zaporizhzhia Regional Military Administration.

"At the time when our partners are coordinating the supply of tanks to Ukraine, the invading army is also increasing the presence of 'tank units' in the Zaporizhzhia area," the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine wrote.

But Russia's multiplying tanks are, according to Ukrainian officials, not what they seem.

"Apparently, the free air of the Cossack region is not suitable for the 'rubber' products of the occupiers, so they deflate without fulfilling their main mission. Just like the inflated bravado of the Russian army," the agency said.

 

Inflatable tanks are a staple of Russia's deception doctrine known as maskirovka, or masking. The country's approach to psychological warfare relies on an arsenal of inflatable tanks and launchers, decoy vehicles and soldiers, and other operations of deceit to boost stealth tactics and sow confusion. 

Russia has utilized elements of maskirovka in conflicts going back decades, but their most recent efforts in Ukraine apparently fizzled, Ukraine claims.

It was not clear for what purpose Russia allegedly staged the inflatable tanks near Zaporizhzhia.

Earlier in the war, Ukraine also produced false weaponry, using fake rocket launchers made of wood to entice Russia to waste missiles on useless targets. The wooden decoys were meant to look like US rocket launchers when spotted by Russian drones, prompting Russian cruise missile carriers in the Black Sea to fire on the false targets, according to August reports.

Deception as warfare has a long history. The US also utilized inflatable tanks in World War II as part of its Ghost Army operation in an effort to trick the Third Reich into overestimating the Allied forces' military strength. The unit created illusions and sought to spread disinformation by using inflatable mock-ups of military vehicles, tanks, and artillery, as well as audio recordings of sounds that mimicked the movement of large armies. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Tyre Nichols video: Body cam footage showing brutal police beating by 5 Memphis police officers released

Fri, 01/27/2023 - 9:44pm
  • Authorities released footage Friday evening showing the brutal beating of Tyre Nichols on January 7.
  • The five officers involved in the beating have since been fired and charged with murder.
  • Memphis and other major US cities braced for protests and widespread outrage on Friday.

Content note: This story describes police brutality, death, and contains graphic videos.

MEMPHIS, Tennessee — The Memphis Police Department released disturbing footage Friday evening showing the brutal beating of Tyre Nichols, who at times could be heard calling out for his mother as police continuously punched and kicked him until he was unresponsive. 

The violent footage, from police body cameras and stationary cameras, was released on the department's Vimeo page and set off immediate civil unrest in Memphis and other cities.

"You guys are really doing a lot right now," Nichols is heard saying to the officers at the start of the videos, which were released in four parts. "I'm just trying to go home."

The beating occurred during a traffic stop in Memphis' Hickory Hill neighborhood on January 7. Nichols, who was 29, died of his injuries three days later. Authorities said Nichols had been stopped by the officers and accused of reckless driving, but Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn J. Davis has since said the department has not found proof to substantiate the reckless driving allegation.

Memphis officials and others with access to the video had warned the public of the gruesome nature of the footage in advance of its release on Friday. 

What the videos showed

The first video released by police shows the initial struggle. An officer approaching Nichols' car tells him to "get the fuck out of the fucking car." Nichols responds that he didn't do anything, and the officer pulls him out of the car and throws him to the ground, saying "I'm gonna tase your ass." After Nichols stands up and struggles with the officer, the officer deploys his Taser, and Nichols runs away. An officer can be heard saying, "I hope they stomp his ass."

The second video, taken from the street, shows some of the more violent moments of the encounter after police have chased down Nichols. One officer takes Nichols to the ground while another knees him in the torso. As the first two officers bring him to the ground, they continue to punch and knee him, and a third officer walks up, pauses to swing his leg, and kicks Nichols in the head.

Officers eventually stand a woozy Nichols up, while one officer appears to hit him with a baton. Another officer punches him hard in the head four times, causing Nichols to fall back to the ground. Then, the five cops surround Nichols, kneeling on and kicking him. Several officers take turns beating him in this sequence.

More officers arrive on the scene as Nichols can be seen slumped over and falling to the side in pain. One officer can be seen smoking a cigarette. Nichols then appears to be non-responsive and motionless. In the last five minutes of the video, an EMT attempts to provide care to Nichols.

Video three, which was taken from body camera footage, begins after Nichols initially fled and is already on the ground. The officer with the body camera immediately runs up and joins the beating in progress. Nichols cries "mom" several times, and tries to placate officers by saying "alright, alright," repeatedly. Additional officers are seen pulling up to the scene and running up to the scuffle and appearing to join in on the violence.

The officer with the body camera turns back while the beating intensifies and says, "I'm gonna baton the fuck outcha," and strikes Nichols. Nichols can be seen being struck in the head several times, crying for his mother, before his speech slurs and he is no longer coherent, just whimpering and saying "alright." Officers chit-chat about spraying themselves with pepper spray in the scuffle. 

Body camera footage in the fourth video goes dark, obscuring the interaction between the officers and Nichols. Nichols can only be heard screaming "Mom" multiple times before his voice reduces to groans. Footage later shows Nichols, injured with blood on his face, propped up against a vehicle, as officers around him discuss what happened. One officer says, "he's on something." Another officer said, "He definitely high." Others say he attempted to swing at them or that he reached for his gun. The officers turn their attention to Nichols, whose eyes are closed. They attempt to help him sit up as paramedics arrive.

The city braces for unrest

Prior to the video release, protesters were already gathering at Martyr Park in the city's downtown. They said they weren't waiting for the videos to reveal what happened because they already knew enough. On social media, some chose to counteract the expected brutality of the footage with images they said were from Nichols' life. One poster shared a video of Nichols skateboarding, saying they hoped the footage would be amplified amid the violence of the video. 

Biden 'outraged' after release of 'horrific' videos showing Memphis police officers beating Tyre Nichols

Fri, 01/27/2023 - 8:52pm
President Joe Biden speaks at the White House on January 12, 2023.
  • President Biden released a statement on the Memphis police killing of Tyre Nichols on Friday.
  • The City of Memphis released four different graphic videos related to the incident.
  • One video shows officers beating Nichols for minutes on end.

President Joe Biden spoke out on Friday moments after the release of several videos showing police officers brutally beating Tyre Nichols, who died from his injuries.

On Friday, The City of Memphis released four separate videos related to events surrounding the arrest and beating of Nichols, who died three days after being beaten during a traffic stop on January 7.

Biden said in a statement that he was "outraged" by what he saw. 

"Like so many, I was outraged and deeply pained to see the horrific video of the beating that resulted in Tyre Nichols' death," Biden said. "It is yet another painful reminder of the profound fear and trauma, the pain, and the exhaustion that Black and Brown Americans experience every single day."

The videos show five police officers ganging up on Nichols, who initially complied with police during the traffic stop but later flees on foot. One video shows officers taking turns punching, kicking, and kneeing Nichols and kneeling on him before he becomes unresponsive and is taken away in an ambulance.

On Thursday, the five officers were indicted on second-degree murder charges.

Biden offered condolences to the Nichols family, who he spoke with on Friday, and called on Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.

"I spoke with RowVaughn Wells and Rodney Wells, Mr. Nichols' mother and stepfather, this afternoon. There are no words to describe the heartbreak and grief of losing a beloved child and young father," Biden added."My heart goes out to Tyre Nichols' family and to Americans in Memphis and across the country who are grieving this tremendously painful loss."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Here's why investors should consider putting money in the market now as optimism climbs, according to Vanguard's head of investor research

Fri, 01/27/2023 - 8:23pm
Fiona Greig, Vanguard's global head of investor research and policy.
  • Investors should consider moving cash into the market right now, according to Vanguard's global head of investor research and policy.
  • Retail investors are trading less, which suggests a "stay the course" stance and more upbeat economic outlook, Fiona Greig explained. 
  • In her view, investors can capitalize on the current landscape by increasing their savings rate and leaning more into employer-sponsored retirement accounts.

Investors are increasingly holding their positions in the market despite volatility, and that points to optimism for the broader economic outlook, according to Vanguard's global head of investor research and policy, Fiona Greig.

There has been lower retail trading activity recently, and that willingness to maintain positions suggests a more upbeat view for stocks, she told Insider in an interview.

"Yes, there's been volatility, but the longer-term outlook [investors] have for the stock market is stable," Greig said. "So unless they have a particular need to liquidate or pull out, investors are really staying the course, and I think that's good news."

In a Thursday note from Vanguard detailing investor behavior trends, data shows that investors in December expected stock returns in the next 12 months of 2.7%, up from a five-year low of 0.6% in October but still more pessimistic than a year ago.

And investors' expectations for returns over the next 10 years has been relatively stable, dipping to 7% last month from 7.2% in October, reinforcing Greig's view that near-term market tremors haven't yet deterred the majority of investors. The numbers show it's still a buy-and-hold environment.

Investors have turned a bit less anxious about short-term stock returns, as of December 2022.

"One way to read this is that rate hikes are priced in," Greig said. "Look at December's rate hike, it was a non-event in markets. That suggests to me that markets are expecting a moderation strategy for the Fed. There's some lower expectations for stock market returns in the short term, but we see pretty clear expectations and optimism for returns in the next 12 months, and even 10 years."

Ramp up savings rates for 2023

Climbing optimism indicates it could be a good time to consider moving cash into markets, which could be done with minimal risk and at a low cost, according to Greig. She said right now there's an opportunity to increase your savings rate and ramp up the allocation of funds.

"I would make sure to take advantage right now of employer-sponsored retirement plans," she said. 

The investment strategist added that it's important not to let volatility spook you into changing your strategy or shedding positions. Choppiness should be expected after a brutal year like 2022, she explained, and the ongoing debt ceiling standoff could bring further uncertainty.

"Stay the course," Greig said. "Don't let volatility and short-term fluctuations cause you to pull out unnecessarily."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Gwendoline Christie says the 'Wednesday' costume designer made her feel like her body was 'beautiful'

Fri, 01/27/2023 - 8:00pm
Gwendoline Christie as Larissa Weems in Netflix's "Wednesday."
  • Ex-"Game of Thrones" star Gwendoline Christie was excited to play something opposite of Brienne. 
  • Her character in Netflix's "Wednesday" was crafted as subversion of a "Hitchcock heroine."
  • Christie told Vogue in an interview that costume designer Colleen Atwood made her feel "celebrated."

"Game of Thrones" star Gwendoline Christie played Larissa Weems in Netflix's hit series "Wednesday," a character whose sleek style was a far cry from Brienne of Tarth's armor. While breaking down 10 of her fashion looks for Vogue, Christie praised the hit show's costume designer for making her feel incredible.

"I was overwhelmed to have the opportunity to work with Colleen Atwood," Christie said. 

Atwood and Christie were on the same page from the start when it came to Larissa's visual aesthetic. Atwood thought the look should be inspired by "The Birds" star Tippi Hedren, and Christie had already been dreaming up a ruthless "Hitchcock heroine" style.

"Colleen and I had these wonderful fittings where she has a laser-like mind," Christie said. "She always made me feel celebrated. She made me feel that my body was beautiful — that I was beautiful, that I wear clothes well, and that my ideas were welcome and relevant."

Christie said she had felt ready to play a character that was the total opposite of Brienne of Tarth in "Game of Thrones," who was often looked down upon for her looks and desires to be a woman and a knight. 

Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth in HBO's "Game of Thrones."

"That character was having to overcome a lot of shame regarding the way society treated the character," Christie said. "But this is a character who is bold and assured and proud.

While reflecting on her TV costumes and red-carpet looks along with her runway appearances, the 6'3" star said people in the fashion world have welcomed her much more quickly than in Hollywood.

"It took a long time for me to feel embraced by the acting industry, but the fashion industry did embrace me," Christie said. "For everything about me that society said didn't work. For everything about my loudness, my opinions, my sense of humor, my desire to change and transform, and simultaneously demand to take up space with the body I was born into. 

You can watch the full video on Vogue's YouTube channel. The first season of "Wednesday" is now streaming on Netflix.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Mark Zuckerberg reportedly said he doesn't like seeing 'managers managing managers,' fueling speculation of more layoffs

Fri, 01/27/2023 - 7:01pm
Meta CEO, Mark Zuckerberg doesn't think managers managing managers is an ideal corporate structure.
  • Mark Zuckerberg reportedly said managers should not be rewarded for creating larger teams. 
  • Zuckerberg reportedly said he doesn't think a structure of "just managers managing managers" is ideal.
  • Meta's chief product officer Chris Cox has discussed the need to "flatten" the management structure, Command Line said. 

Managers managing managers managing managers managing managers…

There's a corporate tongue-twister if there ever was one. 

According to the Command Line newsletter, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly said he's not a fan of all those layers of management. 

"I don't think you want a management structure that's just managers managing managers, managing managers, managing managers, managing the people who are doing the work," Zuckerberg reportedly said during an internal Q&A session in late January, according to Command Line. 

Earlier in January, the company's chief product officer Chris Cox reportedly wrote a post on Meta's communication platform Workplace about the need to "flatten" the company's organizational structure, Command Line reported. 

Command Line's writer Alex Heath thinks it all implies that "more layoffs are coming."

In November 2022, Meta announced that it was laying off more than 11,000 people, in one of the biggest staff cuts in the company's history. 

Meta is among the slew of tech giants that have been drastically downsizing their workforces over the past several months, like Twitter, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. The mass layoffs have left many in the tech industry panicked  uncertain about the future of the industry

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

Are you a Meta employee or someone else with insight to share? Contact Lakshmi Varanasi at lvaranasi@insider.com, on the secure-messaging app Signal at 262-408-1907, or through Twitter DM at @lsvaranasi. Reach out using a nonwork device.

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9 iconic moments in Jennifer Coolidge's career, from 'Legally Blonde' to her eccentric Emmys speech

Fri, 01/27/2023 - 7:00pm
Jennifer Coolidge at the 80th annual Golden Globe Awards.
  • Jennifer Coolidge has many comedic moments in her latest film "Shotgun Wedding."
  • While Coolidge has been iconic for decades, she's only just receiving her flowers.
  • Insider has compiled a list of all her iconic moments on-screen and in real life.
Coolidge is best known for her role as Paulette in "Legally Blonde."

Jennifer Coolidge's most popular role is Paulette Bonafonté, a manicurist who befriends the lead character Elle (Reese Witherspoon) in "Legally Blonde." Her performance in the movie and its sequel features several iconic moments that are still quoted today, including "I'm taking the dog, dumbass!" and "the bend and snap! I did that last night naked. I broke a window though."

The most popular Paulette quote, and one of the most memorable quotes from the franchise, is in the sequel "Legally Blonde: Red, White and Blonde."

After seeing Elle in her all-American outfit, Paulette says: "You look like the Fourth of July! Makes me want a hot dog real bad!"

Coolidge has said in interviews that this quote gets said to her all the time.

 

Viewers applauded her appearance in "2 Broke Girls."Jennifer Coolidge in "2 Broke Girls."

If've ever wondered what it's like to be applauded every time you enter a room, just ask Coolidge. In between her early 2000s success and her 2020s renaissance, Coolidge's most popular gig was playing a wealthy neighbor named Sophie in "2 Broke Girls." 

After joining the cast of the sitcom in season one, Coolidge received rounds of applause almost every time she made a dramatic entrance, which happened quite a lot in the show's six seasons.

While this was a running joke for the show, I like to view it as a sign of respect for the underrated comedy actress.

Coolidge stole the show with her performance in "A Cinderella Story."Jennifer Coolidge in "A Cinderella Story."

Over the last decade, social media has breathed new life into many underrated film scenes. That is the case for Coolidge's performance as the evil stepmother in "A Cinderella Story," a modern retelling of the classic fairytale.

In one particular scene, the stepmother tells the lead character Samantha (Hilary Duff), the film's version of Cinderella, that she's not allowed to go to her school's Halloween dance.

After they argue, the stepmother comically ends the conversation by saying: "You're not very pretty, and you're not very bright. I'm so glad we had that talk."

This is all done while Coolidge is wearing incredibly tiny goggles. In 2021, as Coolidge's fame began to rise again, this scene went viral on TikTok and even received a remix with Gwen Stefani's "Sweet Escape."

Jennifer Coolidge has been very candid about how "American Pie" improved her sex life.Jennifer Coolidge landed her breakout role as Stifler's mom in "American Pie."

Last year, Coolidge made headlines for talking about how much "sexual action" she got after starring in "American Pie."

Jeanine Stifler is one of the most renowned roles of her career, and it is where Coolidge received the title of MILF as she plays a mother who has a fling with her son's classmate.

When asked about her thoughts on the title, the 60-year-old actress told Variety: "I got a lot of play at being a MILF and I got a lot of sexual action from 'American Pie.' There were so many benefits to doing that movie. I mean, there would be like 200 people that I would never have slept with."

Over three months after the interview took place, Coolidge clarified that this comment was a joke.

She told Entertainment Weekly in December: "I did say that jokingly and, God, you really can't make jokes in our town, because I did make the terrible mistake of saying, 'Thank God for that movie, I got to sleep with 200 men,' or whatever. And, look, I would love to say that was true, but I mean, that was sort of an exaggeration — so I'm glad you're asking me."

The "American Pie" actress did note that the role opened up "the world to a much broader group of handsome men — and younger men" before recounting an awkward experience, involving a guy, his mother, and a hair salon recommendation.

It's pretty cool that Coolidge is so open about her sex life, making her all the more relatable to fans.

Jennifer Coolidge's performance of "Best in Show" received a Halloween tribute from Ariana Grande last year.Ariana Grande imitates Jennifer Coolidge's performance in "Best in Show" for Halloween.

Paying homage to an artist's work is probably the biggest sign that they've achieved icon status. With that in mind, pop phenom Ariana Grande has recreated Coolidge's greatest hits not once, but twice.

The first time, a moment that Coolidge credits for relaunching her career, occurred in Grande's 2018 music video "Thank U, Next," in which the "Scream Queens" star recreated the nail salon scenes in "Legally Blonde." Coolidge actually reprised her role as Paulette in the music video.

Then last year, Grande reacquainted her younger fans with Coolidge's filmography once again. For Halloween, Grande and her "Victorious" co-star Elizabeth Gillies recreated scenes from the 2000 mockumentary "Best In Show," starring Coolidge, Jane Lynch, Eugene Levy, and Catherine O'Hara. In the videos, Grande does an impression of Coolidge's character Sherri Ann Cabot and the resemblance is uncanny.

Coolidge herself commented on the post: "This is f***ing great. I was gonna go as the young boy's pet weasel from "The Watcher" but now I think I'm gonna go as @arianagrande's dog Toulouse."

 

One of Jennifer Coolidge's lines in "The White Lotus" season two has been turned into a meme.Jennifer Coolidge in "The White Lotus."

While the Coolidge renaissance began with Grande's "Thank U, Next" video, the actor's performance in "The White Lotus" cemented her revival.

Coolidge stars in the first two seasons of the anthology series as a rich, lonely, middle-aged white woman named Tanya McQuoid. While Coolidge has had many great scenes in the show, the most viral one is in the season two finale where she claims "Please! These gays — They're trying to murder me."

The scene has already been memorialized with fans turning it into memes, merchandise, and even remixed into a song.

Jennifer Coolidge started dancing when the Emmys tried to play her off stage.Jennifer Coolidge accepting the award for oustasnding supporting actress in a limited or anthology series or movie for her role in "The White Lotus."

Over the last two years, Coolidge has finally received critical recognition during award season. 

When she was awarded the Emmy award for outstanding supporting actress in a limited or anthology series or movie last year for her role in the first season of "The White Lotus," she struggled to give her speech within the time constraints.

However, instead of stopping when the music began to play her off stage, Coolidge protested and continued her speech. The music then switched to a jazzy arrangement of "Hit the Road Jack," at which point Coolidge began to sway her hips and dance in time with the music.

This clip went viral and was a classy way to handle being played off-stage.

 

Coolidge gave the most chaotic speech after winning her first Golden Globe earlier this year.Jennifer Coolidge at the 80th annual Golden Globe Awards.

Coolidge also won her first Golden Globe earlier this month for her performance in "The White Lotus."

After accepting the award for best supporting actor, Coolidge gave an epic gratitude speech that was a bit all over the place. In the speech, she tries to thank the people she wasn't able to thank during her Emmys speech, griping that she had been forced off the stage.

"But I just want to say, I hope my agent at UTA and Tiffany [Kuzon], you all forgive me because the hook came out at the last thing I got an award at," She said. "This giant hook, and I thought it left when vaudeville ended, and this hook came and took me off the stage at the Emmys."

The speech was funny, inspiring, and also one of the most memorable moments of the night.

 

Jennifer Coolidge uses a machine gun in "Shotgun Wedding."Jennifer Coolidge with a machine gun in "Shotgun Wedding."

In "Shotgun Wedding," which premiered this week, Coolidge stars as Carol, a slightly overbearing and oversharing mother of the groom (Josh Duhamel). When the trailer of the new action rom-com came out, Coolidge immediately stood out for one reason: she was using a machine gun.

In the epic scene, Coolidge lets it rip on the pirates trying to destroy her son's wedding. It may be one of the best scenes of the entire movie because of the bizarreness of Coolidge handling such a weapon.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Vanguard's global investment expert explains what traders are doing to kick off 2023 and how markets are reacting to the Federal Reserve's policy tightening.

Fri, 01/27/2023 - 7:00pm

Happy weekend, team. I'm Phil Rosen. As you could guess from this newsletter, a big part of my job involves speaking to top experts in markets and economics. 

I'm always looking to speak with Wall Street strategists, energy analysts, investment bankers, and everyone in between. 

Know anyone who you think I should meet? Tweet me or email me (prosen@insider.com) — and, of course, tell your friends to sign up for 10 Things Before The Opening Bell!

Today, I'm sharing my conversation with Fiona Greig of Vanguard's Investment Strategy Group. 

If this was forwarded to you, sign up here. Download Insider's app here.

Fiona Greig, global head of investor research and policy for Vanguard

Fiona Greig is the global head of investor research and policy for Vanguard's Investment Strategy Group. This conversation has been lightly edited for length and clarity. 

Phil Rosen: Part of your expertise lies in behavioral trends among investors. What are you observing there to start 2023?

Fiona Greig: In general, when it comes to retail investors, we're just seeing fewer people trading in general. It's also true in retirement accounts. 

This suggests a "stay the course" posture, meaning yes there's been volatility, but the longer term outlook they have for the stock market is stable. So unless they have a particular need to liquidate or pull out, investors are really staying the course, and I think that's good news.

The Fed has signaled rates will keep rising, which in theory should weigh on markets — yet we've seen stocks rally. What's going on here? 

FG: One way to read this is that rate hikes are priced in. Look at December's rate hike, it was a non-event in markets. That suggests to me that markets are expecting a moderation strategy for the Fed

There's some lower expectations for stock market returns in the short term, but we see pretty clear expectations and optimism for returns in the next 12 months, and even 10 years.

What trends should investors be cautious of, or capitalize on, in the current landscape?

FG: I would say it's a bad idea to pull out just because markets are having a bad day. Investors have to accept volatility, and can't get skittish. So I'd advocate for staying in positions for the time being. 

Then, I would make sure to take advantage right now of employer-sponsored retirement plans. Increase your savings rate. People have the opportunity now to start investing and allocating funds, and should think about moving money into the market in a balanced way at a low cost. 

Here are the full insights with Vanguard's Fiona Greig.

What do you think of Greig's outlook for investors this year? Tweet me @philrosenn, or email me prosen@insider.com.

And here are the top stories from markets this week: 

Sam Bankman-Fried.

1. A veteran investment chief is expecting stocks to crash in 2023. He explained that the "perfect bull market cocktail" of the last four decades is about to come to a halt — which means valuations for some of the most popular names could be set to tumble.

2. The top-performing stock-picker of 2022 recommended buying these six stocks right now. This batch of names are his favorites that can protect against high inflation, low profits, and a long-term energy shortage. See the full list.

3. ChatGPT's creator, OpenAI, has doubled in value since 2021. Not to mention the $10 billion investment from Microsoft, the language bot has gone viral for its ability to answer messages on dating apps and dole out investment tips. It was even a hot topic among the global elite at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

4. The stock market is about to be flipped upside down by an inflation rebound, Bank of America warned, pointing to higher commodity prices stemming from China's reopening and the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. That means secular trends that dominated the market over the last decade will be reversed.

5. Ray Dalio slammed the debt ceiling this week. The billionaire investor compared the politicians who support raising it to binge-drinking alcoholics. In his words: "We all know that there is no real debt limit because what is called a debt limit never actually limits the debt."

6. Sam Bankman-Fried held $50 million in a tiny rural Washington-state bank. Strangely, the firm had only three employees and specialized in agricultural loans to farmers before he invested in it. Later on, Bankman-Fried's trading firm, Alameda Research, took a stake in the bank and rebranded it as "Moonstone."

7. Credit Suisse's stock chief said investors are piling into all the wrong sectors as they anticipate a recession. In his view, you don't need to hold defensive stocks if there's no recession, a scenario he believes is becoming more likely. Here are three areas of the market that he recommends that will deliver the best returns.

8. Morningstar is bullish on these 10 cheap, high-quality stocks. The firm's strategists said these companies pay out a healthy dividend and can offset stock market losses in a slow-growth economic landscape. Get the stocks here.

9. Russian oil trade remains on solid footing despite sanctions and a price cap, according to an analyst from Kpler. Moscow's energy revenues may not have been hit as badly as some estimates may suggest, in large part because Asian customers including India and China have kept buying crude. Here's what else to know.

10. Anthony Scaramucci said he put in a $10 million investment in FTX's native cryptocurrency and received only $400,000 back. The SkyBridge Capital investor backed the crypto exchange's token after receiving $45 million in funding from FTX. Yet, Scaramucci said he remains bullish on crypto even though he got burned.

Curated by Phil Rosen in New York. Feedback or tips? Tweet @philrosenn or email prosen@insider.com

Edited by Max Adams (@maxradams) in New York.

Read the original article on Business Insider


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